Policies, Procedures, and Guidelines

Revised December 2018

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The Maine 4-H Policies, Procedures and Guidelines Manual is an electronic compilation of information relevant to the Maine 4-H program.  It is intended primarily for three audiences:

  • 4-H members
  • 4-H volunteers
  • 4-H Youth Development staff


This online manual is designed to be viewed from a computer or mobile device; it contains links to internal and external resources and is continually updated. We advise against printing out the entire manual/ print only specific sections as needed.  Note that links will be lost in a printed copy.  In addition, there is a possibility that printed copies may not be current for long.

Procedure for Amending the Manual

  • Any 4-H staff, volunteer, or youth may propose amendments to the Policies, Procedures and Guidelines manual.
  • 4-H volunteers and youth may give a proposed amendment to county staff who would then work with the state 4-H Program Leader (4-H Program Administrator) to determine the best process to move forward.
  • If 4-H Staff wants to propose a change they should connect with other staff around the state and the state 4-H Program Leader (4-H PA) to determine the best process to move forward.
  • The state 4-H Program Leader (4-H PA) will serve as a point of final approval and accountability on all 4-H Youth Development policies and procedures and will consult with the Cooperative Extension Dean, Extension Leadership Team (ELT) and other university departments as needed (ie University Legal Counsel, Risk Management, HR, etc.). The 4-H Program Leader will send any proposed amendment that changes staff practices to the whole 4-H PLT for input and approval when appropriate.
  • The state 4-H Program Leader (4-H PA) ensures that approved amendments are integrated into the web-based manual with assistance from other 4-H staff. All approved amendments include a date of revision and staff will be notified via email when revisions are made.
  • Staff will keep the 4-H community informed of changes.

Policies, Procedures, and Guidelines

The manual makes a distinction between “policies,”  “procedures,” and “guidelines” by putting them in separate sections.  For the purposes of this manual:

  • Policies are firm practices that must be followed by Maine 4-H members, volunteers, and staff.
  • Procedures are descriptions of how policies and guidelines are implemented.
  • Guidelines are helpful suggestions for behavior.  Discretion is left to the audiences as to whether or how they follow guidelines.