Difference Between Standards & Protocol

Know the difference between business standards and protocol.
Know the difference between business standards and protocol. (Image: Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Running a successful business, regardless of its size, focus or social interaction, requires careful development and knowledge of the products or services you decide to provide to others. The foundation of a profitable business relies on certain creeds such as ethics, responsibility and overall standards and practices.

Standards Definition

Standards for business define the guidelines a company uses to do business. For example, business standards can reflect the personal goals or focus of a company in the quality of services or products it offers or represents. Standards help define how employees behave with and service customers, clients, or peers, according to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute -- for example, in defining rules for quality. Standards or rules may also be set in different service or industry environments to ensure safety, flexibility and secure and healthy working environments and practices.

Standards Example

An excellent example of development and continuation of standards is apparent in the International Organization for Standardization, known as ISO. This organization governs business, medical and health field tools, equipment and technologies around the world. It ensures that certain standards of quality and development are met to ensure the safety and efficacy of such tools or equipment. The ISO creates committees in multiple industries to develop and oversee that tools and equipment from airplane screws to high-tech medical equipment are developed and maintained with high standards of quality and care. Industries, tools and equipment around the world approved by the ISO are considered safe, effective and high quality.

Protocol Definition

A protocol is defined as a set of steps or actions that take place in an environment or situation. Certain protocols are observed by visiting dignitaries from foreign countries that can be defined as forms of etiquette. Protocols may also be defined as a process used by hospitals to ensure patient safety and confidentiality, such as rules regulating how medical information is to be disseminated to others.

Taking Action

Standards of business and protocols for dealing with customer or client complaints or issues may be dealt with by designing informative and detailed standards for service and actions to take in emergency as well as non-emergency situations. For example, the protocol for filing a complaint against a doctor or surgeon in a hospital environment may include a chain of action that begins with filing an initial complaint with the human resources or administration of the hospital, followed by an interview or discussion with those departments, followed by review by the medical board members of the hospital. Most hospitals offer information to consumers and patients on how to go about filing a complain against a doctor or other hospital employee. (See reference 2)

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