Tips for Writing Duty Statements


  1. Make a list of all the duties assigned to the position.
  2. Group together duties that seem to logically go together.
  3. Draft your duty statement.
  • use an action verb
  • describe the object of the action in specific terms
  • describe the nature and source of instructions
  • describe the immediate result of performing the task
  • when additional details are needed to explain how the task actions are accomplished, a series of "by" statements may follow the basic statement

Example: Answers questions and provides information to callers by referring to order forms and clarifying and correcting information concerning orders.

Action Verbs

See below for a definition of the verb and an example.

accepts communicates distinguishes inspects regulates
accomplishes compares distributes installs reinforces
achieves completes drafts instructs relates
acquaints complies effects interacts releases
acquires comprehends emphasizes interprets reports
acts computes employs interviews represents
adapts concentrates encompasses investigates requires
adheres concurs encourages issues researches
adjusts conducts enforces maintains resolves
administers confers enhances makes responds
advances conforms enlightens manages reviews
advises conjects ensures meets revises
analyzes considers establishes monitors schedules
applies consolidates evaluates negotiates secures
appraises constructs examines notifies seeks
appropriates consults executes obtains selects
approves contemplates exercises operates serves
arranges continues expedites organizes sets up
ascertains contributes explores oversees shows
assembles controls expresses paces signs
asserts conveys faces participates solves
assigns coordinates facilitates perceives specifies
assists corrects finds performs speaks
assumes correlates focuses places stimulates
assures corresponds follows up plans studies
attains creates formulates practices submits
attends decides fosters prepares summarizes
authorizes dedicates fulfills prevents supervises
audits delegates furnishes proceeds supplies
builds demonstrates gains processes supports
calculates delivers generates produces takes
capitalizes designs gives programs terminates
carries out determines grasps projects traces
challenges devises handles promotes trains
checks develops helps proposes transcribes
circulates devotes hires provides treats
classifies directs identifies pursues uses
clears discusses implements receives utilizes
collaborates displays improves recognizes verifies
collects disposes informs recommends weighs
commands disseminates initiates records writes

Examples of Action Verbs

Advise:  To counsel or recommend action.  The advisee may not necessarily follow the recommendations.
    Example:  Advise on the preparation and use of instruction books.

Apprise:  To give notice, to inform or to advise.  Usually responsibility ceases with the giving of the information or advise.
    Example:  Apprise management of pertinent information on the __________.

Arrange:  To dispose in the manner intended or best suited for the purpose.
    Example:  Arrange for the delivery and storage of supplies.

Assist:  To lend aid or help.
    Example:  Assist and advise the Department Manager in the selection of personnel for the Department.

Audit:  To examine and verify.
    Example:  Audit books and records to determine or verify financial conditions.

Collect:  To gather or assemble into one body or place.  Emphasizes the implication of choice or selection, resulting in a more ordered or unified assemblage.
    Example:  Collect information necessary for preparation of monthly progress reports.

Compile:  To compose out of material from other documents or records.
    Example:  Compile specifications and quotations into a monthly report.

Conduct:  To carry on (or through, out, into effect).  Emphasizes the idea of immediate supervision or personal leadership.
    Example:  Conduct technical educational programs for department.

Confer:  To consult or compare views.
    Example:  Confer with all department heads for the purpose of integrating services.

Consult:  To seek or ask advice of.
    Example:  Consult with supervisor of accounting on accounting procedures.

Contribute:  To give or supply in common with others.
    Example:  Contribute to the preparation of training materials.

Control:  To exercise directing, guiding or restraining power over plans or personnel.
    Example:  Control operations by establishing performance standards, appraising performance against standards and taking corrective action.

Cooperate:  To act or operate jointly with another or others.  Voluntary action is implied.
    Example:  Cooperate with manager to train and make available qualified personnel for transfers with _____  areas.

Counsel:  To recommend as an act or course; to advise.  The advisee may not necessarily follow the recommendations.
    Example:  Counsel and advises on non-disciplinary problems.

Create:  To produce or bring to pass by influence over others; or, to originate as a work of thought or imagination.
    Example:  Create an environment conducive to caring for the personal needs and comfort of the patients.

Determine:  To come to a decision as a result of investigation or reasoning.  Certainty and reliability of the decision is implied.
    Example:  Determine the amount of stock to be purchased by each purchase order.

Develop:  To unfold more completely; to evolve the possibilities.
    Example:  Develop and coordinate accounting and statistical information for and with all departments.

Direct:  To regulate the activities of other employees or course of action.  Direction is usually due to a superior position and emphasizes the idea of authority by either position or knowledge.
    Example:  Direct nursing service activities including the preparation of nursing care plans within an assigned unit.

Establish:  To set on a firm basis, to gain full recognition or acceptance of.
    Example:  Establish a system of regular reports and analysis from unit supervisors on the progress of their responsibilities and duties.

