An officer protocol is a detailed protocol, or legally binding description, of how an officer of an organization is nominated, how that is reviewed and validated, and how that officer is ultimately appointed or elected.
An officer protocol covers such issues as:
- what stages or steps are involved in raising issues with an officer's performance?
- when must officers resign their official posts? what other implications does this have for their membership or status?
- how do things get done when officers are indisposed or unwilling to do them?
- who is owed what explanation when an officer is suspended, reprimanded or removed.
Such agencies as the RCMP and CSIS and Canadian Armed Forces and Coast Guard have strict officer protocols, and so too should those bodies, like any political party that seeks command and control authority over them. It is impossible to command respect if the political level has no accountability that is comparable to that lower level officers are held to.
In any officer protocol a key issue is the coherence of the team, "who we are" and so on. In general the use of pronouns is sensitive in any group of people who are committed to joint action - usurping 'we' is a particularly serious issue as it implies consensus exists when in fact there may be sufficient dissensus to block the decision from being implemented. See consensus decision making.