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How to write a handover report

Handover reports are used in a variety of fields and cover a variety of situations. They are a basic tool used by an employee in a particular position to inform the incoming or replacement employee of what has taken place and what needs to happen in the future to ensure a seamless employee transition in the handing-over of a job. It could encompass one shift changing to the next, or it could be a report for an incoming replacement employee.

The report should be considered a guide for your replacement, and depending on the job and duties, a handover report will contain information pertinent to that specific position. It is important to keep in mind your goals, duties, and any information your successor will need to complete the job in a competent manner. The ideal handover report will ensure that no unnecessary and unforeseen problems arise in the transition.

Make a thorough list of the all the information the incoming employee will need to know. Consider what you do on a daily basis, things you do weekly, monthly or yearly. Include information other than your basic responsibilities and duties; contacts, protocol, chain of command, passwords, keys, important dates, trainings and any other job specific information. Don’t try to do this in one sitting. Give yourself time to remember all that needs to be included.

Break you list down by priorities, frequency, type of information and sequence. List current projects, the dates or times they began, how you want them to progress, and a completion date or time. Include all aspects of the project that the replacement needs to know.

Organise the information in a manner suitable for the position. For a shift change handover report, begin with what was started on your shift and needs to be completed by the next. Include completed tasks so the incoming shift does not duplicate your tasks.

List the information your replacement will need to know before they can start, for a job handover report. Continue the list based on pertinence and sequence.

Make a detailed map and directory of the location of job specific documents and items for your replacement. They should not have to look any further than your report to find locations of any forms, supplies or keys.

Write a summary of goals for the position, yours and the company's, so your replacement knows where they should begin and where they should end. Include past accomplishments and describe how you achieved those accomplishments. This will give your replacement the tools to continue what you started without an interruption in the flow of the process and increases the likelihood of a successful outcome.

Create your report using an office computer program. Use an existing handover report template or create your own based on items specific to the job. Go over the report many times to ensure nothing has been missed. Give the report to a colleague to review; they may think of something you missed.


Include a breakdown of how much time should be spent on specific tasks. Add any tips on how your replacement can improve productivity and job performance.