Tips for Writing Duty Statements
- Make a list of all the duties assigned to the position.
- Group together duties that seem to logically go together.
- 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.
See below for a definition of the verb and an example.
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.