Published 20 May 2022
What is a Policies and Procedures Template?
A policies and procedures template is a tool used by human resources professionals to write policies and procedures that are clear, consistent, and effective. It is especially useful when compliance with policies and procedures need to be checked regularly. Policies and procedures templates also help facilitate effective workplace communication.
Human resources professionals can use this policies and procedures template as a master document or manual containing the various company policies. The template has the following items for each policy created:
- Policy number
- Policy issued on
- Policy approved by
- Definition of terms
- Policy statement
- Help contact
To help ensure a comprehensive and efficient policy writing process, the template allows human resources professionals to add notes, photos, and collaborative actions to each template item and also request for digital policy approval signatures.
This article will discuss the following:
- How to write policies and procedures template
- Policies and procedures template examples
- The best way to enforce compliance with policies and procedures
- Free policies and procedures templates
How to Write Policies and Procedures Template
Write policies and procedures easily with a template that includes the following:
Policy Title & Policy Number
The policy title should be concise, meaning it should be descriptive and also straightforward. Both the policy title and the policy number will help you keep track of the policy as it goes through the different stages, from issuance to implementation.
Policy Approval Signature
The policy approval signature is essential to enforcing compliance with the policy later on. Without the authority granted by the approver’s signature, the policy may be viewed simply as an unofficial rule or a best practice. Employees are less likely to follow a policy that does not have the approval of the relevant department head.
The purpose of the policy should always be included since it gives the reader or recipient of the policy an idea of why the policy was created. When writing the purpose of the policy, identify the organizational, business, or operational need that the policy hopes to fulfill. Also include the intent of the policy or its specific approach to fulfilling that need.
The policy statement is the company’s official stance on the topic of the policy. Be very careful with the wording of the policy statement. The decision to include or exclude and choose certain words, terms, or phrases may have major repercussions in the long run. Write the policy statement in collaboration with representatives from the relevant department and the legal team.
Procedures related to the policy are like the subtopics of a policy. Often, these procedures will detail how to perform a series of tasks or a set of activities in compliance with the company’s policy. Human resources professionals have the option to include the contents of all related procedures in the policy itself (for maximum clarity) or simply reference the procedures (so that the focus is on the policy only).
To make it clear which groups of people the policy and procedures stated above apply to, the scope of the policy should be placed after the policy statement and the list of procedures. The scope should also specify exceptions to the policy and the people to whom the policy does not apply.
Outline the responsibilities of each person under the policy. Do they need to simply follow the policy and complete its procedures correctly? Do they need to enforce the policy or a particular procedure? Will they need to self-check or check if others are following the policy? Basically, it’s telling who should be doing what.
Below are policies and procedures examples and free templates to use when writing them:
Code of Conduct
Code of conduct policies and procedures are usually centered on the company’s values and contain specific requirements for how persons in the company should behave to embody those values. With this policies and procedures template, you can clearly state what is not allowed by the company’s code of conduct.
Social media policies and procedures describe what persons in the company can and cannot do on social media. Use this template to add photo examples (or screenshots) of social media do’s and don’ts, so that the company’s online image remains consistent.
Health and Safety
Health and safety policies and procedures are typically focused on health and safety hazards. However, the other types of hazards in the workplace should also be included. Both harassment and discrimination are classified under psychosocial hazards, which can be just as damaging to a person as any health or safety hazard.
The Best Way to Enforce Compliance
Benefits of using SafetyCulture (formerly iAuditor), a mobile app for the workplace, to enforce compliance with policies and procedures you’ve written:
- Make policies and procedures easy to read and navigate through on mobile
- Turn completed policies and procedures templates into compliance checklists
- Use the Heads Up feature of iAuditor to get confirmation from employees that they have seen, read, and understood the issued policies and procedures
Each policies and procedures template is free and printable as PDF. Download and use any of the iAuditor templates below for free.
Turn it into a Compliance Checklist
After using an iAuditor template, you can turn the completed template (which is labeled as “Inspection” in iAuditor) into a compliance checklist in 3 steps:
- Duplicate the inspection.
- Create an action (like “Compliance check”) from the “Official policy statement:” or “Procedures related to this policy:” template item and assign it to an employee.
- Employee can show compliance by completing the action.
Alternatively, instead of Steps 2 & 3, the employee can just add a note to the template item that states [Compliance check – their initials – Date].
Free Policies and Procedures Templates
Use this policy template to quickly create a policy. Ideal for focusing on a single policy rather than a collection of policies, this policy template can be used to do the following:
- Keep track of policy revisions with items for the policy version number, when it was revised, who approved the revised policy, and when the revised policy takes effect.
- Write the official policy statement and attach any supplementary media or comments.
- Review the policy frequently by adding a reminder within the template and note when the policy was reviewed and who reviewed it.
This blank policy and procedure template is best for those who want to immediately print the template as a PDF, though it’s still recommended to use it in SafetyCulture (iAuditor). With this template, you can do the following:
- Describe the purpose of the policy and its scope in detail
- Draft the initial policy statement and its procedure
- List everyone’s responsibilities with regards to this policy
- Put your name and contact details in the help section
Small business owners can use this policies and procedures template to write policies and procedures as they are needed by their business. Another feature of this template is that there are separate line items for steps in procedures and small business owners can add as many procedures as they need for a single policy.
This policies and procedures template for the employee code of conduct contains separate pages for the following:
- General Code of Conduct
- Non-Smoking Policy
- Drugs and Alcohol Policy
Each page has instructions for the specific code of conduct policy to help guide you as you write your policies and procedures.
This policies and procedures template for social media is helpful for companies that allow their employees to mention the company name or refer to the company in their social media and online posts. This template has a separate page for executives within the company who have and use public social media accounts.
This policies and procedures template for health and safety contains separate pages for:
- General Hazards
- Harassment and Discrimination
- Industry/Site-Specific Hazard
Human resources professionals can use this template for all 6 types of workplace hazards (safety, psychosocial, biological, chemical, physical, and ergonomic).