This template provides the major categories that you should include in your job descriptions along with an explanation of what to include in each category.
Job title The formal title of the position
Reports to The title of the position that the job incumbent reports to

Job purpose

Provide a brief description of the general nature of the position; an overview of why the job exists; and what the job is to accomplish.

  • The job purpose is usually no more than four sentences long

Duties and responsibilities

List the primary job duties and responsibilities using headings and then give examples of the types of activities under each heading. Using headings and giving examples of the types of activities to be done allows you to develop a flexible job description that encourages employee to ‘work outside the box’ and within reason, discourages “that’s not my job”.

  • Identify between three and eight primary duties and responsibilities for the position
  • List the primary duties and responsibilities in order of importance
  • Begin each statement with an action verb
  • Use the present tense of verbs
  • Use gender neutral language such as s/he
  • Use generic language such a photocopy instead of Xerox
  • Where appropriate use qualifiers to clarify the task – where, when, why or how often – for example instead of “greet visitor to the office” use “greet visitors to the office in a professional and friendly manner”
  • Avoid words that are open to interpretation – for example instead of “handle incoming mail” use “sort and distribute incoming mail”


State the minimum qualifications required to successfully perform the job. These are the qualifications that are necessary for someone to be considered for the position.

All qualifications must comply with provincial human rights legislation.

Qualifications include:

  • Education
  • Specialized knowledge
  • Skills
  • Abilities
  • Other characteristics such as personal characteristics
  • Professional Certification
  • Experience

Working conditions

If the job requires a person to work in special working conditions this should be stated in the job description. Special working conditions cover a range of circumstances from regular evening and weekend work, shift work, working outdoors, working with challenging clients, and so forth.

Physical requirements

If the job is physically demanding, this should be stated in the job description. A physically demanding job is one where the incumbent is required to stand for extended periods of time, lift heavy objects on a regular basis, do repetitive tasks with few breaks, and so forth.

Direct reports

List by job title any positions to be supervised by the incumbent.

Approved by:
Signature of the person with the authority to approve the job description
Date approved: Date upon which the job description was approved
Reviewed: Date when the job description was last reviewed

Ideally, a job description should be reviewed annually and updated as often as necessary.

A national organization agreed to post this policy on HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector | Conseil RH pour le secteur communautaire as part of the HR Toolkit. Sample policies are provided for reference only. Always consult current legislation in your jurisdiction to create policies and procedures for your organization