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Completing an internal policy document and the review clause has created some debate in the office. Some may call it petty, I call it a quest for betterment, either way I am seeking some consensus from the experts as to which wording is more appropriate.

So, when specifying that the policy review will be conducted at least annually and also as needed, which wording is more correct?

'The policy will be reviewed and updated annually and as needed' OR 'The policy will be reviewed and updated annually or as needed'

Google results and logic seem to support the first but I guess I am after best practice as determined by those 'in the know' :-)

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  • As the phrase "at least annually and also as needed" captures what is required without ambiguity, then I would use that rather than trying to shorten it to something that could be misinterpreted.
    – user323578
    Apr 18, 2019 at 12:25
  • Thanks Jason, head of nail meet hammer. From what I see online 'annually and as required' is used with enough frequency to provide precedent, however I will suggest your edit to do one better and eliminate the ambiguity.
    – user55646
    Apr 19, 2019 at 10:20

2 Answers 2

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Without realizing it, you've already answered your own question.

You say this:

So, when specifying that the policy review will be conducted at least annually and also as needed, which wording is more correct?

When you're not thinking about it, you automatically use the correct grammar.

It might also be due to the fact that you are using qualifiers that make the choice more obvious:

at least annually and also as needed


If you were to use or, then one or the other condition would be optional:

annually or as needed

But if it's mandatory that annual reviews be conducted (which you indicate when you say at least annually), then you cannot put that condition on its own in front of an or condition, at least not without rephrasing:

annually or annually and as needed

But in that phrasing, there is the possibility of there being no as-needed reviews:

annually and only annually or annually and as needed

However, I doubt you mean that either. Unless you really do want to say there is the possibility of never conducting any reviews outside of an annual schedule.

This leaves us back at the original and conjunction:

✔ annually and as needed


However you interpret it, if annual reviews will always be required, and as-needed reviews will never be denied, then the correct conjunction is and.

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  • I am wholeheartedly on team 'and'. It was the level of support for 'or' that left me flabbergasted. This is why I initially submitted this to the project management site in case this was logically incorrect English-wise but industry standard project management talk. Given your credentials I feel this is unlikely to be the case, I really appreciate your input.
    – user55646
    Apr 19, 2019 at 10:16
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The word "and" makes the annual update mandatory. If you used "or", the annual update becomes optional. So the proper word to use depends if the annual is mandatory or optional.

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