This article includes: 

Download full Policies and Procedures Guide and Checklist information as pdf


This can be used to begin to gather information about what you have in place and what you need to have in place: it does not cover the quality of these documents. This list is by no means complete or what every organisation needs but it is a starting point.

New organisations should think about which ones are most important for them and start with those, so you don’t become overwhelmed by the number of possibilities.

Remember, a policy is what needs to happen; a procedure is how it will happen. The procedure follows on from the policy and can be a separate document or a section of the same document.

Why is it important for your organisation to have the right set of policies and procedure?

A clear, appropriate and coherent set of policies and procedures help ensure that your organisation is well run.

Policies and procedures provide:

  • appropriate controls by setting out how things should be done and what is expected of people
  • transparency and accountability
  • ensure the compliance with the legal framework
  • limit risk


What makes a good policy?

  • easily understood and written in plain, jargon-free English
  • has a definite purpose for its creation
  • is linked to your organisation’s strategy
  • is flexible and can adapt to change and be amended if needed
  • is developed through the involvement of interested stakeholders including employees
  • is communicated to all relevant people.

What policies should my organisation adopt?

The scope and complexity of policies will vary according to the size and circumstances of your organisation.

Essential Core Policies


Other Common Policies and Procedures

The following areas are some of the more common polices that would benefit from being written down. You don’t necessarily need to adopt all the policies listed below and some specific policies you might need may not be listed. This is for the trustee board to decide.

This list has been taken from NCVO’s website.  

How to develop your policies

You may be able to save time by looking at other organisation’s policies or templates as a starting point. Be sure to check they are appropriate for your organisation and you should adapt them for your circumstances. You should also check that the policies you adopt are respecting your organisation’s values as set in your governing document.

We recommend using guidance and checklists rather than templates to ensure your documents are relevant to your needs.

However, you can check our Resource Bank for some useful templates.

It is not expected that your board will necessarily develop these policies but your board should ensure that those needed are in place, are followed and updated as appropriate.

Policies and procedures checklist

Use this checklist to work out which policies and procedures you have, whether they are adequate and if there are others you need to develop. 

Note you shouldn’t adopt all the policies listed below and some specific policies you might need may not be listed below. Community Southwark can help you develop or signpost you to others that can support you develop the policies you need. 

Download checklist


If you would like any support with policies and procedures or any other issues facing your organisation, please contact the VCS Support Team at Community Southwark: Email: [email protected] Telephone: 020 7358 7020