What is SOP? (Standard Operating Procedures)
An SOP or standard operating procedure is defined as a step-by-step guide or instructions that are provided to guide or help the employee in performing specific operations smoothly without any hindrance or difficulties. The ultimate aim of standard operating procedure or SOP is to ensure quality and uniform output. It effectively reduces miscommunication and ambiguity.
The standard operating procedure is a detail-oriented document that has to provide step-by-step guidance and instructions as to how an employee within an organization must proceed further in completing certain tasks and processes.
It is thus very important for creating SOP or standard operating procedures for the following reasons, which have been mentioned below-
- Having SOPs is a time-saving process. Creating an SOP can be time-consuming, the creator needs to devote a lot of time to create one. However, having preset guidelines and rules effectively streamlines the workflow. It thus helps the employees to complete the task in the given time frame.
- It makes sure of the fact that the employees perform all the activities and the task in a very consistent way. It minimizes any chance of adversities. This makes business handling easier and hassle-free.
- Having SOPs make sure of the fact that the industry compliance standards are met and followed properly. It makes sure of the fact that the policies, relevant laws, and regulations are all followed. It avoids any sort of litigation risk.
- It makes communication more easy and convenient. Having standard operating procedures makes the job more easy and effective. It makes the communication easy as the steps and guidance is already provided in a clear and lucid way. Moreover, in case of not understanding they can revise the document again and again.
- The SOP documents provide consistency of operations as a smooth workflow is ensured. Since all the employees have the same kind of document. Therefore the efficiency of the work also increases. Chances of miscommunication and goof up also decrease. This leads to consistent performance and ensures the fact that the resources are not wasted.
How to create a Standard Operating Procedure Template
The steps that are involved in creating SOP or Standard operating templated have been listed below-
Step 1: Begin with clarity in the mind.
Step 2: The format for the SOP needs to be chosen.
Step 3: Inputs need to be asked for.
Step 4: The scope of the SOP needs to be defined.
Step 5: The audience then needs to be chosen.
Step 6: The standard operating procedure template needs to be drafted.
Step 7: The document created needs to be reviewed, tested, edited, and then repeated.
A standard operating procedure template has been provided below-
I. NAME OF THE PROCEDURE:
The purpose of Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for SOPs is to provide
The purpose of the associated SOP Manual to ensure accurate conduct of
- Other Essential SOP’s
- Other Resources
V. SUPPLIES AND REAGENTS
- Applicability of this SOP
- Organization of the SOP Manual
|Number||Volume Title||Description of the Content|
Sample Template of Standard Operating Procedure (SOP):
|Page||1 of xx||Last reviewed/ Update date|
Standard Operating Procedure
- Purpose _______________________________________________________
- Scope _______________________________________________________
- Prerequisites ______________________________________________________
- Responsibilities ______________________________________________________
- Procedure _______________________________________________________
- Reference ______________________________________________________
- Definitions ______________________________________________________
The steps in creating a standard operating procedure template:
Here is a list of the steps that one can follow to create a standard operating procedure (SOP) template-
Step 1: In the first step, one needs to generate a list of the business processes. The aim for creating the SOP needs to be determined and figured out. The tasks, workflows, processes need to be figured out. For easy a survey can be conducted as well. The survey conducted will serve as the basis for creating the SOP document.
Step 2: The objectives for the SOP document need to be drafted. The priorities need to be set. The document needs to be structured in a way such that it provides the employees with the most optimized solutions and help.
Step 3: In the third step, the format for the SOP document needs to be chosen. The document henceforth can be considered as a sample template. For reference, one can also refer to the sample SOP templates that are available easily on the online platform.
Step 4: The audience for the SOP document needs to be identified and figured out. Questions like this need to be asked before further proceeding.
- Does an SOP already exist?
- What’s the size of the audience?
- Are they new employees?
- What prior knowledge do they have?
Step 5: The SOP document is drafted keeping in mind the employees as the end-user. Therefore in drafting the SOP file, it is necessary that the employees collaborate and key inputs are taken from them as well.
Step 6: In the step further jot down the document. Make sure you make your SOP document interactive. Add screenshots, images, flow charts, screen recording, videos, and other such details to make the document more interactive and engaging.
Step 7: Making an SOP or standard operating procedure template can be time-consuming and exhausting. There the document once framed keeps it as a sample document. The SOP’s must be converted to a living document so that they can get reviewed periodically. Ideally, after an interval of six months, the SOP document can be reviewed and rechecked.
The mentioned below elements are commonly incorporated in the most Standard Operating procedure (SOP):
- Title Page
- Table of Contents
- Roles and Responsibilities
- Related Documents.
- Revision History
- Approval Signature
Furthermore, to make the document more comprehensive, inputs from the working employees can be taken as well.
MS Word Standard Operating Procedure Template
The procedure elements of any standard SOP document has been mentioned below-
- The policy which is described by the SOP must be successfully met.
- The particular responsibilities bear in mind the people who are listed in the procedure and what they are supposed to do.
- Effective criteria: states what is important to measure
- The definitions basically consist of words that are to be used in the procedure that the readers may not comprehend.
- The policy describes the mission or standard that your procedure should meet.
- The scope is what areas of your company or organization will be affected by the procedure being designed.
