Writing Effective Policies and Procedures

Policies guide an organization’s decision-making and bring a consistency to those decisions. They also provide much-needed direction for employees, customers, and others. That presumes, of course, that users can decipher the policy language and determine what is expected of them. Often legalistic, dense, and elevated, the language of policy can stand in the way of compliance and support.

During this course, you will learn how to write clear and effective policies and develop a template for policy preparation. The difference between policies and procedures will also be reviewed and participants will write a detailed procedure. Be forewarned though: you may need gloves to complete this procedure.

The course includes a discussion of policy-writing challenges and how to address these. Organization of ideas and information will be explored through the use of mind mapping and policy-specific formatting including the playscript. Participants will also work in groups to rewrite excerpts from actual policies – then see how the organizations in question actually altered their language to make it more understandable.

Writing Effective Policies and Procedures is a required seminar for the Certificate in Policy Development and Implementation.


(ONLINE - 3 partial days, 9 am - 1 pm, Atlantic Time)

  • November 23 - 25, 2022
  • February 13 - 15, 2023 (Evening Session) (1 pm - 5 pm)
  • April 17 - 19, 2023

Facilitator: donalee Moulton, BA
Location: Online and evening sessions. Please check dates for details.

Program Content

Understanding policy and procedure, how they overlap and how they differ

  • Learning when a situation requires a policy or a procedure, and when neither is appropriate
  • Identifying the sections of a typical policy and what goes in each section
  • Writing policy and procedures that are clear and effective
  • Improving the process of writing policies and procedures


  • Checklist to determine need for a policy or a procedure
  • Plain language writing techniques
  • How to do mind-mapping
  • Steps for creating a policy or procedure
  • Sample formats for policies
  • Sample policy template

What You Will Learn

  • The key problems with policy writing
  • What policy users are looking for in a policy
  • How to write effective and clear policies and procedures
  • The different writing approaches that are required for policies vs. procedures

Who Should Attend?

You will benefit from this seminar if you are:

  • responsible for writing policies and procedures as part of your job
  • beginning to revise your organization’s policies and procedures
  • oversee or are involved in policy development, implementation, or monitoring