A book giving instructions or information.


A manual is a document that provides instructions or guidelines on how to perform an activity and serves as a reference book on the activity.

Types of Manuals

  • Policy Manuals
    • Policy manuals explain and outline the principles and rules of an organization. For example, a company's policy manual may address matters such as the company's vision and mission, the company code of ethics, and employee guidelines relating to work activities, compensation and benefits.
  • Procedure Manuals
    • Procedures manuals explain how a work activity is to be performed. For example, a company may have a procedure for reporting an incident of sexual harassment or workplace discrimination. Keep in mind that a policy manual tells you what a policy is and perhaps why it's in place, while a procedures manual may tell you how to carry out a policy-related activity.
  • Operations manuals
    • Operations manuals are similar to procedures manuals, but are focused on daily work activities. For example, a restaurant manager may have a set of activities he must perform before opening for business.
  • User’s/operator’s manuals
    • User's manuals and operator's manuals serve as a guide and reference for the use of a particular tool or piece of equipment. The document Person A is drafting to provide instruction and guidance for the use of the company's new software falls under this definition.
  • Service and Maintenance manuals
    • Service and maintenance manuals provide instructions on how to maintain and repair equipment. For example, a factory may have a service and maintenance manual for its conveyor belts.
  • Training Manuals
    • Training manuals are written to provide guidance for people new to an organization or specific work activity.
  • Field Manuals
    • Field manuals are used by workers at remote worksites. These manuals are designed to be self-contained, providing all the policies, procedures and instructions that a worker needs on the jobsite. At the same time, field manuals are designed to be as short and concise as possible because workers don't want to lug a library around with them.