What Are Work Instructions Templates? (+6 Free Templates)

Aanchal Parmar
September 8, 2022
min read
January 9, 2024
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Use work instruction templates to maintain consistency within your organization. Get 6 free industry-specific templates & tips and 5 top tools for writing clear, efficient work instructions.
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Your company is growing daily, so you need to keep your processes consistent. Templates can help your employees perform tasks effectively — without hassle.

But most brands don’t create a work instruction template because they think employees already or could easily understand every process and procedure by implementing them. 

However, not having a template can increase the chances of employee accidents and mistakes. In this blog, we’re going to help you understand the importance of a work instruction template.

TL;DR: Work instructions templates

  • Work instructions are documents that describe the right way to perform a task and are important for maintaining consistency and reducing mistakes.
  • This article provides free, customizable, ready-to-use work instruction templates, including project, safety, assembly, visual, and manufacturing.
  • These 5 work instruction tools make the process of creating work instructions easier: Scribe, Starling, Screensteps, Stonly, and REWO.
  • Learn how to write work instructions in 7 easy steps.
  • Great work instructions are clear, accessible, and credible.

What are work instructions?

Work instructions are documents that describe the right way to perform a task. Work instructions:

  • Provide step-by-step instructions for completing specific tasks accurately and efficiently.
  • Offer clear directions for performing activities within broader processes or procedures.
  • Ensure consistency, quality, and compliance across teams.

We know what you’re thinking: it sounds exactly like SOPs. But no, SOPs and work instructions each have their own specific value for your business. 

In short, SOPs are a set of ways to complete a process, while work instructions explain the smaller steps to complete a specific task. 

What are work instructions templates?

Work instructions templates provide a valuable framework for creating clear, consistent, and practical instructions for specific organizational tasks. 

‎Work instructions templates streamline the creation process, providing a pre-structured format that saves time and effort while ensuring all essential information is included. They enhance consistency and standardization, helping you maintain a uniform approach across departments and tasks and promoting consistency in quality and compliance.

5 types of work instruction templates

You can create any type of template to help you with development. Here’s a list of six crucial work instruction templates to get you started. 

1. Project work instruction template

‎Link to full template.

In your organization, you likely have multiple projects going on at the same time. A template helps you outline objectives, actions and tasks for each process. You can use it to explain general and industry-specific work projects. 

A project instruction template should have the following details:

  • Project name.
  • Project date.
  • Person in charge of project management (usually a manager or coordinator).
  • Project approved by (usually a director or supervisor).
  • A detailed description of the project. 
  • Objective.
  • Action.

Scribe's customizable project work instructions template outlines these steps in more detail. 

2. Safety work instruction template

Safety work instructions outline health and safety guidelines for using the machinery and equipment based on a task. Following safety work instructions will help you decrease any anticipated workplace incidents. 

You can help your employees with strict safety policies with a preset template. This template should include two sections, and in the first section, you need to add:

  • Activity title.
  • Created by.
  • Document no.
  • Risk assessment no.
  • Initial issue date.
  • Current version.
  • Next review date.
  • Scope of the task.
  • Authorization required to perform the task.
  • Prerequisites.

In the second section, you need to add:

  • Hazards.
  • Safety controls.
  • Instructions.
  • Closing procedures.
  • Emergency procedures.

‎Link to the free, customizable safety work instructions template.

3. Assembly work instruction template

Assembly work instructions generally use mockups after completing all design, prototyping and verification. 

Creating an assembly work instruction template will help you document every last detail of the assembly process. You can add every step in detail and add any relevant quality checks for completion. 

In this template, you need to add:

  • Title and description of the process.
  • The team leader or department manager.
  • The supervisor.
  • Step descriptions.
  • Sampling.
  • Tool to use.
  • Any additional notes.
  • Time.

Link to the full assembly work instructions template.

4. Visual work instruction template

Visual work instructions is a document that educates your employees about the work procedures through visual aids or graphics. Graphics allow users to see what the end product would look like and the steps you need to reach there.