Evaluate:  To determine the value or amount of; to appraise.
    Example:  Evaluate performance and make recommendations to Director of proper compensation for section hourly personnel.

Expedite:  To accelerate the process or progress of.
    Example:  Expedite return of material or delivery of special materials which may be needed by _____.

Forecast:  To plan ahead, to foresee.
    Example:  Forecast manpower requirements in order to develop personnel for transfer within the Department.

Formulate:  To compose into or put in a systematized statement.
    Example:  Formulate objectives, policies, plans and programs to achieve maximum efficiency within the department.

Gather:  To bring together.
    Example:  Gather information and data for use by __________.

Guide:  To regulate and manage; to direct.  Implies more immediate or personal supervision than "direct".
    Example:  Guide the general nursing staff regarding health needs of patient, families and staff.

Inform:  To communicate knowledge of or to: to tell or impart.
    Example:  Inform Manager of ideas and information related to integrating, planning, and timing additions, eliminations and modifications.

Initiate:  To originate; to introduce in the first instance; to cause or bring to pass by original act as in originating a plan, policy or procedure.
    Example:  Initiate appropriate action to recognize outstanding achievements.

Institute:  To set up; to originate and establish a method of action or procedure.
    Example:  Institute policies and procedures to maximize operational efficiency.

Instruct:  To impart knowledge through a methodical system of procedure.
    Example:  Instruct nursing staff through educational programs to improve the quality of patient care.

Interpret:  To explain in the light of individual judgment or interest.
    Example:  Interpret various chemical and microscopic tests in diagnosis and treatment of disease.

Interview:  To have a formal meeting face to face in which the interviewer seeks information from the interviewee.
    Example:  Interview and evaluate applicants for employment.

Issue:  To release or send out; to publish.
    Example:  Issue general rules and procedures for __________.

Maintain:  To keep possession of; to keep up to date or current, as to maintain records.
    Example:  Maintain records of status of department personnel.

Make:  To produce or perform in the appropriate manner.
    Example:  Make periodic visits to determine if policies and procedures are being followed.

Manage:  A distinct and professional kind of work; namely, leading by persuasion and through planning, organizing, integrating and measuring.
    Example:  Manage the sales and marketing department.

Order:  To give a direction to purchase, sell or supply goods and services.
    Example:  Order office equipment through __________.

Organize:  To arrange or constitute into inter-department parts, each having a special function or relation with respect to the whole.
    Example:  Organize the activities of the Department to accomplish the responsibilities listed above.

Perform:  To Carry out or execute some action; to carry out to the finish; to accomplish.
    Example:  Perform special administrative assignments such as __________.

Plan:  To devise or project a method of course of action.
    Example:  Plan and prepare comprehensive training programs in specified areas of interest.

Prepare:  To make or form by some specific process.  Usually involves writing.
    Example:  Prepare monthly reports and miscellaneous reports of department activity.

Prescribe:  To lay down as a guide, direction, or rule of action.  The right to command or order is implied.
    Example:  Prescribe medication for the treatment of disease.

Produce:  To cause to be or to happen; to create or manufacture; to bring about.
    Example:  Produce, process and maintain salary records that assure the continued implementation of the salary administrative program.

Promote:  To contribute to the growth or advance of.  Improvement is implied.
    Example:  Promote standard operational practices and procedures.

Provide:  To supply for use; to furnish; to take precautionary measures in view of a possible need.
    Example:  Provide X-ray therapy to patients under the supervision of a radiologist.

Recommend:  To offer or suggest for adoption a course of action.
    Example:  Recommend treatment programs indicated by the results of diagnostic tests.

Report:  To give a formal or official amount of.  A communication of ideas is implied.
    Example:  Report any change in policy or procedures as it affects the daily operations of the department.

Represent:  To supply the place of; to serve with delegated authority.
    Example:  Represent the Department in dealing with __________.

Review:  To go over or examine deliberately or critically (usually with a view to approve or dissent).
    Example:  Review and approve all completed documents as they pertain to the operations within the department.

Secure:  To get possession of; to obtain.
    Example:  Secure office supplies from external vendors.

Service:  To supply data, information, or assistance for the use of others.
    Example:  Service department personnel by providing files, mailing lists, library of information, and technical reading lists.

Suggest:  To arouse the thought of, the desire for, or the urge to commit.  Usually the use of indirect means is implied.
    Example:  Suggest training programs aimed at increasing departmental efficiency.

Supervise:  To inspect with authority; to guide and instruct with immediate responsibility for purpose of performance.
    Example:  Supervise activities of the unit performing __________.

Train:  To impart proficiency by teaching; to familiarize with.
    Example:  Train new personnel.

Use:  To make use of.  Usually refers to a habitual or customary action.
    Example:  Use handbooks and other published data to supply information to _________.

Write:  To record or set down for others to read; to compose.  If the composition consists primarily of original material the use of other functional verbs like "create" is suggested.
    Example:  Write purchase orders making sure that firm prices are clearly set forth, progress payments are included, etc.