I am often asked the question, “What is the difference between “policy” and “principle?”
First, let’s look at the word “principle.” When we say,”There is a principle,” we are saying, “There is a basic truth that guides belief or behavior.” We all believe in gravity. If I drop my pen a hundred times, it will go down a hundred times. Why? There is a principle we call gravity that controls what the pen does. Other principles control health, learning, relationships, and basically all aspects of life.
“Policy” on the other hand is like a “principle,” but it is not a basic truth. It is a rule that is proposed and enacted by an organization, a government, a family, or even an individual. It is a rule that a group agrees will control their behavior. A company may have policies that control the hiring and maintaining of workers, or how customer complaints are handled. A government has policies on how taxes are collected. A university has policies on what students can do and what they cannot do.