Policies and Procedures Manual - Overview

Introduction

The NCRA Board of Directors supports and advocates transparency in its governance activities, consistency in its exercise of governance duties, and continuity and efficiency in the operations of the association. In order to promote good business practices and responsible governance, it has created this Policy and Procedures Manual and makes it available to the membership on the NCRA website in PDF format.

Policies and Procedures

A policy statement presents the position, thinking or philosophy that governs actions on a particular subject. Policies are meant to answer the general questions “what” and “why.”

Where policy is dictated by the NCRA Constitution and Bylaws, reference to the applicable language is provided. No Policy or Procedure may contravene the law of the District of Columbia, NCRA Articles of Incorporation, NCRA Constitution and Bylaws, and Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (RONR), in that order.

Policy wording is intentionally formal, broad and general in terms. At the same time, it ideally should be concise, brief and easily grasped.

A procedure statement provides more detailed or specific instruction on areas addressed in policy. A procedure defines and specifies the necessary steps for accomplishing a given task. Procedures are meant to answer the questions “how” and “when.”

Procedures should be worded in clear, precise, and specific terms to provide the reader with all the necessary details and information to make a sound decision in a particular situation, consistent with prior actions and policy. Wording may be more informal than in policy statements, with the emphasis on clarity and complete coverage of the subject. As such, procedure statements are often longer than the policy statement with which they are associated.

Appendices

Specialized policies and extensive, detailed procedures may be documented in other sources. (For example: The NCRA Code of Professional Ethics, with its supporting “General Guidelines,” “Complaint Procedures,” and “Public Advisory Opinions,” and the CASE General Requirements and Minimum Standards (GRMS) manual.) These authorities will be included as appendices to this Policy and Procedures Manual and remain subject to approval by the Board of Directors.

Revision and Maintenance

The Policies and Procedures Committee shall review a minimum of one-third of the Policies and Procedures Manual annually and reaffirm, amend, or rescind each item contained therein. Upon the Policies and Procedures Committee's completion of its task, the Committee shall present its recommendations to the NCRA Board of Directors for final approval.

Under authority granted by Article XIX, Section 1 (a) of the NCRA Constitution and Bylaws, “The Board of Directors shall be the final authority on the interpretation of the Constitution and Bylaws.” The Board has final authority to determine whether a particular Policy or Procedure is in conflict with the Constitution and Bylaws and the obligation to correct any Policy or Procedure to conform it to the requirements of the bylaws. The draft of the Policies and Procedures with changes incorporated will be sent to the Board for final approval.

NCRA executive staff shall be charged with maintaining a master copy of this Policies and Procedures Manual and its appendices, reflecting any changes or additions made as a result of Board or membership action within two weeks of any change.

Note on Custom

A particular practice may sometimes come to be followed as a matter of established custom so that it is treated practically as if it were prescribed by a rule.  If there is no contrary provision in RONR or written rules of NCRA, the established custom should be adhered to unless the Board of Directors, by a majority vote, agrees in a particular instance to do otherwise.  However, if a customary practice is or becomes in conflict with RONR or any written rule, and a Point of Order citing the conflict is raised at any time, the custom falls to the ground, and the conflicting provision in RONR or written rule must thereafter be followed.  If it is then desired to follow the former practice, a special rule of order (or, in appropriate circumstances, a standing rule or a bylaw provision) can be added or amended.