Should I Draft An Internship Handbook?



Are you wondering what the purpose an internship handbook serves?  Are you unsure if you should spend the time and effort to draft one?


I believe that an internship handbook is an important communication tool between you and your intern.  It is the starting point for a safe and productive work place. It can save you time and eliminate confusion throughout the course of the internship.


An internship handbook is a compilation of the policies, procedures, expectations, and culture of a company.  An internship handbook should outline a company’s mission, purpose, vision, values, and goals.  An internship handbook details compensation and benefits, and also explains important procedures and rules related to attendance, conduct, communication, use of company property, closings, and disciplinary and grievance procedures.


A comprehensive internship handbook provides clarity for interns about what is expected of them while at their placement. An internship handbook is a quick reference guide for both intern and employer.  It sets the tone for a mutually beneficial working relationship.  Although there are no legal requirements that you draft an internship handbook, an internship handbook offers protection to employers if intern ever engages in behavior inconsistent with law or company policy.


Interns should be required to review and familiarize themselves with the handbook.  I recommend that a supervisor go through the handbook with them as part of the orientation process. You may ask your intern to sign a document stating that they have read the handbook and agree to adhere to it.


Sample Table of Contents:

  • Welcome from Management
  • Company Overview
  • General Employment Policies and Procedures
  • Company Values and Ethics
  • Code of Conduct
  • Compensation and Benefits
  • Non–disclosure, Non-compete, and Confidentiality Documents
  • Use of company property and public image
  • Performance Expectations and Evaluation


This article provides a very basic overview. Every company and organization is different.  Your company internship handbook should be as unique as your company. Contact me for additional information and assistance on compiling an internship handbook or manual.


 intern help organization meet its goals






Nicki Sanders, The Packaged For Success Coach, is an Adjunct Professor with an extensive background in developing and managing internship programs. She is a skilled program manager, coach, trainer, and group facilitator who has packaged her Masters of Social Work degree and 20 years of work experience into Packaged For Success, a full service training and professional development company.


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