Difference Between Policy & Regulation

Policy vs Regulation

Policies and regulations are words that have similarities and can be confusing for many people. These concepts are significant in all establishments and environments. Policies are rules created to achieve certain goals in a company or organization, while regulations are acts or statutes passed by the legislation with the force of law. However, due to some overlap, people find it difficult to distinguish between a policy and a regulation. This article aims to highlight these differences to remove all confusion.


A policy is a rule created by an organization for a specific purpose. For example, a factory may have a rule prohibiting smoking inside the premises to avoid fire or other mishaps. Policies are made by individuals, groups, companies, and even governments to carry out their plans.

Educational institutions have their own policies regarding scholarships and admissions, organizations have their policies to transact business with certain level of vendors, and governments have foreign policies to deal with matters pertaining to foreign countries. Policies are essential for organizations to pursue their goals. They are made by people in higher management positions, to ensure compliance by others in the company. Policies are unwritten laws that must be followed in letter and spirit by the employees of an organization.


Regulations are rules made to ensure people comply and behave in a certain manner. A regulation has the effect of a law and is considered as a restriction imposed by authorities to make people follow the desired code of conduct. Regulations differ from other laws made by the legislature or through the constitution, but they have the backing of the authorities and are designed to regulate the actions of individuals, groups, and organizations. Regulations were established due to the belief that unregulated business led to inefficiency, injustice, and the use of unfair means.

Key Takeaways

  • Regulations are administrative and enable smooth operations in an organization or department, while policies are general and help an organization achieve its goals.
  • Regulations are made by the executive branch of the government, while policies are made by individuals, organizations, and governments.
  • Regulations are restrictive and impose sanctions on people and companies, while policies are unwritten but guide organizations in achieving their long-term goals.
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard is an accomplished writer with expertise in creating engaging articles and content across various platforms. His dedication to research and crafting high-quality content has led to over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience. In his personal life, Gil enjoys connecting with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. His curiosity and eagerness to learn from others fuel his passion for communication. He believes that engaging with strangers can be both enlightening and enjoyable, making it easier to strike up conversations and expand one's horizons.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles