A six point strategy for planning the writing of policy and procedures needed for regulatory compliance

Below is a strategy for writing procedures needed for regulatory compliance.
Developing an effective policies and procedures programme requires a commitment to ongoing training, awareness, and compliance from all levels of the organisation.
By following these steps, you can create a strategic plan that will help you protect your organization from the risks of non-compliance.

Overview of the steps


A six point strategy for planning the writing of policy and procedures that are needed for regulatory compliance

Step 1. Carry out a risk assessment

Carry out a risk assessment of your organisation’s activities in order to determine the likelihood and potential impact of any potential problems. For example:

  • The potential for money laundering
  • The potential for data breaches, in the case of data security.

This assessment will help you identify areas that require more attention and help prioritise your efforts.

Step 2. Check your content for legal and regulatory compliance

Review all relevant laws and regulations related to your industry sector and ensure that your policies and procedures align with these requirements. You might need external advice to do this – experts in law, the regulations or the relevant standard.

Step 3. Develop your policies and procedures

The next stage is to create a detailed set of policies and procedures that address your organisation’s specific risks and vulnerabilities.

Step 3.1 Define a content strategy

Define an information design model

This could be to define what content goes into a policy document, what content goes into a process diagram, what content goes into compliance procedures, what content goes into operational procedures, what content goes into guidelines, and what content goes into how-to guides for the particular applications that are used within the organisation.

The information model can also define how you connect the procedures that staff use with the compliance procedures the regulators want to see that you are following.

That may involve defining some labelling or metadata that goes into the documents.

Understand the users’ needs

You might need to better understand the users and what they need. And in this situation, there is more than one type of user. There are the regulators and there are the staff.
Related to this stage is how the information connects to each other, and how it can be kept consistent. With regards to consistency, that might involve creating a terminology guide so that certain buzzwords are described in the same way across all of the documentation.

Define standards for voice and tone

A voice and tone guide can help ensure the policies and procedures have a consistent voice, and use the appropriate tone for the users, content, and context.

Define the approval process

It could also involve a playbook on how to write new procedures.

Establish the software you’ll use

You might also consider what authoring and publishing tools that you use. Microsoft Word is the de facto choice for many, but there are alternatives. They might be better in having coherent, consistent, auditable, and usable content.

Step 3.2 Get the knowledge/information written down

The information might be in people’s heads, in experts’ heads, which your organisation needs to document.

You might need to have meetings to agree what the policies, processes, and procedures should be to agree who should do what, what should be done, and in what order.

Who writes the content? Pros Cons
Subject Matter Experts Cost effective They might not write clearly. (You might need Cherryleaf to improve the content)

They might not have the time to do it.

A procedures writer (who interviews the Subject Matter Experts) It requires less time from the Subject Matter Experts

It will be written clearly, consistently. It will be well organised.


You don’t build up the skills to do it in-house, unless you also get your experts trained in how to write procedures.

 Step 3.3 Improve the content

You might need to improve the content if it’s accurate and complete, but it isn’t very usable.
You can check the content for usability:


Usability criteria Comments
Is the information clear? Ask or observe your users. Do they tell you that they don’t understand the information that you’ve provided?

You can ask people to follow the instructions, observe them, and see if the instructions actually enable them to complete the task correctly. You can see if you understand the content, assuming you didn’t write it yourself.

Can users find the relevant information they need and want? Is it taking them too long to complete tasks?
Is the information coherent? Do the documents give them enough information, the information they need, or is it so complicated?
Is the information consistent? Are they complying with the policies?
Is the information coherent? Do the documents give them enough information, the information they need, or is it so complicated?
Is the information actionable? Do the procedures match with reality of how things actually have to be done?

Are users making mistakes?

You could create a projects team dedicated to rewriting and improving the content. If that resource is available.

You can also bring in outside resource such as Cherryleaf. We can work on some or all of the policies and procedures and write them in a better way. The advantage of this approach is it minimises the workload on your staff. It can also involve creating the terminology guide and voice and tone guide.

We can also provide training to your staff so that they can rewrite the policies and procedures in a better way. That would work if they have the time to update and improve the content.

Step 4. Implement

  1. Ensure that all employees are trained on the new policies and procedures.
  2. Implement effective monitoring and reporting systems to identify and address potential non-conformance.

Step 5. Review/update

Review and update your policies and procedures on a regular basis to ensure that they remain effective and relevant in the face of changing risks and regulatory requirements.

Step 6. Audit/update

Conduct regular independent audits of your business processes and procedures to:

  • Identify areas for improvement
  • Ensure that your organisation is fully compliant with all relevant laws and regulations

If you need help

Cherryleaf provides policies and procedures writing services for organisations that need:

  • Clear policies and procedures written. They know how to run their business, but they don’t have the time or skills to do it.
  • Their existing policies and procedures updated or improved so they are clearer, complete, and more effective

We also provide training courses in how to write policies and procedures.

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