The differences and relationships between a strategy, policy, protocol and procedure.

Strategy is a high level plan to achieve one or more goals. Strategy generally involves setting goals, determining actions to achieve the goals, and mobilizing resources to execute the actions. A strategy describes how the ends (goals) will be achieved by the means (resources). The senior leadership of an organization is generally tasked with determining strategy. It involves activities such as strategic planning and strategic thinking.

MSCB Strategies will be agreed by the MSCB not the Sub Groups.

Policy is a system of principles to guide decisions and achieve agreed outcomes. A statement of intent, and is then implemented as a procedure or protocol. The process of making important organizational decisions, including the identification of different priorities, and choosing among them on the basis of the impact they will have. For an LSCB policies will be agreed based on current legislation, national guidance, local assessments of need, resources and understanding of validated research and best practice.

Protocol is an accepted code of conduct or acceptable professional behaviour, including rules and guidance. For the MSCB Protocol will be used to denote a specific agreement, including both policy and procedure, by the MSCB for its Partner Agencies about a set of responsibilities to meet a particular issue– e.g. Information Sharing Protocol, Mental Health Protocol.

Procedure sets out the actions, stages and people responsible for undertaking a process. It will be derived from agreed policy.  It will give greater detail than a policy or protocol and forms a set of guidance or instructions to be followed.

For the MSCB Procedures will be multi-disciplinary and multi-agency and will clarify roles and responsibilities, communication and (possibly) timescales across agencies for different aspects of work to safeguard children and promote their welfare.

The MSCB has agreed that it should only agree new procedures where they do not currently exist in the London Child Protection Procedures; or adapt, clarify or localise the London procedures to ensure that they can be put into practice within Merton.

Procedures will be drafted by the relevant Sub Groups and consulted on before being presented to the MSCB for endorsement. Every MSCB Procedure will be ‘owned’ by one of the Sub Groups and will be reviewed for its relevance and measurement against legislation statutory guidance and best practice at least biennially; where there is a need it will be reviewed earlier.

The Policy Sub Group will maintain a register of agreed policies, protocols and procedures and will ensure that they are up-to-date.

Contact us

Merton SCB Administrators
Children, Schools and Families Department
Civic Centre
London Road
Morden
SM4 5DX
Tel: 020 8545 4866
Email: mertonlscb@merton.gov.uk