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Succession Planning Policy Sample

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Succession planning is a deliberate process of identifying and developing potential candidates to fill key organizational positions when vacancies occur. This is a strategic way to ensure the transfer of skill and organizational knowledge during times of transition. The adoption of a formal succession planning policy transparently communicates dedication to consistently maintaining the highest levels of leadership in the organization.

Review and modify this sample succession planning policy to meet your organization’s needs.


The purpose of the succession planning program in the organization is to ensure a ready supply in internal talent and assess external talent for key positions to assure the agility and preparedness in the event of a position vacancy. This organization is fully committed to equal opportunity for all employees, regardless of race, color, creed, ancestry, marital status, religion, sex, national origin, age, military status, or disability or any other characteristic protected by law.


It is the policy of the organization to help employees develop to the full extent of their potential and, to the extent possible for the organization, to help them achieve realistic career goals that satisfy both individual and organizational requirements.


This organization is firmly committed to promotion from within, whenever qualified talent is available, for key positions.  This organization is also firmly committed to helping employees develop their potential so they are prepared and qualified to assume positions in line with individual career goals and organizational requirements.


  • Talent assessment and succession plan documents for each key employee and position will be reviewed annually for changes and updates. Key employees and positions are those which are identified by the organization as exerting critical influence on organizational activities either operationally, strategically, or both.
  • Individual talent assessments will be completed for each key employee to assess how well individuals are presently equipped for future advancement.
  • Individual performance appraisals will be completed for each key employee to assess how well individuals are meeting their current job requirements
  • Individual development planning will be completed for each key employee to assist individuals in narrowing the development gap between what they already know or can do and what they must know or do to qualify for advancement.

The organization’s succession planning program will rely heavily on the processes listed above to identify individuals suitable for advancement. The program will work closely with the leadership development program which is designed to help individuals identify their career goals and take proactive steps to achieve them.

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