Standard Operating Procedures or SOPs are written documents that establish a standard set of step-by-step procedures or a course of actions in a work area as directed by an organization.  It helps the staff members to carry out operations that are routine in their nature or are repetitive. In this article, we have assimilated professional sample standard operating procedures templates in word format for your needs. 

It aims to eliminate errors due to miscommunication and to improve the efficiency of the overall performance of the staff members. In many organizations, SOP is to ensure consistency in product quality and following standard safety procedures while at work to keep workplace accidents minimal.

Different organizations have their different SOPs i.e. it is very specific to each organization. If employees do not follow the SOP, it becomes a document of limited value. Apart from electronic copies for easy sharing over mail or by any means of modern communication, a SOP should be available in hard copy too for quick printing and distribution purpose while training new employees. In the digital age, most companies send a SOP to their employees as a soft copy.

Moreover, the quality assurance team or a supervisor must review it periodically for any possible changes due to evolving changes in the industry or organization.

Sample Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) templates

Air Force – standard operating procedure templatestandard operating procedure template - air force

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Standard operating procedure template air force.doc

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Administrative – standard operating procedure template

standard operating procedure template - administrative

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Standard operating procedure template administrative.doc

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Automotive standard operating procedure template

standard operating procedure template automotive

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Standard operating procedure template for accounts payable

Download 97 kb 15 downloads

Accounting standard operating procedure template

standard operating procedure template accounting

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Standard operating procedure template accounting.doc

Download 98.5 16 downloads

Standard operating procedure template for accounts payable

standard operating procedure template for accounts payable

Standard operating procedure template for accounts receivable

standard operating procedure template for accounts receivable

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Standard operating procedure template for accounts receivable.doc

Download 90.5 31 downloads

Standard operating procedure template for bar

standard operating procedure template for bar

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Standard operating procedure template for bar.doc

Download 2.4 mb 12 downloads

Standard operating procedure template for cafe

standard operating procedure template cafe

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Standard operating procedure template cafe.doc

Download 449.8 kb 16 downloads

Standard operating procedure template for cleaning

standard operating procedure template cleaning

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Standard operating procedure template cleaning.doc

Download 103 kb 13 downloads

Chemistry standard operating procedure template

standard operating procedure template chemistry

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Standard operating procedure template chemistry.doc

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Standard operating procedure template for customer complaints

standard operating procedure template for customer complaints

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Standard operating procedure template for customer complaints.doc

Download 62 kb 26 downloads

Origin of SOP

The world felt the need of SOP for the first time after the deadly collision of two trains that happened on July 17, 1856. This was two decades before the invention of the telephone. Experts believe that it was possible to avert the collision if there was a SOP at that time with the experienced engineers. An approximate l50 people died and 100 received injuries in the train accident.  Soon, after the collision, there was an outcry over the bad state of safety measures and this gives birth to the very first SOP.  Safety measures were standardized, and the railroad companies documented all possible actions that their employees should refer and follow during different circumstances.  Soon other companies follow their foot- steps and having a SOP become a common affair across the world by organizations, businesses, etc. Today, even small businesses have their own SOP documented clearly.

Types of SOP

There are two types of SOP i.e. technical and administrative. While a technical SOP instructs the user or staff members about how to validate a software, do quality assurance, or testing, an administrative SOP many consists of entirely different things like defining procedures about office correspondence, review of product requirements and employment training. In many organizations, instead of using the term ‘SOP’, employees use terms like standard protocols, laboratory procedures, Department Operating Procedure i.e. DOP, Quality Operating Procedure i.e. QOP, and much more.

For example, in the hospitality sector, most hotels, motels, or resorts have a well-written SOP for handling calls of potential guests for reservation requests. It has its steps written in the following manner:

  • Pick up the call within three rings.
  • Greet in a pleasant and audible voice.
  • Introduce yourself by telling your name followed by your hotel name.
  • Ask the caller how you can help him or her. For example, “Good morning/evening, this is your name, how may I help you?”
  • Wait for a second so that the caller can answer or respond.
  • When the guest ask for an accommodation in your hotel, tell about the types of accommodations available and the rates.
  • Ask the guest about the type of accommodation he or she wants to reserve.
  • Wait for a second so that the caller can respond and then as per the response, ask the date of arrival and departure as well as his or her contact number.
  • Check availability of the specific type of accommodation on the given dates.
  • If there is availability, inform the guest about the same and tell about the amenities for that type of accommodation offered by your hotel.
  • If there is no availability for the given dates, ask the guest if he or she would like to have another type of accommodation as there is no availability for that type of accommodations or rooms.
  • If the guest response is in ‘yes’, check the availability of any accommodation for the given dates and if found inform about the same to the guest.
  • Ask the guest, if he or she will like to avail an airport pick or drop service.
  • Ask the guest regarding the mode by which he or she will make the payment i.e. cash, credit card, etc.
  • Request him or her to pay the advance amount for reservation.
  • If the guest has made the payment of the advanced amount, inform him or her about the reservation being made successfully and give the confirmation number.
  • Conclude the conversation by saying, “Thank you for calling your hotel name, have a nice day”.

