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P&P Policies and Procedures Consulting

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The Policies & Procedures Authority – The newsletter about the art of transforming workplace learning and performance through Policies & Procedures Communication

Style Rules for Job Position Names and Titles in Policies & Procedures

– Raymond E. Urgo

Importance of style rules

Have you struggled with job position names and titles in your policies and procedures (P&P) content? Clear job position names and titles enable users to accurately understand roles and responsibilities in organizational practices.

Examples: Position names and titles

Position names

  • cost accountant
  • procedure analyst
  • administrative assistant
  • manager
  • vice president
  • associate
  • project manager

Position titles

  • Senior Cost Accountant
  • Procedures Analyst
  • Administrative Assistant
  • Claims Manager
  • Vice President of Finance
  • Sr. Portfolio Counselor
  • Project Management Specialist

When to use position names vs. titles

  • Use a position name to reference a general job category.
  • Use a position title to reference a specific person’s job (or group’s job).
  • Be as specific as possible with the name or title to indicate clear accountability and responsibility.

Examples: Using names and titles

  • Least specific: Human Resources confirms acceptance of requests for tuition reimbursement. [references the title of the general entity]
  • More specific: The Benefits Group confirms acceptance of requests for tuition reimbursement. [references the title of the direct group entity]
  • Most specific: The Tuition Benefits Coordinator confirms acceptance of requests for tuition reimbursement. [references the title of the person who is responsible]

When to capitalize and abbreviate

  • Capitalize a position title when used as a proper noun to refer to a job title for a specific individual person or group.
  • Do not capitalize a position name when used as a common noun to refer to a general job category.
  • Avoid using acronyms and abbreviations for position names and titles, unless you have either stated them in full earlier in the content or are sure the audience is very familiar with them.
  • Capitalize the abbreviation for position titles.

Examples: Using capitalization and abbreviations

  • If the order is under $25,000, obtain approval from your manager. [Position name is used as a common noun and general job category.]
    [or]
    If the order is over $25,000, obtain approval from the Manager of Purchasing. [Position title is used as a proper noun and refers to a specific person’s job title.]
  • Obtain approval from a vice president. [Position name is used as a common noun.]
    [or]
    Obtain approval from the VP. [The audience knows that VP represents vice president.]

For a customized style guide or advice to professionally communicate your policies and procedures, contact Urgo & Associates.