A protocol is simply a set of rules that describe the standard way to approach a task. Following administrative protocols means that you perform tasks in accordance with your organisation’s policies, procedures and expectations.
Some of the areas covered by administrative protocols may include:
- designated officers required to approve or sign a document
- timeframes set for completion or submission
- restrictions on who can access or use the information
- storage and archiving requirements
- obtaining comparative quotes for goods or services.
Heritage Rural Support Agency is located in a remote district and receives deliveries once per month by air. Workers spend most days out in the field, often for days at a time. At times there is no-one in the office able to complete orders and invoices; there are delays in processing and sometimes the paperwork is misplaced.
During an interview for a position with the Agency, you are asked how you would deal with supplies problems, including failure to reorder essential stores, budget ‘blow-outs’, unpaid suppliers and loss of records needed for tax purposes.
What would you suggest?
You could describe how implementing and following strict purchasing protocols would prevent these problems from arising. The process could include:
- designated staff member to oversee the purchasing process
- training policy to ensure all staff know how to complete orders
- follow-up to ensure tracking and payment of orders
- clear storage and archiving processes.