What is a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)?
It is a set of instructions compiled together by the organization to help the workers carry out their routine job operations efficiently.
A procedure is designed to describe who, what, when, where and why by means of establishing corporate accountability in support of the implementation of a “policy”.
The purpose of developing a procedure is to establish a uniform and consistent method for the control and handling of essential documentation and all specifications held by the company.
The procedure should have the following contents:
Scope of Application
Reference and /or relevant documents
Purpose – Defines the intent and objective of the procedures.
Responsibilities – Defines the responsibilities of the issuance, approval, implementation and maintaining of the procedures.
Scope of Application – This section outlines the area, the department or the personnel to which the procedure is applicable as well as the extent of the application.
Amendment Sheet – Defines any changes (addition/deletion/inclusion) of any new points done to the procedure.
Reference documents/ records – This section lists the forms and documents that are referred to or generated as a result of a procedure.
Description/ Principles – This section specifies in detail what should be done, by whom, when, where and how it should be done, what material, equipment and documentation should be used and how it should be controlled to achieve the desired objectives as defined under purpose.
Verification – this section identifies the means by which the procedures implementation is verified
Approval – This section specifies the approval authority and approval confirmation for the procedure.
This is how the SOPs are developed in an organization.