Rule Writer Handbook

This Handbook serves as a resource for rule writers by providing an overview of the rulemaking process and guidance on drafting administrative rules and preparing rulemaking documents for publication in the Iowa Administrative Bulletin.

The Handbook is designed to be used as an online reference. While it can be printed, the Handbook is most useful as a linked, searchable guide. The Handbook consists of the following four parts:

Part A: The Process - Describes administrative rules, including how they relate to Iowa law and how and where they are published; the process of rulemaking, carried out in accordance with Iowa Code chapter 17A; and the submission of documents in the Rules Management System (RMS).

Part B: Rule Writing Guide - Identifies the types of rulemaking documents; describes the components of rulemaking documents, rules, and rule chapters; and explains in detail how to write a rulemaking document as well as how to make nonsubstantive changes to rules outside the rulemaking process.

Part C: Style Guide - Addresses style that is specific to the Iowa Administrative Bulletin and Iowa Administrative Code.

Part D: Glossary - Contains a glossary of terms commonly used in the rulemaking process.

For an additional resource covering topics related to administrative rules and providing answers to questions commonly asked by rule writers, see the Administrative Rules FAQ.

For rule-related inquiries or assistance or to offer suggestions concerning the Handbook or FAQ, please contact:

Jack Ewing, Administrative Code Editor; Legislative Services Agency, State Capitol Building, Des Moines, Iowa 50319; telephone: 515.281.6048; or email:


Publications Editing Office (Administrative Code); Legislative Services Agency, Ola Babcock Miller State Office Building, Third Floor, Des Moines, Iowa 50319; telephone: 515.281.3355; or email:

Iowa Administrative Code

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Agency, Chapter, or Rule By Publication & Effective Dates

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