Last edited 17 Dec 2020

Shall v should

The Orange Book, Management of Risk - Principles and Concepts, Published by HM Government in 2020, sets out the main principles underlying effective risk management in all government departments and arm’s length public bodies with responsibility derived from central government for public funds.

It suggests that:

  • shall denotes a requirement: a mandatory element
  • should denotes a recommendation: an advisory element
  • may denotes approval
  • might denotes a possibility
  • can denotes both capability and possibility
  • is/are denotes a description

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