In a recent post, Barry Baker advised that non-profit organisations should periodically review their policy documents. Following that post, we received a question about how policies should be presented.

There is no right way to present a policy document and each organisation will have its own procedures. An organisation’s policy documents should follow a standard format.

Here’s a basic template.:












[Title] A clear and concise title that reflects the topic it addresses.

[Introduction] The introduction section of the policy should provide a brief overview of the purpose and scope of the policy. This section should also identify any legal requirements or regulations that the policy addresses.

[Purpose] The purpose section should provide a detailed explanation of why the policy has been created. This section should identify the specific goals that the policy aims to achieve and the rationale behind those goals.

[Scope] The scope section should identify the people, activities, and locations to which the policy applies. (It should also identify any activities or behaviours that the policy prohibits.)

[Definitions] Define any key terms or concepts that are relevant to the policy. This section should clarify any terms that may be ambiguous or unclear.

[Responsibilities] Identify the people or groups (“owner”) who are responsible for implementing or enforcing the policy and any specific duties or tasks for which they are responsible.

[Procedures] Outline the steps that must be taken to comply with the policy. This section should provide clear, concise instructions for how to implement the policy.

[Enforcement] Describe the consequences of violating the policy and identify the individuals or groups who are responsible for enforcing the policy.

[Review] Specify how often the policy will be reviewed and updated and who is responsible for updating the policy. (This is often included at the top of the document with an implementation date]

[Authority] May be signed by the Board President/Chairman