How to Write Your
A Work Instructions is a step by step guide to perform a
You should be able to take the instruction and perform the task WITHOUT
reading any other documents. Think of it as a standalone document. You
can cross-reference, of course, but in the real world people are often
looking at printouts. They may not access to computers. What they have
in their hand is all they have to rely on.
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So, it better be correct, right?
Key Sections in Each Work
Each Work Instructions has the following sections. Some of these may not
be required depending on what you're documenting; for example, for
expediency sake, you may collapse or remove some sections.
In the opening paragraph, describe what the Work Instruction does in a
Start with: ‘The purpose of this document is to provide instructions
Most Work Instructions focus on a single area. Focus on this. Use short
words and use active verbs.
‘John opened the box’
‘The box was opened by John’.
It easier to read and faster to type!
- Describe the purpose of the Work
- Give its formal document name
- State where it will be used, for
example, the plant, assembly line, server, or business unit.
- Include relevant background
information that places the Work
Instructions in content. For example, .to perform this instruction, you
need to read this document first.’
- Insert Cautions, Warnings or
other information that the reader
must be aware of before reading this document. You can also highlight
these later in the document.
Describe the scope of the Work
Instruction. For example,
technical Work Instructions may refer to a specific Operating System,
network or Database (e.g. Oracle v SAP). Highlight this to the readers
and point to other technical documentation.
- Identify the target audience
(i.e. those who will use these
instructions), for example, System Administrators, Operators, Cashiers,
Safety personnel. This helps the reader know that they’re reading the
correct document and that the subject matter applies to their
- Help the reader understand where
this Work Instruction fits
into other activities, such as its role in the Procedures Manual or
Describe any information that must be read, equipment that must be in
place before starting the instructions, for example, tools, software,
documents, and/or certifications.
You should also highlight to the reader any safety equipment that must
wear before starting this procedure.
- Identify the personnel involved
in the Work Instruction and
describe how their responsibilities relate to this activity.
- If necessary, include contact
information, such as Name, Role
and Email. Keep this brief or point the reader to the Procedures
Where appropriate, identify any technical or workmanship standards that
are required to perform these instructions.
Provide the steps required to perform the Work Instruction
- Use short words, active verbs
and avoid ambiguity.
- List the steps to be taken in
the correct sequence.
- Use flowcharts, bullet
instructions, text, images, numbered
instructions or any combination, providing the instructions are easily
understood and accurate.
- Use a Naming Convention for the
Work Instructions so you can
track them in your Document Management System, for example,
WI-Dept-Date-F. Dept refers to the business unit; Date is the date when
it was last updated, and F refers to Final document. Use D for Draft
- List the steps in numeric order.
- Use an If-Then table to describe
steps where the user is presented with different options.
If I do this, Then I follow this step, Else do this.
If I do this, Then I follow this step, Else do this.
Describe previous changes made to this document. Include the Revision,
Description of Change and the Effective Date
List the name and reference numbers of any documents referenced in this
Work Instruction. You must also reference procedures that control the
Work Instruction including its control number. You may also include
resources that may be useful when performing this procedure, such as
for industry standards and links to other Procedure Manuals.
- Doc #
- Document Title
Tools, Software or Fixtures
If appropriate, list any tools required to perform the tasks described
in this document
List all safety precautions that users must comply with and all safety
equipment that must be used while following the operations specified in
this work instruction.
Identify and define frequently used terms and phrases that may be
unique to the Work Instruction and/or business sector.
Work Instruction Template Pack
Microsoft Word templates
that you can easily customize to suit your requirements. You can use
these templates to save time when creating policies, procedures, and
checklists and also ensure that your Department has a standardized
approach to documenting Work Instructions.
Instruction Guide (23 pages) This templates includes sections on
how to write the Purpose, Scope, Pre-requisites, Responsibilities,
Criteria, Instructions, Revision History, References, Safety
Requirements, and Definitions.
Instruction - Single Template (4 pages) This template is used to
document a single Work Instruction.
- How to
Write Work Instructions Tutorial (11 pages) shows you how to write
Work Instructions and how to test the document to ensure that all the
steps are correct.
What's included in this template
|Work Instruction Template Guide - 23 Pages
|Work Instruction Single Template - 4 pages
|How to Write Work Instructions Tutorial - 11 pages
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