Each policy needs a:
- title — clear and descriptive
- summary — maximum 255 characters.
Policies are divided into blocks:
- Start with a 'What is [subject]' block if you need a brief intro or a list of what’s covered.
- Always have a 'Who this policy applies to' block.
- You could then have a block about when the policy is relevant, like 'When [subject] is needed' or 'When this policy doesn’t apply'.
- Put the other blocks in a logical order.
Each block has:
- a heading — clear and descriptive so practitioners can easily scan the page
- a summary
- more content that can be displayed by clicking on a 'show more' button, if needed.
Writing for the web
When you’re writing the content for the blocks:
- use 'we must' statements so practitioners are clear about what they need to do
- follow the 'we must' statement with clear bullet points, as much as possible
- if you use 'we should' statements, think carefully about whether that information would be better on a guidance page that can be linked to from the policy
- write using plain language – for example:
- use active sentences most of the time
- keep sentences and paragraphs short
- use short words, such as 'use' not 'utilise', and 'before' not 'prior to'
- avoid jargon
- use frequent, descriptive headings
- break text up with bullet points
- put links on a separate line.