This afternoon I facilitated a workshop for the Maroondah Citizens Advice Bureau to develop policies to assist the organisation in delivering its services to the community.
The Maroondah Citizens Advice Bureau was formed through the merging of the Ringwood and Croydon offices in 1996 but began as the Ringwood Advisory Service in 1967. The organisation provides emergency relief, as well as advice and referral services on a free and impartial basis.
A policy consists of a statement of purpose and broad guidelines to identify desired outcomes. Once adopted procedures are developed that ensure compliance to the outcomes specified in the policy.
Policy formulation is one of the responsibilities of a committee of management and are designed to provide clear expectations and improve the accountability of an organisation. While policy formulation is a committee responsibility it is important that volunteers and staff have input into policies, to ensure that their opinions are taken into account.
Today’s policy workshop provided volunteers and staff with the ability to discuss the currently prepared policies and to ensure that their aims reflect the organisation. Participants were encouraged to discuss their thoughts and to provide input into how the policies would assist in the delivery of the services provided by Maroondah Citizens Advice Bureau.
The input from the workshop will be incorporated into the policies and they will be taken to the next Committee of Management meeting for final adoption and consideration. Copies of the policies will be available at both offices to ensure that volunteers and staff are aware of their existence and content.
Policy formulation is an ongoing challenge for organisations and yet they are required to ensure consistency and good governance. Policy development can be a positive experience if discussion is encouraged.