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Public Policy Validity

Public policies are enforceable only if the policies are in writing and have been adopted by the Board.

Policies are only valid if they meet four tests – and have Board approval:

  • Legal
  • Reasonable
  • Nondiscriminatory application
  • Measurable (for example, in some instances it is better to be specific, such as:  rather than having a circulation policy that says customers can check out a reasonable number of DVD’s, use a number rather than the word ‘reasonable’ which is too subjective and may lead to discriminatory application of the policy.  Many HR policies benefit from clearly stating a number rather than being vague on the issue, such as on sick leave, etc.)


Part of the policy conundrum rests in how to teach good decision-making skills.  Decision-making is a learned skill that can be improved upon by study and practice.  Four steps in decision making:

  • define the problem,
  • collect information and data,
  • identify and evaluate solutions and options to resolve the problem,
  • select the most effective option and then implement.

Creating Policy and Procedures page