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I used to work on policies and procedures (creating and maintaining) for
internal company use only, so I can't speak to P&P published for external
use. I never did consult any books on the subject (probably should have) --
the format and the "procedure for procedures" was already set when I took
over the job. However, here's what we did.
Like you, we used a boxed header that contained the specific P&P number
(more on that in a second), the title of the policy, the effective date, and
the P&P number that this policy superseded, if any. We had our P&P manual
divided into sections -- HR, Administrative, Clinical, Client Services, etc.
(The field was health care, and we called them PSP, for Policy and Standard
Procedure). This section was reflected in the P&P number, which was: company
name abbreviated (in our case, SB) + section abbreviation + policy # +
revision number (indicated by decimal point followed by number). So for
example, a human resources policy might be: SB-HR-022.3. The boxed header
would contain this number, the title (i.e., Annual Reviews for Clinical
Staff), the effective date (when the policy went into effect or when the
revision went into effect), and the policy superseded by this current policy
(most likely this would be SB-HR-022.2, but sometimes we changed them so
that they moved from one category to another, and in that case, knowing what
policy was superseded was very useful -- for example, this policy on annual
reviews might have at one time been more of a checklist of clinical skills
to look for in a staff review, which might have become a form to use in the
field, while the policy itself was redrafted and moved from the Clinical
section of the manual to the HR section). Once policies were either written
or revised we had a procedure for ushering them through the approval process
in our executive committee, and then distributing within the company. Unless
a P&P reflected some sort of emergency situation, we
revised/updated/distributed the manual quarterly. Hope this helps as you
progress with your own P&Ps.
Catheryn Mason, Technical Writer
cmason -at- infinitec-com -dot- com
(918) 481-5300 x280
fax: (918) 877-4007
Winner, 1999 IABC Bronze Quill Award of Excellence for Technical Writing