What is a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)?

Standard Operating Procedure Definition

A standard operating procedure (SOP) is a step-by-step set of instructions to help teams or members of an organization complete routine tasks. SOPs help teams achieve efficiency, improve quality and output, and comply with industry regulations.


What is the purpose of a standard operating procedure?

SOPs are developed to ensure that routine tasks are performed consistently, accurately, safely, and efficiently across an organization. They can be used to train new or existing staff members on different processes and procedures. SOPs also serve as documentation to demonstrate compliance with various quality standards and regulations such as ISO.

*Source: https://blog.infraspeak.com/whats-is-sop/

What should a standard operating procedure contain?

A standard operating procedure should contain the following elements:

  • Name of the procedure
  • Objective of the work being performed
  • Instructions on how to perform the task.
  • Instructions are typically provided in the form of checklists, hierarchical steps, or flowcharts
  • Scope of the procedure
  • Responsibilities of those performing the tasks
  • Health and safety measures
  • Reference documents

*Source: https://blog.infraspeak.com/whats-is-sop/

How do standard operating procedures help product launches?

SOPs ensure that products are produced without errors. They also help streamline processes and keep everyone on the same page so that products are released on schedule and within budget. More importantly, SOPs ensure that all team members adhere to applicable regulatory requirements throughout the new product development and introduction (NPDI) process.

Best Practices for Quality & Compliance

Read our guides to learn best practices on how to eliminate issues and risks and launch high-quality, compliant products to market.