The life of a policy

Published by: Kim Connor

May 31, 2023 | Compliance

Sometimes it seems that policies have a life of their own, and they do. A policy life cycle starts at the point the policy is created and ends when the policy is retired. Between those two events, a policy can be distributed to the board of directors and employees, reviewed, revised, and approved multiple times.

 

Policy Creation. Creating a new policy from scratch can be a daunting and time-consuming process. Laws and regulations must be researched, and the credit union’s policy must be written in a way that can be understood by all stakeholders. NCUA guidance indicates that the Board of Directors interacts with employees through the credit union’s policies and the Board adopts policies to direct the credit union’s activities. It’s up to the Board to make sure that the appropriate policies are in place to guide Senior Management in their execution of duties. Before writing a policy from scratch, credit unions should research CU PolicyPro which includes 230 operational model policies written for credit unions by credit union professionals and can be customized to fit the credit union’s unique operations.

 

Policy Review and Approval. Whether it’s a policy’s first or fifth review, the credit union must have a process to distribute the policy to the Board and Senior Management and solicit feedback. CU PolicyPro includes an assignment feature that will notify designated users via email when a review must be done and allows the user to provide feedback about the review. System admins can view all assignments to see which users have completed (or not completed) an assigned review. Additional emails can be sent to notify users that an assignment is coming due or is overdue.

 

Auditing. It’s essential to understand and document all changes to a policy throughout its life cycle. CU PolicyPro includes several tools which can help, including tracking changes, reports, auditing notes, an automatic archive of previous policy versions, and email notifications if one of your policies is updated.

Implementation. Once a policy is created and approved, it must be implemented and followed by the credit union staff. The policy sets overarching expectations and direction, while corresponding procedures provide the details of specific processes to ensure day-to-day operations comply with the policies. CU PolicyPro is designed to house procedures along with their corresponding policies. The publishing process makes it easy to produce documents with specific policies and/or procedures for distribution to staff, the Board, and even the examiners.

 

Ongoing Updates and Changes. Regulations are always changing, guidance changes and so do examiner expectations. CU PolicyPro stays on top of industry guidance, feedback, and the regulatory environment generally to make sure policies are updated in a timely manner.

 

Policy Retirement. If a policy is no longer relevant to the credit union, it can be retired. CU PolicyPro has a variety of tools to archive your retired policies while keeping them available for reference if needed.

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