Procedure Manuals: Writing Guidelines

For several employment backgrounds, procedure manuals are a valuable tool. A procedure manual can offer a summary of the steps used to complete the necessary health and safety training and also how to run the copy machine.

last updated Monday, April 1, 2024
#Procedure Manual #Writing Guidelines

John Burson     Subscribe
Procedure Manuals: Writing Guidelines


Although many employers design combined policy and procedure manuals, it is vital to know that the guidelines reflect rules, while procedures reflect methods and how to complete them. It is essential to provide the most helpful information to employees so that they can complete the manual and concentrate on the process itself.


Procedure manuals differ in precise features based on the type of comprehensive information they contain. However, the most efficient procedure manuals have robust and reliable formatting to permit readers to follow the material. There should be a good flow from one paragraph to the other. You should also use active verbs to describe the steps. Clarifications and options should be given where applicable.


A procedure manual should be stress-free to read and use. It should also be consistent in all elements, including style, information, and design. The purpose of a procedure manual is to assist others in completing a particular duty. Therefore, it should be clear and sound for readers to follow without trouble.

Scripting style

This should depend on concise and definite language. All procedure manuals should be accurate, and all abbreviations should be explained in a comment. Avoid using precise information that may be old-fashioned for a procedure manual that will be in circulation for a short period. When writing a procedure manual, avoid technical language or jargon that can confuse many.


This will largely depend on the type of procedure manual being sketched. However, some design suggestions apply to all procedure manuals. The manuals should offer plenty of indentation and paragraph breaks to avoid shocking the reader rather than overloading with print. An operational procedure manual should have a clear heading with clear subheadings.


The writers of procedure manuals are responsible for rereading them from time to time. If inappropriate material is found, it should be removed or updated. The manual should also be revised, and information that is not helpful to the reader should be improved or amended. The procedure manual should assist the user in completing a task. Therefore, in the case of failure, it should be revised.


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