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Policy Review and Revision

Creating safer, more respectful, and more equitable organizations is not a static effort. No policy is perfect, and research is always evolving. Therefore, organizations should regularly review whether protocols that seemed clear in theory are ambiguous in practice or whether well-intentioned guidelines have unanticipated risks or hurdles in implementation. Over time, your organization may experience staff turnover, alterations to physical structures, new technology or programming,  or updated legal requirements, all of which should shape the evolution of your organization’s policy.  

An annual review accounts for routine change and provides an opportunity to engage the larger community through surveys, focus groups, and listening sessions. 

 

Please note this submodule has not yet been externally reviewed. We will remove this note upon completion of external review, anticipated by January 2023. For more on why Sacred Spaces’ external review is a critical component of our resource development, see Keilim Toolkit Review Process.

Considerations

Frequency of Review

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Your organization should determine how often to review your policy. We recommend conducting a review annually or every two years. Some organizations may review more frequently, especially following a new policy rollout, and then move to an annual schedule as new practices become standard operating procedure.

Transparency of Review

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One way to generate trust and goodwill about your organization’s efforts to promote safety, respect and equity, and for the policy itself, is to be transparent about the policy development and review process. This includes sharing the names of the individuals involved, the process undertaken to learn more about the policy in practice and update its terms, and any substantive changes made to its terms. Some organizations share this information, along with a climate survey or annual assessment, at an annual meeting or in an annual report. Even without such a formalized process, there are simple ways to demonstrate transparency. For instance, the Safety Respect Equity Network updated its Standards in 2022, and shared with its membership both a document tracking all changes, as well as a summary explaining what the changes are and why they were made, and inviting dialogue about the changes.

Components of a Review

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A policy review at the most basic level, simply means re-reading the policy at regular intervals and updating language that is outdated, problematic, or unrealistic. This review is typically conducted by both an internal team (e.g., your Keilim Committee) and an external consultant. It is also a great opportunity to invite feedback from the larger conversation, be it with a shared google-doc and track changes, a suggestion box, focus groups, staff meeting discussion, or more formal mechanisms such as climate surveys and proactive assessments.

Supporting Resources