Sample Policy and Procedure Layout Template
Structure is the key to effective documentation of your Policies and procedures
As humans, we all love structure so it’s important to create your systems documents in a structured way. Within the attached Sample Policies and Procedures Template, you will find a layout that you can use to help you provide a structured way to layout your policies and procedures.
Please note, that as with any type of policy and procedure template that you might come across (e.g. like ours) there is still a lot of work needed in order for them to work effectively in your own business. The best that we can expect from these templates is to provide us with a starting point to structure your own document.
What is the difference between a Policy and a Procedure?
A policy sets the groundwork for procedures to operate under, it sets out the culture, the values and the rules by which various procedures must function. For example a bad policy would be one that values a win at all cost kind of culture whereas a good policy might be one that values building long term relationships over short term sales results.
A procedure is the process part of the system or the how-to-part. A procedure is governed by the various policies (rules) governing how the business should operate.
Therefore a good Policy and Procedure Template provides you with a structure that you can use over and over again to ensure a consistent writing style that includes all the fundamentals of a solid well laid out document.
Why is structure so important?
Structured content educates your readers to expect certain things in certain areas thereby making your policies and procedures easy to navigate, read and ultimately understand.
Look at the structure of a cooking recipe.
- It has an outcome
- It has a list of ingredients you’ll need
- It tells you what tools-utensils you will need
- Time – how long you will need to allow for this
- The step by step process you need to follow.
- It also most likely will provide some tips
- And might also have some traps for you to avoid
Why don’t we as business owners use a similar approach when creating our own policies and procedures or standard operating procedures?
Let’s break a cooking recipe down piece by piece and apply it to a business where deliveries are done
The Outcome We Want
“All goods are to be delivered undamaged within 24 hours of the customer purchasing the goods”
Could be that we have uncovered a major bottleneck within our business that is holding up deliveries of our white-goods to our clients and have had significant damage to some goods.
In a recipe context, this is the cake we want to bake.
The ingredients, tools – utensils
In a recipe context, we might advise the viewer to make sure that have certain things ready or at hand prior to starting.
In our delivery business, this could relate to what tools, equipment, and staff we might need before we start the delivery.
For example – Before starting out on deliveries make sure that you have:
- A trolley
- An assistant
- The order and delivery docit
- And have properly secured the load
Time is always a factor in most jobs so it stands to reason that you should make staff aware of how long they should allow for a job to be completed.
E.g. Be sure to allow 60 minutes per delivery from Monday through to Friday and 45 minutes on weekends
What steps are involved to complete the job successfully
- Each morning and afternoon check the scheduled deliveries book
- Get the delivery order from the salesroom
- Advise support staff
- Load van
- Once delivered ensure customer signs off.
- and so on
Any tips and traps
- Avoid Smith Road Friday afternoons
- Try to do larger items last
- Be calm
I think you get the idea, it’s all about effective communication and how it is structured.
What I like about the recipe approach is it’s widely accepted structure for explaining a task that if followed correctly will produce the desired outcome (e.g. Black Chocolate cake) or in the case of our delivery company a successful and timely delivery.
See below for a suggested layout that you might wish to use.
Download this sample policy and procedure template and many others available on our site. See top of this page
Sample policies and procedures template – A sample layout policy
Resources and links to assist you further
- What is a SOP (e.g. Standard Operating Procedure )
- Could business bottlenecks help you focus? Look at the Theory of Constraints
- Download a SOP work instructions template
- Policies and Procedures Software TKO Policy Guides
- Job Description Template
- Policy and Procedure Template
- Policy Template
- Policy- Procedure Work Instruction
- Procedure Template
- How to use bottlenecks in your business to help you write effective standard operating procedures (SOP)
- SOP Software to help you manage your standard operating procedures (SOP)
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