Ensuring regulatory compliance and adherence to industry standards is essential for every industry to a greater or lesser extent, starting from standards-driven government, education, legal, finance and healthcare to industries with a lighter compliance burden — retail, professional services and other. During the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous guides and regulations for workplaces have been issued, most businesses have welcomed a work-from-home option for employees. The way we handle our business changes and it becomes even more important to make sure that all the changes get properly reflected in the internal policies, on a continuous basis.
When a new policy is created, or an existing one is modified, the final draft of the policy moves through the approval process for signature approval by company officials. Policy approval process is frequently paper-based and includes several interactions of printing, signing and scanning documents. Even more, every time one of the reviewers requests changes the draft is printed and redlined or change request sent via email. Busy stakeholders have to chase approvers around the office or throughout the messengers and email, in case of remote work. So, it can be particularly difficult to take into account all approvers' comments and get the approved policy posted in the Policy Library and announced for employees in time. At the end of the day, it increases compliance risk and can lead to legal penalties or financial forfeiture. In order to avoid the risks mentioned above, it is likely to make sure that your policy approval process is effective and reliable.
It will be useful to create clear instructions containing overview and detailed information related regarding the sequence of work to be done when the need for a new policy or policy revision is identified. These instructions should include every step of development-to-announcement cycle, from development or revision need identification and responsible assignment, to final policy draft approval and announcing for both internal and external stakeholders. These instructions are also expected to include approval process flow alternatives for specific types of policies and the length of time every approver gets for completing his/her task.
It frequently happens that a policy approval workflow exceeds 10 steps or numerous policies are revised and sent to approval simultaneously. Even more, when the policy is approved it is usually needed to trigger one more process that will put a new policy or updated one in place. In this situation, an automated policy approval workflow helps a lot with ensuring compliance in a timely manner and without extraordinary efforts from employees. You can set the length of time that every policy is valid, so that the team gets notification when it is time to affirm policy’s validity. Once a policy draft is manually submitted for approval via form or email or received from either content management or electronic signature service via API, workflow software automatically defines policy type and routes it to persons authorized to approve it. Every involved employee gets notification about a new review and approval assignment and due date approaching. The benefits of an electronic policy approval process may include quicker policy approval cycle, reduced human error, and reduced compliance risks.
Comindware offers easy and powerful workflow automation software with the ready-to-use template of policy approval process and customizable approval request form. Use this basic policy approval process example for quick start and adjust both workflow and form according to your business needs with drag and drop simplicity. Besides, you can easily integrate your contract approval workflow with your Content Management System, eSignature service or other system and ensure smooth document exchange for proper compliance management.
Policy approval process template
Fully adjustable policy approval request form