Policy Writing Guide
Keep it Simple: A policy is not a law and
shouldn't be written in legalese. It should be readily
intelligible to a diverse audience of faculty, staff, and
Select words carefully:
'shall' means compliance;
'should' or 'may' means one
may choose to follow policy, but they don't have to;
use fewer words (avoid
"C. Purpose: The
purpose of this policy is...."
"C. Purpose: This
policy is ....."
"All faculty and staff
"Faculty and staff
Keep it General: A policy cannot be written that
will take precise account of all possible situations. Its
provisions need to be general enough and clear enough to be
applied to unanticipated circumstances.
Keep it Helpful: A policy should tell the
reader why it exists (perhaps a federal or Board of Regents
mandate), to whom it applies, when and under what
circumstances it applies, and its major conditions or
restrictions. A policy should also make reference to any
previous policies so as to establish the historical and
legal context of the current policy.
- Policy Checklist as used by the Catholic University of America taken out of
The National Association of college and University Attorneys
Examples: To help draft a new policy here
are a few examples of FSH policies
and in the APM 10.40 and
20.11 or use below template.
Drafting a Policy:
- identify issue(s)
parties of interest
policies possibly affected
a. decide do
we have a policy?
(1) If so, proceed to step 6.
(2) If not, stop.
Access and fill out UI
Policy Cover Sheet.
Policy Coordinator by email (firstname.lastname@example.org
All new policies
or those undergoing revision can be tracked on this page
Please call 885-6151.