I'm having trouble find a collective noun (or similar word) that describes a "set or collection of [business] policies" for some documentation I'm writing for my domain of work (without going into specifics, I'm involved in reselling inventory for clients/suppliers).

My initial thought was "contract", but that already has an established meaning in our domain (a contract is an agreement with a supplier). The word I'm looking for is to describe the set of specific policies tied to an individual piece of inventory (i.e. "return policy", "terms and conditions of use", "pick-up instructions", etc.).

Any other ideas?

  • 3
    What's wrong with plain policies? They might as well be singular policy anyway, if they're all concerned with the same thing. – FumbleFingers Feb 4 '14 at 23:58
  • They are not policies (plural), the document is the policy manual relating to various aspects such as returns, usage, .... – Kris Feb 5 '14 at 6:51
  • Using the plural is likely to suggest that you have more than one policy on a given aspect -- that is better avoided. – Kris Feb 5 '14 at 6:52
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    @FumbleFingers Even if not the same thing, it's policy, the only use of the plural seems to be in the insurance business. – Kris Feb 5 '14 at 12:44
  • @Kris: Agreed, but when you say you have a corporate "policy" that's actually embodied in multiple contracts, documents, etc., the implication is they all form a coherent whole. At least to the extent that there are no conflicts between them. – FumbleFingers Feb 5 '14 at 13:45

I would suggest "guidelines" or "protocol" for the specific applications you have outlined.

  • Protocol is pretty good, though possibly a little too technical for this domain (I'm sure at least one of the other software developer would complain). I'm considering it. – Jaime Flores Feb 5 '14 at 15:17

Having spent my main career in finance and admin, the first thing I would say is that I don't think I would call them 'policies'. In business parlance they sound more like 'procedures' to me.

Irrespective of that I would suggest 'a suite of policies/procedures'. Since they all concern an item of inventory they are clearly linked as a family.

Computer programs come in suites, so why not a 'suite of procedures'?

  • I am looking for single word. "Procedure" on it's own may work; my hesitation is that it could be interpreted as "a set of instructions". – Jaime Flores Feb 5 '14 at 15:14
  • @JaimeFlores Well, one of them was called 'pick-up instructions'. I think you need to tell us a little more. It would not seem to me usual for a company to give a generic reference to three things as diverse as 'terms and conditions', 'pick-up instructions' and (presumably) a statement as to 'returns policy'. Unless you simply called it your 'parts sales paperwork' or something like that. – WS2 Feb 5 '14 at 16:39
  • I commented further above: english.stackexchange.com/questions/149899/… – Jaime Flores Feb 5 '14 at 17:10

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