How to Craft Best Practices Policies and Procedures

October 9, 2014

ALTA's Policy and Procedure Creation Guidance can be used to help members draft formal written policies and procedures for the Best Practices. “Drafting formal policies and procedures is the centerpiece of ALTA’s Title Insurance and Settlement Company Best Practices,” said Michelle Korsmo, ALTA’s chief executive officer. “The purpose for any policy or procedure document is to be simple, consistent and easy to understand. ALTA has developed a template to serve as a standard format and aid in the process of formalizing Best Practices.” The Policy and Procedure Creation Guidance includes detailed instructions and tips on how to draft policies and procedures that fit a company’s practices, an example of what written policies and procedures should look like, and a policy and procedure template. Available for members to download on ALTA's Best Practices Resources and Documents webpageinclude:

  • Best Practices Policy and Procedure Creation Guidance
  • Template for Best Practices Policy and Procedure
  • Sample Outline/Table of Contents for Best Practices Policy and Procedure

“Having a set of written policies and procedures are a critical element for any organization as they provide guidance and direction to the staff, help ensure consistency in operations and assist in training new personnel,” said Rob Chapman, ALTA’s president. “The model creation tool will help guide agents as they create written procedures necessary to adhere to Best Practices.” A policy statement is important as it sets the company’s direction on what needs to be accomplished. The procedures are the sets of instructions describing how policies will be implemented. “Procedures should have sufficient detail that employees will readily understand how to comply with the policy mandates and how to carry out specific tasks,” Korsmo said. She added that policies and procedures should be written in clear, concise language, be understandable to employees, lenders and customers, and be clear in the objectives. ALTA’s Best Practices Workbook can be used to help identify policies and procedures that title and settlement companies should adopt, as well as any gaps in existing policies and procedures. ALTA members can discern this information by using the Action Items Report found with each chapter of the Workbook. ALTA has provided a Workbook for each pillar of the Best Practices. “The policy building guide used in conjunction with additional resources developed by ALTA provide members with a powerful set of tools enabling them to highlight the policies and procedures exercised to protect lenders and consumers,” Chapman said. “Providing professional service to consumers and lenders is a core function of the land title insurance industry and the Best Practices framework provides a national standard to safeguarding the real estate transaction.”

Contact ALTA at 202-296-3671 or