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What is a deviation policy?

At any time in life, be it work, family, school, or church, there is a certain set of expectations that people have for you and those around you.You are expected to react a certain way to stressful situations, and not to behave inappropriately in other situations.However, it is inevitable that sometimes occasions will arise when people do not behave as expected.And if you are unprepared for unexpected occasions in the work place, your job and everyone around you can suffer.The best way to handle such situations is to have a policy in place to take care of it-a deviation policy, to be precise.But what is a deviation policy?

Deviation policy is an organizational procedure for dealing with certain behaviors or activities that are different from what is expected.Deviations can be classified according to categories.When deviations occur, deviation policy dictates that the management takes actions.Another name for this policy is "exception policy."

Different types of businesses may define a deviation slightly differently.For example, a bank might define it as a variance from the bank's business plan or operations that occur after a given transaction has been completed.The US Department of Agriculture defines a deviation as "any request to change a foundation financial information system production job that has not gone through the National Finance Center's production software migration process."

Here are a few examples of deviations:
- exceptions: an exception is a deviation that has received documented prior approval from your supervisors
- safety violation: (this is obvious) it is a deviation that increases the likelihood of an adverse event (regardless of whether or not the event actually occurred)
- significant deviation: this is a deviation that may impact the integrity of your project or task
- non-significant deviation: this is a deviation that will probably not impact the integrity of your task, but if it occurs in considerable amount of times, it will eventually become significant

There are usually policies associated with reporting such deviations.These are not the deviation policies themselves, but are policies explaining the process that you should follow to explain the deviation to your superiors.A deviation policy, on the other hand, will tell you how to fix the problem, or how to react to it.

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