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Writing Effective Administrative Policies

A workshop for people who write rules
Lewis Eisen

Policy instruments can be both forceful and Your policies, directives, regulations and other rule-setting documents need to be simple and clear. For many organizations,  non-compliance can be directly attributed to reader confusion around poorly drafted requirements. Too often simple rules are laced with nonessential information and ambiguous wording.


The problem is further compounded by unnecessarily aggressive language. In an attempt to increase the level of compliance, the tone ranges from urging or imploring to bullying or even threatening. None of these approaches is very respectful.


If you don’t have the right techniques, your well-intentioned documentation can quickly become a dog’s breakfast of musts, shoulds and mays that few people can understand, much less comply with.
Good policy instruments are

  • clear

  • succinct

  • authoritative

  • organized, and

  • written with respect towards the people they are intended to govern.


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

  • policy document types

  • appropriate content

  • the best writing style

  • standard elements, and

  • common policy writing errors.

Leave this workshop knowing
 what belongs in a policy instrument and what doesn’t

  • how policies, directives, standards, and guidelines interact with one nother,

  • how to write requirements properly, and

  • how to word rules in a way that’s respectful to the people affected.


Bring samples of your current policy instruments to the workshop for reference and refinement.


Program Agenda & Detail

3 - 6 Hours

[Part I: 90 Minutes]

    •    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



Difference Between 3 and 6-hour programs…
This workshop can be run as a full-day session for employees or a half-day for session for executives. The half-day version for executives limits the time spent on in-class exercises and omits some material intended to review and reinforce concepts.

Unconditional Guarantee
If you are not convinced that your understanding of the course topic has
improved after completion of any P.E.G.® seminar, we will refund your course tuition.

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