In this template, you need to add:

  • Title and description.
  • Created by.
  • The objective of this template.
  • Prerequisites and expected results.
  • Steps and a space to insert an image for the same.

Link to the customizable visual work instructions template.

4. Construction site work instruction template

‎Construction projects take a lot of effort and time. You must take care of many things to ensure everything aligns with your primary goals and objectives. This template can create comprehensive, logical instructions for a construction process or project. 

This template should include:

  • Title and description of the construction process.
  • Created by.
  • Process number.
  • Initial issue date.
  • Current version.
  • Bill of materials.
  • Outsourcing.
  • Routings.
  • Cost.
  • Projected completion date.
  • Actual completion date.

Link to Scribe's free construction site work instruction template.

5. Manufacturing work instruction template

‎Manufacturing work instructions help manufacturing teams accurately create, package, label, and ship products per the required specifications.

You can use this template to outline the framework and instructions for a process. This template will help you to provide detailed instructions on each manufacturing procedure. 

Here’s what you need to include in this template:

  • Title and description of the manufacturing process.
  • Created by.
  • What’s the scope?
  • Process number.
  • Initial issue date.
  • Inventory details.
  • Cost.
  • Master production schedule.
  • Steps in the procedure.

Link to Scribe's free manufacturing work instructions template.

5 work instruction tools to make the process easier

To save your time and make things easier for you, we’ve created a list of work instruction software. 

1. Scribe

Scribe: Work Instructions Templates

Scribe is an AI-powered tool that documents your business processes for you. With Scribe, you can instantly turn any work process into an easy to understand step-by-step guide.

The Chrome extension and Desktop app auto-generate visual guides while you work — complete with step-by-step instructions and annotated screenshots.

Scribe features:

  • Automated work process documentation: Scribe automates the creation of step-by-step instruction templates with screenshots and written instructions.
  • Customization and combination: Easily edit and combine multiple Scribes with images, videos, GIFs and more to build comprehensive visual work instructions templates.
  • AI-powered content creation: Ask Scribe's GPT-4 AI to write a work instruction template with a simple prompt.
  • Sharing and embedding: Share guides inside a company's wiki or knowledge base, send links to employees or embed them in a help center for instant access.
  • SOC II Type II compliance: Scribe adheres to SOC II Type II compliance standards, ensuring data security.
  • Time-saving: Scribe is a time-saving solution and saves a substantial amount of time for diverse teams across multiple organizations.
  • Integrations: Scribe helps you enhance your process by providing seamless integrations with 100+ tools such as HubSpot, WordPress, Zendesk, etc.

Scribe pricing:

  • Free basic plan.
  • Pro Personal: $23 per seat per month.
  • Pro Teams: $12 per seat per month (5-seat minimum).

Try Scribe's Work Instructions Generator to get started for free!

2. Starling work instruction software

Starling: Work Instructions Templates
(Source: Starling)

Starling is an easy-to-use work instruction and training software. You can create work instructions and manage the training — in real-time and all from one place. It helps simplify and automate the manual tasks associated with work instructions.

Starling features:

  • Automate your training process by integrating the staff training and work instructions.
  • Intuitive and simple UI makes it easier for users to navigate easily.
  • Lets you record videos directly from the Starling app through any device.

Starling pricing:

  • Cloud: Starting from £295 per month.
  • On premise: Contact for pricing.

3. Screensteps

Screensteps: Work Instructions Templates
(Source: Screensteps)

Screensteps is a documentation software that helps employees save time and follow procedures. It helps you reduce errors and enhance the productivity of your employees. 

Screensteps features:

  • Integrated screen capture.
  • Ask questions to your employees and modify your documents according to their answers.
  • Interactive checklists to add any reference information.
  • Link to additional information.

Screensteps pricing:

  • Answer: $250 per month.
  • Guide: $350 per month.
  • Train: $450 per month.

4. Stonly

Stonly: Work Instructions Templates
(Source: Stonly)

Stonly allows you to create interactive guides for your employees and customers to understand your product easily. You can use scripted guides, interactive decision trees, and knowledge bases to aid your customer support in understanding customers’ concerns better. 

