How do I Write Effective Policies and Procedures?
Assess your current policies and procedures
What Should be in a Policy?
In general policies contain one or more of the following:
- Statement of intent or purpose
- Who it applies to (scope)
- Key responsibilities, including person responsible for formulating, enforcing and/or reviewing the policy
- Review provisions
- Specific Issues
- Location of the Policy
How do I Develop Procedures?
There are six phases to developing and implementing procedures:
- Know who you are writing the procedure for. NOTE: It should not be no-one or every-one.
- Identify what people using the procedure must know how to do - pre-requisites
- What does the reader expect from your procedure - is that matched with the organisation's expectations
Clarify and check assumptions about the:
- accuracy of information
- people involved
What other resources/documents/data can you use? Make sure you:
- Acknowledge your sources
- Get written permission to use information
- Don't re-invent the wheel
Schedule, budget and production
Clarify and check the:
Writing the Procedure
All your procedures must follow a standard format e.g. headings in bold, font size 13; steps indented by 1 cm, bulleted, font size 11; etc. If you do have a standard format for your procedures - you will need to develop one and follow it faithfully.
Your procedure should:
- Assume the reader will be the person carrying out the procedure
- Write using the vocabulary of your reader.
- Write short explicit sentences.
- Use command-style sentences that begin with a verb, such as “do this” and “open that.”
- List the steps in the order in which they should be done. (Break a big step down into smaller steps if the procedure is particularly long)
- Bullet or number the steps
- Clearly state how the person should go about completing each step
- For a procedure that diverges and then links back again, draw a flow chart
- If the procedure has aspects that can go wrong, use specific language or symbols, each formatted in a particular and identifiable way.
Reviewing the Procedure
Set a regular review date for your procedure - the review frequency should be shorter in the eralier stages of implementation.
Readers should always be encouraged “challenge” outdated procedures and call them to the attention of their writers.
As a consequence, rather than combine “policies,” “procedures,” and “guidelines” in a single document, it is recommended that - as a general rule - policies and procedures appear as separate documents.
Get in Touch with Jump
If you need help, or you answered no or unsure to any of the questions in the assessment tool, then Jump Business Solutions can help you. Phone us on +64 6 754 8987 or +64 27 450 5271 or email email@example.com and Jump will come to you, discover your needs, and develop a solution that will create real, long-term and positive change for you and your business.
The contents of this website are for general informational purposes only, and should not be acted upon without specific advice. Jump Business Solutions does not accept any liability, other than to its clients, and then only in relation to specific requests for advice and consultancy. Site Design & Photography by Wheadon Creative