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An Association Policy Handbook? For what purpose?

How often have we heard these questions in our business as staff seek answers to questions on policy, process, or practice. In small to medium enterprises, corporate knowledge is usually in the hands/minds of senior management or long-serving staff. Little is committed to writing or consolidated on electronic file or hardcopy as an easy access library of corporate information.

So, what happens if those people are no longer in the organization? What happens to that knowledge? Staff have to rely on doing the best they can undertaking discovery learning and usually spending considerable time and effort to achieve the answer.  

Keep the corporate memory alive

While corporate memory is one of the greatest benefits to a business, it does not receive the due attention and maintenance it deserves. The usual comment being we are all too busy. The simple solution is a corporate policy and procedure document in whatever form and complexity which       provides direction, guidance, uniformity, consistency, and retention of knowledge on key issues. It enables all staff to be aware of, and understand, the corporate philosophy of the organization and why things are as they are.

In organizations of whatever size or complexity, corporate knowledge rather than just knowledge in its human resources either as staff or voluntary support is not only desirable but critical to the organization’s operation. Federations like FIATA remain constant while its human resources can be transient. The ability to pass correct knowledge from one place or person to another is highly dependent on the quality of the corporate memory and knowledge base.

Consolidating policy in FIATA

In this regard FIATA commenced that build process through the consolidation of certain key policy and process information related to FIATA in the second release of its Association Policy Handbook to Association Members, presidency, extended board, and its head office in November 2019. The handbook consolidates policy-related FIATA. It covers issues such as:

  • Rules of procedure for specific bodies and meetings
  • Privacy policy/data collection
  • Board staff relationships
  • Financial policies
  • Record retention policy

The handbook is a living document and will be linked to FIATA’s statutes and its key data repository for head office support to FIATA’s institutes, advisory bodies and external work. The handbook is another resource for Association Members in the Know your FIATA series of articles which will be delivered in Association Member sessions at the FIATA World Congress and HQ meetings.

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