How to Create a Policy & Procedures Manual

A policy and procedures manual is a crucial tool for running a business, nonprofit agency or government entity. It serves as a consistent source for organizational policy, which are the overall regulations that govern the business, and the procedures that define how those policies will be implemented. The manual spells out for all employees what is expected of them and how to accomplish it.


  1. Set Responsibilities, Schedule and Follow Through

    • 1

      Determine who in the organization will be responsible for creating the policy and procedures manual. Since this is in essence a collaborative effort, this person will delegate research and information-gathering responsibilities, and set deadlines for rough draft, final draft and final copy.

    • 2

      Create an organizational outline based on management structure. Arrange the material in logical, top-down fashion from the overview to the major categories to specific procedural details. Focus on positions or titles rather than specific names of employees.

    • 3

      Contact the key people in each sector, unit or department and enlist their help in gathering information. Set a deadline for this task.

    • 4

      Divide the material into logical categories and, for procedures, the step-by-step directions for completing the essential tasks. Use subheads and smaller paragraphs for easier reading and better comprehension.

    • 5

      Review the first draft for accuracy and clarity, making corrections, additions or deletions. Expect that the revision process will continue through several different drafts before the final version is accepted. Schedule a sit-down with all company decision-makers and review the final draft together.

    • 6

      After the copy has been accepted, organize the manual's design. This may be as simple as creating it in the word processing program with an easy-to-read typeface, white space, and perhaps color headings to define categories, departments or systems. Or, consider working with an experienced graphic designer who can provide more clarity with sidebars, artwork or photos.

Tips & Warnings

  • Compile hard copies of the policy and procedures manual in three-ring binders. Make sure all employees have copies of the manual, and post an online version on the company's intranet as well.
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