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Creating, Approving, and Releasing a Policy
Creating, Approving, and Releasing a Policy

Learn how to create a policy, add or edit articles for review and approval, and release a new version of a policy.

Updated over a week ago

Policies are what you say you are going to do as an organization. Your policies may or may not be a direct result of an external control telling you that you must have a policy in place to meet that requirement.

Policies in PolicyCo are broken down into articles --paragraphs or policy statements within the greater policy as a whole. Articles are smaller pieces of content that group together to create a full policy. Breaking a policy down into articles allows for more flexibility and clearer understanding of your compliance coverage, specifically how a policy meets the needs of your external controls or regulatory requirements. These articles can be linked directly to an active external control in the system.

The following actions are available, depending on the user's role.

To Create a New Policy

Creating a New Policy will allow you to start your collection of articles that build a whole policy.

  • Click Policies from left menu

  • Click Add New

  • Give your policy a name

To Create a New Article

Articles allow the user to create policy statements that clearly link back to controls and requirements. Each article you create will appear as a line in the table of contents on your final document.

  • Select a policy.

  • Click Add New above.

  • A new article will appear in the article listing column.

There are three fields.

  • Sequence - This governs the order in which the article will appear.

  • Title

  • Content

Note: If you have an existing policy outside our platform and are copying and pasting from another document to migrate your existing policies into PolicyCo, we suggest copying and pasting from a Word or Google Docs. If PDF is the only option available, we suggest copying from Apple's Preview (instead Adobe or Chrome) when possible. Using the recommended document format when copying and pasting existing documents into PolicyCo will ensure the most reliable formatting transfer. You may still need to adjust some formatting. If you are not migrating existing policies and creating from scratch, simply type right into PolicyCo!

To Submit an Article for Review

In the event that you are not the Policy Manager, authority to approve, or would like another Policy Manager or Owner to have a chance to review the article prior to approving, you may submit the article for review. This action will place a task on the Policy Manager's task list.

  • Navigate to the article you would like to submit for review

  • Click the red arrow icon to submit the article for review

You may find track changes / redlines feature help when reviewing.

To Cancel an Article Review

You may also choose to cancel the review if no longer relevant.

  • Navigate to the article you would like to cancel the review of

  • Click the merged left-facing arrow icon

To Edit Authors for Articles in Bulk

You may choose to add or change the Author for multiple articles within a Policy.

  • Select the first article you'd like to add the Author to

  • To select multiple, continuous articles or all articles, hold the shift button and scroll until you've selected the desired articles

  • To select multiple articles that are not in order (i.e., the first, third, and fifth articles in a policy), hold down the command key and click the desired articles

  • Once all necessary articles are selected, right click and select Set Authors

  • Select the author from the list of available users that appear

Authors can be removed from articles in bulk in the same manner.

To Edit an Article

You may choose to edit an article.

  • Navigate to the article you would like to edit

  • Click on the Edit Version Button in the article editor to start a new draft

Track Changes / Redlines feature is available as a tool while editing.

To Discard a Draft

You may choose to discard a draft of an article instead of submitting for review or approving.

  • Navigate to the article you would like to edit

  • Click the trash can icon

To Delete an Article

You may choose to delete an article that is no longer relevant. This is a permanent action.

  • Navigate to the article you would like to delete

  • Click the right menu on the article editor

  • Click Delete Article

To Approve an Article

You may choose to approve an article. This action does not make it part of the effective policy until a manager, owner or board delegate releases a new policy version with an effective date.

  • Navigate to the article you would like to approve

  • Click the blue arrow to approve the article

When an article is approved, it is incorporated into a Policy Release Candidate.

Releasing an Approved Policy

Releasing a policy is the final step to setting an effective policy version. Each approved change to articles contributes to the candidate's minor version. So, for policy version 1.2, this means if you have 5 changes to your existing policy, the minor version would be 5 (i.e. v 1.2.5). In this example, the next major of your policy should likely be 1.3 and will include all the changes from candidate 1.2.5.

Select the policy you want to release, and choose the release option [hotkey R] from the file menu [hotkey F].

This will bring you to the Policy Release Candidate Page. This is where all Policy settings are configured and all releases and status changes are made.

Release Candidate Settings

Manager vs. Board Approval

Assign a Manager Approval or Board Approval Representative by clicking the Assign button, and selecting a user to approve the policy from the dropdown via the Manager Approval or Board Approval option.

NOTE: Only existing managers of the policy are eligible to release as a manager. If you find that this list is empty, add an appropriate person as a policy manager first.

Assign a Version Number

If it is the first version published, you can choose whatever starting version you like. We recommend 1.0 unless you have a compelling reason to choose something different.

For future releases, the platform offers two choices for the next version. If we have an existing policy version of 1.2, your choices for the new version would be either 1.3 or 2.0.

Set an Effective Date

The effective date is exactly that. Setting the effective date means that the content of this policy is in effect on and after the date set. It continues in effect until another policy is created with a new effective date.

NOTE: You may not set an effective date in the past, if that date is prior to the most recently approved article.

Set a Review frequency

Review dates can be confusing. Review dates only come into play for policies that don't change often. They are designed to ensure language remains relevant. Importantly, each time a new version of a policy is released, it resets the review period. For policies that change frequently, this means it's unlikely that the review period will ever be reached.

Set the review frequency according to your own needs. Many organizations choose 12 months.

Preview The Release Candidate

The Release Candidate Preview will show all added content highlighted in green, with removed content shown in redline:

By default all approved articles are included in view with redlines / track changes for the release candidate, even those previously approved with no updates

To view the changelog, scroll to the bottom of the preview. To be directed back to an article in question in the changelog, click the icon to left of the line item:

Click right menu for viewing and download options.

Releasing the Policy

Release Tab

Click the Release Version button under Release Candidate Settings.

Policy Visibility

Policies have two visibility settings: Active, and Archived. New policies default to the Active setting. When a policy is no longer considered active within your organization, you can set the visibility to Archived. Changing a policy's visibility to Archived will remove the policy from the listing within the Policies sidebar. The policy will be moved to the Policies section within the Settings menu. Archived policies will be listed below Active policies.

History Tab

Previously released policies are all located under the History tab.

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