- References, that one needs to include references that will support your procedure further.
- Before proceeding any further the SOP file needs to be revised thoroughly
The final step that goes in making the standard operating procedure (SOP) document is finalizing the fonts, and the styles. The characters, special characters, color schemes, and other factors need to be taken special care of.
The steps that are involved in creating Standard Operating Template (SOP) are as follows-
- The first step involved creating an SOP template file.
- The SOP format then needs to be defined.
- The common SOP elements need to be added.
- The SOP styles need to be finalized.
- Everyone needs to be informed about the new SOP template.
Mentioned below are some of the standard procedure (SOP) templates that one can consider as references while drafting their SOP documents-
Sample:1 of standard operating procedure (SOP) Template:
|Name of Faculty:||Page……….. Of ……………|
|SOP Number _________________
|Replaces Revision Number
Standard Procedure Operating Template
- Materials and Equipment:
- Safety issues:
- Reference documents:
- Change History:
Sample: 2 of standard operating procedure (SOP) Template:
STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE (SOP)
for the ________________________________
Authorisation No.: __________________________________________
Name of Regional
Management Group ___________________________________________
Content of the personalized Standard Operating Procedure:
- SAFETY EQUIPMENT AND PRECAUTIONS.
- MAINTENANCE AND CALIRA OF INJECTING EQUIPMENT.
- TRANSPORT AND STORAGE OF 1080 CONCENTRATE.
- PREPARATION OF FRESHLY CURED WET MEAT BAITS.
- STORAGE AND TRANSFER OF PREPARED BAITS TO AUTHORISED 1080 USERS.
- DISPOSAL OF UNUSED 1080 CONCENTRATE.
- RECORD KEEPING.
Sample: 3 of standard operating procedure (SOP) Template:
- Equipment for developing Equipment SOPs
- Objective and Scope
- Abbreviations and definitions
- Tasks, responsibilities, and accountabilities
5. Description of the piece of equipment.
6. Safety and environment.
7. Startup procedure [calibration and controls] and maintenance
Sample: 4 of standard operating procedure (SOP) Template:
Standard Operating Procedure
|Recommended by Executive Committee|
|Approved by Board|
- DOCUMENT REVISION CONTROL
|Revision Number||Page Numbers||Change Effected||Date of Change|
Sample: 5 of standard operating procedure (SOP) Template:
- Definitions and abbreviations
- Personal pre-qualifications
- Equipment and materials
- Reagents and solutions
- Detailed instructions for use
- Reading, interpretation, recording, and reporting
- Quality control
- Waste management and other safety precautions.
5. Related documents
6. Rationale for change os SOP version
|Complied by:||Examined by:||Approved by:||Replaced:||New Version|
- Definition and abbreviations
- Personal pre-qualifications
- Medical fitness
- Educational training
- Equipment and materials
Sample: 6 of standard operating procedure (SOP) Template:
Standard Procedure Template
- Brief Safety Overview:
- Routes of Exposure and Toxicological Effects:
- Handling Instructions:
- Exposure Response and First Aid Measures:
- Emergency Procedure for Chemical Spills and Accidental Releases:
- Animal Procedures
For any other concerns or questions, please contact
Pl contact information
Name: ________________________ Date: _____________________
Office Phone : ___________________ E-mail: ____________________
Cell Phone: _____________________ Home-phone: _______________
Publishing your SOP Template
Before publishing the standard operating procedure or the SOP document it is important that it is drafted first. For drafting the file one can follow the steps that have listed above or take into account the above-listed template samples for reference. After having developed one SOP document and file one can easily figure out the gaps and correct them accordingly. In case of any gaps, one can follow up with the SAME as soon as possible. It is very important that the standard operating procedure (SOP) template is reviewed timely.
In case the reviewing process involves multiple persons then it can be tiresome and time-consuming. It is also very important that before the standard operating procedure document is published an achievable and manageable review system is accomplished. In many organizations generally, a three-tiered approach is adopted for reviewing the standard operating procedure document.
The process that is involved in reviewing has been mentioned below-
- Review the document with the experts- The standard operating procedure document is made for multiple purposes and hence all the documents created are not the same. Therefore, it is essential that the views of the experts are taken into consideration before printing or publishing the final standard operating procedure document. The experts can cross-check whether the information provided is correct or not. They can also suggest in case of any changes required.
- It is important that the standard operating procedure document or SOP document is reviewed by the superiors and others who are involved in the management system. It is important that the inputs are taken from everyone who is in the management group. After the standard operating procedure document is approved for the SOP the review of the upper management can be taken in.
- In the last step, it is important that the standard operating procedure document is forwarded to the quality assurance group for further approval. This step is the final step involved before publishing the standard operating procedure (SOP) document. Many times crucial changes are recommended by the quality assurance groups in case it directly impacts the department. Therefore, while framing the document, flexibility is the key.
The last and final step that now remains is publishing the standard operating procedure document throughout the organization. The part that is related to publishing is generally related to the quality assurance group and the management department. The process of publishing the standard operating procedure document or SOP document can be automated by the means of automation. The software can also be used to automatically generate multiple SOP folders and documents. The SOP’s can further be distributed electronically, and the receipts of the SOPs can also be captured automatically.