Creating Effective Policy and Procedure Documents

Having well-written and easy-to-follow policies is crucial for ensuring consistency and compliance within an organisation. However knowing what the format should look like can be a challenge and getting it wrong means lots of changes. We’ve written hundred of policies for clients and so I am going to share our format for creating easy to understand and follow policies.

Here’s the structure we use for creating effective policy documents:

Front Cover

I know a lot of people think that having a front cover is a waste of paper, but how many of our policies and procedures do we print out now? I also think it can help with not feeling overwhelmed when someone first looks at a Policy, they are not looking at a page full of text.

Include the company logo, policy title, last review date, author, next review date and confidentiality level.

Table of Contents

For policies longer than one page, always include a table of contents for easy navigation.


This is your first proper paragraph and should explain the purpose, background, and relevant information about the policy.

Who is this Policy relevant to?

Specify who the policy is relevant to and whom it concerns. This provides clarity that the person reading the policy is in the right place and the policy is designed for them.


If the policy or procedure has any technical terms or abbreviations you should define those terms here. It makes it easier for the person reading to understand what the policy is about. If you are not using technical language then you can delete this heading.

Legal/Regulatory Requirements

This paragraph should outline any applicable legal or regulatory requirements related to the policy. This helps those reading understand the importance of the policy and provides transparency about legal or regulatory implications. Remove this section if there is no relevant legal or regulatory requirements.

Policy Content

This is when you get into the detail of the policy. Try to provide relevant headings to break up the text and make it easy to read and understand. If the policy is too difficult to read, nobody will both reading it, so try and make sure that it is understandable particularly if it covers a technical or legal topic.

Related Policies and Procedures

In this section you should direct the reader to other relevant policies and procedures. I try to avoid separating topics out as someone trying to find something specific may end up looking at 3 or 4 policies to find their answer. I prefer to write a comprehensive police which is easy to navigate.

Acknowledgment and Signature (optional)

You may wish to include a section for employees to acknowledge reading and understanding the policy. This would only be necessary if it is a regulatory or legal policy or which is part of an employees contract. If you don’t need it for that specific policy you should remove it.

By following this structure, your policy documents will be well-organised, easy to read, and comprehensive. It also creates a consistent format across all your organisation’s policies for better cohesion and familiarity. And they look better as a set too. Remember, clear and accessible policies not only promote compliance but also foster a culture of transparency and accountability within your organisation.

If you want to download our template you can do so here.