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A procedure writer, or policy and procedure writer, collaborates with management and the human resources department to develop a procedure manual for a firm. The manual may describe standards of employee behavior and formal operational procedures. This manual helps institutionalize codes of conduct or operational methods. It is used to train employees, guide their decisions and ensures that the company functions in a more uniform manner.
A policy writer meets with the leader and select members of each business department or group and acquires thorough knowledge of each unit's operations and procedures. Working independently, he then writes a manual describing the steps and requirements of each procedure. Sometimes, the manual may include improvements of changes to the current procedures.
After completion, the policy writer presents the manual to the persons designated to approve it. Management and department heads discuss the manual and any changes it proposes. Once approved, the writer makes changes to the draft as needed. The policy writer may then partner with the training department to help employees understand and implement required changes.
In many cases, firms assign a member of the human resources department additional duties as a procedure writer. An individual seeking full-time employment as a policy and procedure writer should focus on positions with the government or other very large institutions. Technical writing, producing equipment manuals or operating instructions may provide an alternative career path using very similar skills.
Prospective procedure writers could consider learning more about the profession and employment opportunities through the Society for Human Resources Management.
Experience and Skills
Procedure writing requires knowledge of general business procedures, such as accounting, human resources, sales and marketing. In addition, the writer must possess or obtain in-depth familiarity with industry or firm-specific standards and methods.
Writing constitutes the primary skill, of course, so job applicants must possess superior composition and editing abilities. Additional essential skills include the ability to listen well and gain credibility with others.
Many employers require four-year degrees for potential procedure writers. A bachelor's degree in English or human resource management can serve as an excellent academic background for those interested in this career field.
Policy and procedure writers employed in the United States earn an average annual salary of $62,000 according to Indeed.com as of 2010. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the job outlook for human resources, training and labor relations managers and specialists to increase by 17 percent through 2016.