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Effective: 12/1/1984

Revised: 9/6/1996

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[ASU logo] CAM 801: The Manual Revision Process


To describe the manual revision process

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Academic and Administrative Documents

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Manuals need to be revised regularly because the information in them becomes outdated very quickly. In fact, as soon as a manual has been printed and distributed, some of its policies may already be considered out-of-date. Roughly 15 percent of the policies are obsolete after one year. A revision every six months is recommended to maintain a manual as a reliable source of information and to keep the revision process manageable.

Revision must start with review. It is essential that enough time be scheduled for a thorough review of each policy. Therefore, adherence to a manual revision schedule is essential.


A revision schedule should be established at the manual planning stage. This may seem like putting the cart before the horse; however, it is vital that the following considerations be addressed:

  1. the number of revisions the manual should undergo per year (twice a year is recommended, and once a year is the minimum)

  2. the amount of time that will be involved in revising the manual


  3. the revision approval process (establishing standard deadline dates with the reviewers is best done at the outset).

A revision requires the cooperative effort of all the units that were involved in the development of an external manual, or of representative individuals in the office, department, or college for an internal manual. Therefore, the logistics for establishing and maintaining a revision schedule should be determined early in the development of the manual.

Begin the development of the schedule with the projected delivery date of the printing draft and work backward from there. The work cycle of the administrative area often is important in establishing a regular revision cycle.


A manual revision is basically a four-step process. The steps include:

  1. reviewing existing policies and developing new ones

  2. editing the policies

  3. sending out a review draft


  4. incorporating any changes suggested by reviewers and creating a printing draft.
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Note:Please be advised that the policies and procedures used as examples in the CAM manual are often out of date and no longer applicable. They were chosen as examples when the CAM manual was revised in 1992. To access the current policies and procedures manuals, please go to http://www.asu.edu/aad/manuals.

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