The subsequent steps are the basic tasks normally involved in preparing a national SCP programme. The 10 steps are divided into four phases to: Plan, Develop, Implement and Monitor the programme. There are also cross-cutting steps on communication and integration of the programme with existing national strategies. A full elaboration of the steps with case studies can be found in the UNEP report "Planning for Change: Guidelines for National SCP Programmes". They represent an iterative process of continuous improvement that is often embedded into existing plans or strategies. The model was built on elements from earlier methodologies to develop national action plans in Asia and from consultations with several SCP experts that have been involved in formulating national programmes. The steps also assume adherence to the principles and elements of a national SCP programmes.
It should not be assumed that the following steps should be undertaken as a rigid sequence. In practice, in some countries with a specific context, some steps may not be required or will be combined with other steps. Some countries may choose to undertake several steps in parallel. In other cases additional steps will be required. As mentioned before, this is a flexible approach to SCP programme development and local circumstances will dictate the final process to be followed. These Guidelines will also be useful to countries that already have a SCP programme but are keen to improve and sustain the process (see National SCP Programme Cycle). The Guidelines also include examples of good practice to underline the different ways countries approach each phase of the process. The elements of these guidelines are drawn from the guidelines for national SCP programmes.