Time to implement new policies? Let Tim Bowen show you how it’s done.

To implement is defined as ‘to make a plan, system or law start to work’. 

When used with adverbs or adverbial phrases such as successfully, fully, without delay, widely and poorly, it is normally used in the passive, as in ‘The government needs to ensure that all aspects of the new legislation are fully implemented’. 

Guidelines and recommendations are intended to be implemented, as in ‘We now aim to implement the recommendations of the safety review’, as are various ways of dealing with problems such as measures, policies, solutions and strategies, as in ‘The purpose of implementing these measures is to reduce waiting times in clinics and surgeries’. 

Various terms for laws or rules can also be implemented including directives, provisions, regulations, rulings and legislation, as in ‘The legislation was fully implemented two years ago when sale of the drug was prohibited’. 

Plans, programmes, proposals, schemes and systems are also implemented, as in ‘Any delay in implementing these proposals will be seen as deliberate obstruction in some quarters’. 

In the best of all possible worlds, official agreements, accords and resolutions are implemented at some point, as in ‘The two sides are holding talks with the aim of reaching an agreement on a date to implement the peace accord’. 

Most institutions and agencies will in the fullness of time need to implement changes, improvements and reforms, as in ‘Some progress has been made in implementing reforms in the armed services’.