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Standard Operating Procedures - SOP

Standard Operating procedures or SOP's are a set of clearly written instructions which outline the steps or tasks needed to complete a job, operation or operate a piece of machinery or plant. The instructions must be written in a brief manner in simple language that all operators and employees required to perform the task are able to read and understand.

Standard Operating procedures should have the following characteristics:

-The department and area where the task is carried out
-The person who has written the SOP and his/her job title details
-The person who has authorized or checked the SOP
-The SOP must make use of picture or illustrations as much as possible.
-The SOP must use simple and easy to understand language, preferably in dot points.
-The SOP must also contain any OH&S information.

The advantages of having Standard operating procedures (SOP's) for tasks in any operation are many but the main advantages are:

- Standardized work methods

-Elimination or reduction of operator errors

-SOP's can be used as training materials for new operators and staff education

-SOP's can be used in continuous improvement initiatives in operations

-Can be useful in solving production problems

-SOP's can be used as evidence of compliance to quality standards and iso quality standards

To learn how to write an SOP visit: writing a standard operating procedure - SOP Template

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