SOP or Standard Operating Procedure is a document that details the processes, procedures, responsibility, purpose of the procedures, monitoring and deviation procedures and the record relevant to the procedure.
Why is SOP important?
SOP is important for a few reasons
- Documenting standard processes and provide guidelines for corrective actions when a deviation occurs
- Provide general guidelines for keeping predictable processes
- Can be a supportive document for certain regulatory requirements
Evaluating if Your SOP works?
You may be asking if an SOP is important, how do we know if our SOP is working? At SFPM Consulting, when we evaluate an SOP, we evaluate these factors:
- Employee following documented SOP, ie. Procedure for the SOP is the same as implemented employee practices
- An outsider can understand and follow the procedures just by reading the SOP
- SOP training performed effectively
- Documented SOP meet process requirements and other relevant regulatory requirements
- The SOP is supported by documented records.
Good practices when it comes to SOP
- Consult the user for the SOP when writing SOP to ensure that the procedures are implementable.
- During a procedure change, remember to update the SOP and provide training to all affected users. Document the training.
- SOP reviews to be conducted annually to determine if the implemented procedures are the documented procedures, or when changes occur.
Along with COVID-19, we have drafted a simple to follow COVID-19 SOP (available for download for free here). Also, checkout Work Safe BC resources for returning to work. Please let us know how this SOP works for you.