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  Alternatives Pty Ltd
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Contents | 1. Introduction | 2.Steps | 3.Table of contents | 4. Formats and examples | 5. Resources

4. Formats and examples

0 - Format examples
Tables of contents

1- CRC Manual
2- Refuge Manual
Values and principles
3. Client rights and

4. Staff rights and

5. Board rights and

6. Beliefs and

7. Board
8. Management

9. CEO job

Service models
10. Supported

Legal frameworks
11. Duty of care
12. Privacy
Aspects of
service process

13. Worker security
    on home visits

Human resources
14. Disputes and

15. Evaluation




There are many possible formats for policy. Finding the most appropriate format for policy will make written policy much easier to use.

Rule of thumb: find the format most appropriate for the policy you are wanting to write.

This section includes a variety of different formats and samples.

a) Mission Statement

A mission statement might usefully include the answers to the following questions:

What is the organisation?
What are core beliefs and commitments?
Who is the service user?
What is their need?
What will be the benefit to them from this service?
What will the service do to provide this benefit?

b) Philosophy/Principles/Values/Beliefs/Commitments

In human services words such as philosophy, principles, values tend to be used interchangeably. If you do not have a written philosophy or statement of values one useful way to develop on is to ask the staff and board members to write down three to five things they believe in or are committed to about the service.

An alternative approach to identify the rights and responsibilities of each of the stakeholders, eg, service users, Management Committee members, staff, volunteers

Some examples are:

What do we believe? What are we committed to? Example of beliefs and commitments

Rights and Responsibilities
Client Rights and Responsibilities

Staff Rights and Responsibilities
Board Rights and Responsibilities

c) Goals/Aims/Objectives

In human services aims and objectives are usefully written as:

For .......a group of people gain a benefit......

For example an aim for relationship counselling could be "For people experiencing difficulties with close relationships to be able to get on better with those around them".

Writing aims and objectives this way focuses on who the service users are and what the benefit will be to them, rather than on what you are going to do. What you are going to do is a strategy.

To write client centred service policies it is essential to have a client centred way of writing needs, aims, and objectives. Here are some examples:

Example of Aims and Objectives

d) Service Delivery Process

It is very helpful for human services to describe their service deliver process in terms of what are the objectives to be achieved at each step in the process and what do staff and clients have to do at each step in the process.

Describing a service delivery process this way keeps it client centred and focused on the outcomes to be achieved.

In this model the format is:

The objectives for each step in the process.

The procedures/steps for each step in the process.

So for example, a service processes might be broken up into: referral, assessment, service delivery, completion/exit. Here is an example of this policy for a supported accommodation service:

Example of Service Delivery Process for a supported accommodation service.

e) Specific Service Policies

There are many policies that don't fit neatly into the service process description, for example, use of vehicles, client confidentiality.

A useful format for these policies is:


Sometimes polices on specific issues need include background information, for example if staff are not familiar with a concept such as duty of care the policy manual may need to include relevant information: Duty of care

Worker security on home visits

f) Process Descriptions

Sometimes the policy document is most useful if it is a detailed description of the steps in a process, for example, grievance procedures, disputes and dismissals, recruitment and selection.

These policies are designed so that they explain the steps in the process to people trying to carry them out. So, for example, if staff have to work through a disciplinary procedure they need to know who does what at each step of the process. Here is an example.

Example of Discipline procedures

g) Job Descriptions

In developing job descriptions naming the principal function and the main roles of a position is often far more useful than focusing just on a list of duties statements. The format for a 'job description' might usefully include the following headings:

Principal Function


Accountable to...
Works with .... as part of a team...
Relates with ....

Main Roles


Skills and Experience

Here is an example of an executive officer's job description

Example of Executive Officer's job description

h) Management Committee/Board

Board/ Management Committee members need to understand their roles and responsibilities, how the Board/Committee will make decisions, what are the boundaries between the Board/Committee and staff, etc.

The following outlines some examples of Board and management Committee roles and responsibilities:

Example of a Board

Example of a Management Committee

i) Evaluation

The organisation will need an evaluation policy and an overall evaluation plan.

The following outlines an approach an evaluation policy and plan for a supported accommodation service to people with acquired brain injury.

Example of evaluation policy

j) Diagrams

If the organisational manual is to be useful to users it is likely to include diagrams, flowcharts, organisational charts etc that help communicate to the users of the manual. Some the the specific visual in an organisational manual could include:

  • A map of the service process
  • A map of the geographic area
  • An organisational chart
  • A cartoon/picture (to make a point)
  • Symbols used throughout a document to highlight practice points, etc.
  • Flow-charts for processes