Stonly features:

  • Mobile user support.
  • Allowing users to customize chat colors, text, logs, and branding.
  • Integrates with other software to improve productivity.

Stonly pricing:

  • 14-day free trial.
  • Starter: $124 per month.
  • Business: $249 per month.


REWO: Work Instructions Templates
(Source: REWO)

REWO is a plug-and-play end-to-end video platform for documentation that can transfer knowledge up to 12x faster than traditional documents. It has improved capturing, visualizing, and communicating knowledge to anyone within the corporate ecosystem.

REWO features:

  • Easy to onboard people.
  • Flexible integration options.
  • Record with any existing hardware.
  • On-premise or cloud deployment.

REWO pricing:

  • You need to schedule a demo to know more details about their pricing.

How do I create a work instruction template?

To create a work instruction template, follow these steps:

  1. Write an introduction: Provide context for the project and identify the owners of the project. Clearly document the task or job for which the work instruction template will be used.
  2. Describe how to do the job: Provide instruction by breaking down the steps to complete the task or job, including any important information. Be clear and concise in your instructions, using bullet points or numbered lists to make it easy to follow.
  3. Validate information: Ensure that the instructions are accurate and up-to-date. Double-check any references or sources used to gather information for the work instruction template.
  4. Format for easy reading: Use a standard format for headings, subheadings, and formatting techniques such as bold or italicized text to make the instructions visually appealing and easy to scan. Consider using tables or diagrams to illustrate complex steps or processes.
  5. Simplify and rewrite, if necessary: Review the instructions and simplify any complex language or technical jargon. Rewrite any confusing or unclear sections to ensure that the instructions are easily understandable by anyone using the template.
  6. Test it out: Before finalizing the work instruction template, have someone follow the instructions to complete the task or job. This will help identify any areas that may need further clarification or adjustment.
  7. Save and share: Once you are satisfied with the work instruction template, save it in a format that is easily accessible and share it with the relevant team members or stakeholders. Consider using a cloud-based platform or document management system to ensure easy access and collaboration.

What are the requirements of great work instructions templates?

Work instructions can be a huge responsibility. You need to make sure they’re accurate, standardized and compliant. Here are traits of great work instructions templates:

1. Work instructions templates are clear

When employees read your work instructions, they need to understand them. If your work instructions are not clear, employees won't use them. Avoid complex sentences and multi-syllable words; don’t add jargon without an explanation. 

To make it easier for them:

  • Write in an active voice.
  • Write a clear title that explains the doc’s purpose. 
  • Ensure your introduction gives context and speaks to the right audience.
  • Format your instructions well and add images for better understanding.

2. Work instructions templates are accessible

Be sure that your work instructions templates won’t make any difference if employees can’t access them. 

Keep your work instructions templates in a centralized location where they can be easily accessed and updated as needed.

3. Work instructions are credible 

When you create work instructions templates, ensure they’re credible enough for employees to trust them.

Here’s how you can do it:

  • Make sure your writers are subject matter experts on the topic.
  • Gain some additional perspectives to spot any mistakes or gaps.
  • Proofread for any spelling or grammatical errors. 


How do you create standard work instructions?

To create a standard work instructions template, follow these steps:

  1. Select a process to standardize.
  2. Break the process down into individual steps.
  3. Use a clear and easy-to-understand title for each work instruction.
  4. Add a descriptive introduction to provide context for the process.
  5. Describe the purpose of each work instruction.
  6. Document each step in detail, including any necessary information or guidelines.
  7. Sequence the steps in the order that they are performed.

Wrapping up: work instructions templates

If you want to increase workplace efficiency, follow these best practices for creating work instruction templates. You’ll realize how much easier your life has become after creating these templates. A standardized process is the kind of process that wins!

Scribe can help you keep things consistent with every work instruction template you create. 

Let Scribe work while you work to create beautiful and engaging work instructions for your team. The best part is you can start for free, so sign up today!

Ready to try Scribe?

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