Writing Effective Administrative Policies

A workshop for people who write rules


Writing Administrative Policies that Work!

A workshop for people who write rules

Policy instruments can be both forceful and respectful.

Every organization needs rules. Whether they’re intended to standardize your approach or control your expenditures, administrative policies let people know what’s expected of them.

Well written policies save you time and money, because they are

  • easier to understand and interpret
  • more easily administered
  • more easily enforced
  • faster to run through an approval process

Well written policy documents are

  • clear
  • succinct
  • authoritative
  • organized
  • written with respect towards the people they are intended to govern
  • free from unintended overtones or hidden messaging.


This hands-on workshop leads policy writers through the steps required to organize their policies, directives, rules and guidance.

Topics include and exploration of

  • policy document types
  • appropriate content
  • the best writing style
  • standard elements, and
  • common policy writing errors.

Participants leave this workshop knowing

  • what belongs in a policy instrument and what doesn’t
  • how policies, directives, standards, and guidelines interact with one another,
  • how to write requirements properly, and
  • how to word rules in a way that’s respectful to the people affected.

Approach to the Topic

Lewis S. Eisen combines his legal background with years of policy writing to bring an intelligent and practical perspective to this subject. Reflective of the time-tested techniques used in writing legislation and in formal rule-making, he teaches a straight-forward approach to writing policy instruments that can be easily adapted to any organization wishing to standardize its documentation.


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This workshop is for any individual who has the responsibility for writing administrative policies. These could be rules directed towards employees, the public, or a specific client base. Common examples include

  • Human resources, finance, and security policies for employees
  • Travel directives, procurement rules, and contracting guidelines
  • Information management and information technology policies
  • Terms and Conditions of agreements
  • Codes of Conduct, Terms of Engagement, and Disciplinary rules

 Participants are encouraged to bring samples of their current policy instruments to the workshop. 





‣ Goals of policy instruments

‣ Characteristics of good policy instruments

Policy Frameworks

‣ Foundational documents

‣ Distinguishing policies from directives guidelines, standards and procedures

Policy Statements

‣ Choosing the right content

‣ Choosing the right language

‣ Words and phrases to avoid

Policy Components

‣ Standard elements

‣ Terminology and style guides

‣ Cross-referencing other documents

‣ Best practices

Moving Forward

‣ Fixing bad policy documents

‣ Developing an action plan to overhaul your current policy suite


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