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

3. What could the table of contents look like?

If one had an organisational manual that included all an organisations policies and procedures what would it look like?

The following is an example table of contents with comments about each section.



This section can outline the purpose of the manual and the intended users.
A. Overview
The Wider Context (funding etc)
Aims, Goals Objectives
Service Principles
Management Principles
This section is attempting to answer questions such as:
Where has this organisation come from?
What is it trying to achieve?
How is it going to do that?
B. Service Delivery Process
e.g. Referral
Service delivery
In an organisation that has several services, eg, a Neighbourhood Centre, there could be sections B1, B2, B3 for difference services, eg,
B1. Occasional Care
B2. Counselling
B3. Community development
Each of these sections would make explicit the service delivery process for that particular service.
This section must be client focussed.
C. Specific Service Policies and Procedures
e.g. Confidentiality
Use of Vehicles
Emergency procedures
This section includes policies that don't fit neatly into the service delivery process description of section 2. In organisations with several services they are also likely to be policies that apply across more than one service.
D. Organisational Structures
e.g. Accountability Structures
Organisations meetings and processes
This section might usefully include an organisational diagram.
E. Human Resources
e.g. Recruitment and selection
Appointments and Contracts
Orientation and Training
Health and Safety
Grievance Procedures
Disputes and Dismissals
Job Descriptions

Larger organisations are likely to have a separate human resources or personnel manual. Smaller organisations are likely to include this as part of their one and only organisational manual.


F. Board/Management committee
e.g. Committee/Board
Board/Executive Officer boundaries
This section would outline the essential things Board members need to know to carry out their roles.

It may incorporate some material from the organisation's constitution.

G. Administration
e.g. Financial Planning
The Budget Cycle

This section should not be confused with the detailed procedures an administrative staff person may have to keep track of what they do

It should include any administrative policy that staff or Management Committee need to know, or policies that are legally required or required for accreditation purposes.

H. Evaluation
e.g. Evaluation policy, plan and strategies
This section would include the overall evaluation policy and plan for the whole service and/or organisation.
I. Appendices
e.g. Constitution
Other manuals
These appendices may be kept separately from the Organisational Manual but would be referred to in it.













































Organising Principles

The way in which the policies are ordered and grouped is as important as the policies themselves if a policy and procedures manual is to be user friendly. Some of the principles that are used in the table of contents above are:

  • Keep the service users, their needs and the benefits to them as the focal point
  • Start from the general and move to the specific (e.g. put the history and mission before the specific service processes).
  • Separate service users and service delivery from management and administration
  • Organise the contents around processes or steps in processes wherever possible (e.g. referral, assessment, etc).

Sometimes an encyclopaedic reference work is required. The table of contents would be different to the example above.