Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is an integral feature of any Quality System. For those who are beginning to experience SOPs for the very first time, or are operating in an organization that is trying to set up SOPs, we’ve put together a brief guide to what Standard Operating Procedures are and why the organisation needs to enforce them.
Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are standardized procedures that an organization has in order to ensure multiple delivery & services to their respective clients. SOPs are used to illustrate compliance with regulations or operational policies and to document how duties must be carried out within a specified organization.
Sometimes when an organization is expanding and just trying to start, the Head of the organization or the management team tends to make all internal decisions. When an organisation approaches a certain magnitude, this type of decision-making may restrict its capacity to expand more because the CEO or management team cannot take all decisions within the correct timeline or be interested with every area of the firm. In this case, the SOPs will usually take over and serve as your ruling term. SOPs may also be an efficient way to explain improvements to the staff about the way your company runs.
The requirements for SOPs and their format will differ from industry to industry. The SOP criteria will therefore focus on the nature of operation the organization is conducting or the regulations that regulate the company. In clinical research, these criteria are unique.
Why do organisation need them?
Methodologies are not an end-to-end solution – they will not assure outstanding performance or great results. Nevertheless, what SOPs can achieve is insure that you have a formal management program and procedures in place, trained employees and a positive business community. SOPs support the right people in the right environment in their purest form.
SOPs let you assess more of what you’re doing today, but they still let you determine whether to go on. Assume if your organization is looking to introduce a new data management software suite.
To decide what product you choose to purchase, you need to consider if your staff can view the program and whether it can impact the business processes. If you have systematic and detailed SOPs, you can use them to measure & analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the new software. Through completely knowing the internal procedures, you can find the right decision for the company.
The SOP is a helpful business tool as it interacts the appropriate way to carry out an activity within your institution. Standard operating procedures shall, at a minimal level, give you the following:
Consistency – The biggest reason for procedures is consistency in the way an individual performs a specific task or activity. The more reliable the procedure is from individual to individual, the less often there would be consistency issues.
Error Control – The prescribed protocol describes a series of guidelines for executing a function. As long as each individual on your team performs the task as written, there is a greater chance of error reduction.