Policies, processes and procedures are visible representations of the system. Results are a direct outcome of the effectiveness, or otherwise, of organisational systems, whether management is aware of it or not.  The goal is a limited set of relevant and useful policies, processes and procedures.

A POLICY is a concise formal statement that indicates how an organisation will act in a particular area of operation.

A policy responds to an area where the organisation has some discretion.

If there is no choice about what must be done, then there can be no policy either.

A policy that reads like a convoluted essay or short novel has limited value.

This might make management feel good but it can be very confusing for operational staff.

A targeted, well-considered policy helps ensure consistency of approach.

This can be a powerful tool if fully implemented across the organisation.

A PROCESS is a sequence of activities designed for a specific purpose.

A process has well-defined inputs and outputs and a purpose.

There will be a number of steps or tasks that turn the inputs into something entirely different, which becomes the output.

Many smaller processes may combine to make up a larger complex process.

A complex process such as the RPL process is often presented as a flowchart, which depicts all the smaller processes within it. 

Several processes work together to become a functional system.

Processes are all the related parts inside a system that work together to make it function.

A PROCEDURE is a set of instructions for completing a specific task within a process.

A procedure is a practical guide, the ‘how to’ for the operator.

A procedure may also be referred to as a Work Instruction or Standard Operating Procedure.

A procedure sets out the method to be used to complete a task.

A procedure is often a prescriptive step-by-step description of what must be done.

The goal of a procedure is the successful completion of a task.

There may be a form or template to support a procedure to help personnel follow requirements.



Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a system.

Yes or No.

RPL is a process. The purpose of the RPL process is to assess if the candidate can be awarded competency for the specific unit. The RPL process has numerous steps but it is still part of the larger assessment system.

It is useful for an RTO to have a policy that states it will be compliant with the RTO Standards at all times, if that is their position.

Yes or No

There is no point in having a policy that states this because the RTO has no discretion in this area. It is a legislative requirement.

It is useful for an RTO to have a policy that states that it will not enter into any third-party arrangements to deliver any of its services, if that is their position.

Yes or No.

An RTO has discretion about whether to use a third-party to deliver services, so it provides clarity to have a policy that states the organisation’s position on this.