Policy vs Regulation
Policies, rules, regulations, directives, and procedures are words that have similarities and confuse many people. These words, or rather concepts, have great significance in all establishments and environments. If policies are rules made to achieve certain goals in a company or organization, regulations are acts or statutes passed by the legislation having the force of a law. However, because of some overlap people find it difficult to distinguish between a policy and a regulation. This article attempts to highlight these differences to remove all confusion.
If there is a rule in a factory that prohibits smoking inside the premises to avoid fire or any other mishap, it is done purposefully by the management to ensure compliance as they want to keep the factory safe from mishaps. Policies are rules that are made by organizations, to achieve their aims and goals. Policies are made by individuals, groups, companies, and even governments to carry out their plans.
Educational institutions have their own policies regarding scholarships and admissions; organizations have their policies to transact business with certain level of vendors, and governments have foreign policies to deal with matters pertaining to foreign countries. It becomes difficult for organizations to pursue their goals in the absence of these policies. Policies are made by people in the higher echelons of management, to make others in the company comply with them. Policies are unwritten laws that have to be followed in letter and spirit by the employees of an organization.
Regulations are rules that are made to make people comply and behave in a certain manner. A regulation has the effect of a law and is considered as a restriction that is imposed by authorities, to make people follow the desired code of conduct. Regulations are different from other laws that are made by the legislature or through the constitution, but they have the backing of the authorities and are meant to regulate the action of individuals, groups, and organizations. Regulations came into existence because of the feeling that unregulated business led to inefficiency, injustice and use of unfair means.
What is the difference between Policy and Regulation?
• Regulations are administrative in nature and allow for smooth operations in an organization or a department whereas policies are general in nature and made to help an organization achieve its goals.
• Regulations are made by the executive branch of the government whereas policies are made by individuals, organizations, and even governments.
• Regulations are restrictive in nature and impose sanctions upon people and companies whereas policies are unwritten but help in guiding the organizations to achieve their long term goals.
• Governments change but the basic foreign policy of a country remains the same.