Standard operating procedure template for fire department

standard operating procedure template fire department

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Standard operating procedure template fire department.doc

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Standard operating procedure template for drivers

standard operating procedure template for drivers

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Standard operating procedure template for drivers.doc

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Standard operating procedure template for events management

standard operating procedure template for events management

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standard operating procedure template for events management.doc

Download 282 kb 25 downloads

Standard operating procedure template for logistics

standard operating procedure template for logistics

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Standard operating procedure template for logistics.doc

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Standard operating procedure template for security guards

standard operating procedure template security guards

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Standard operating procedure template security guards.doc

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Standard operating procedure template for hotel sales

standard operating procedure template hotel sales

Inventory standard operating procedure template

standard operating procedure template inventory

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standard operating procedure template inventory.doc

Download 48.5 kb 22 downloads

Standard operating procedure template for food industry

standard operating procedure template food industry

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Standard operating procedure template food industry.doc

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Standard operating procedure template mining

standard operating procedure template mining

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Standard operating procedure template mining.doc

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Standard operating procedure template for purchasing

standard operating procedure template purchasing

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Standard operating procedure template purchasing.doc

Download 623.5 kb 26 downloads

Schools standard operating procedure template

standard operating procedure template schools

Software standard operating procedure template

standard operating procedure template software

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standard operating procedure template software.doc

Download 438 kb 22 downloads

Standard operating procedure template for training

standard operating procedure template for training

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Standard operating procedure template for training.doc

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Standard operating procedure template for warehouse

standard operating procedure template warehouse

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Standard operating procedure template warehouse.doc

http://demplates.com/download/standard-operating-procedure-template-veterinary-doc/ 58.5 kb 29 downloads

Standard operating procedure template for retail stores

standard operating procedure template for retail stores

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Standard operating procedure template for retail stores.doc

Download 1 mb 23 downloads

IT standard operating procedure template

IT standard operating procedure template

ISO standard operating procedure template

iso standard operating procedure template

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ISO standard operating procedure template.doc

Download 106 kb 14 downloads

Healthcare Industry – Standard Operating Procedure Templates

Similarly, in the healthcare industry, even for the first aid of electrical burns, SOP steps goes like the following manner.

  • Make the scene of accident safe
  • Turn off the power
  • If you can’t turn off it, stand on some dry and non-conductive surface like wooden board or telephone book
  • Use a non-conductive object like a wooden or plastic stick, wooden chair or rubber doormat to separate the person from the electric current
  • If there are high voltage lines, call the local power company to shut off the power
  • When the power is shut off, approach the person
  • Check the airway, breathing and circulation
  • Do CPR if there is no breathing or pulse
  • Check if there are any other injuries
  • Call the doctor immediately

Standard operating procedure template for nursing

standard operating procedure template nursing

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Standard operating procedure template nursing.doc

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Pharmacy standard operating procedure template

standard operating procedure template pharmacy

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Standard operating procedure template pharmacy.doc

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Veterinary standard operating procedure template

standard operating procedure template veterinary

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Standard operating procedure template veterinary.doc

Download 54.5 kb 23 downloads

Standard operating procedure template in clinical research

standard operating procedure template in clinical research

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Standard operating procedure template in clinical research.doc

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Standard operating procedure template for laboratory

standard operating procedure template laboratory

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standard operating procedure template laboratory.doc

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Advantages of a SOP

There are myriads of advantages of using a SOP within an organization irrespective of its size and nature of business. Some of the benefits are as follows

  • Minimization of variations by different employees while executing a process
  • Improves credibility and ability of an organization to defense itself in any circumstances
  • Promotion of quality due to consistency in process implementation methods
  • Compliance with organization requirements
  • Minimizes risk that occurs due to miscommunication
  • Lessen mistakes while reconstructing a project activity from scratch
  • Lessen instances of workplace accidents
  • Make things simple for auditing teams
  • Encourages continual improvement in the ability of employees to execute specific procedures
  • Make training of trainees an easy affair within an organization, which is essential in almost every organization

How to write a SOP

There is no specific rule to write a SOP as every organization has different things to write. It is mostly organization specific so you need to write it regarding the processes or roles and responsibilities of the employees of your organization. So, if break into some definite steps, the process of writing a SOP will include the following steps.

  1. Firstly, you need to have clarity about the information that you want to put in the SOP
  2. Next, you need to write the title of the SOP along with its unique identification number and applicable department name

III.    Now, write the purpose and scope of the SOP

  1. Next, prepare a table of contents in a page that should include all the things that you think are worthy to include in the SOP. This helps in quick referencing, especially when a SOP is quite lengthy
  2. Next, break the available information into logical steps, which others can follow and write about each as per the order in the table of contents
  3. You have to add detailing to each step based on its level of complexity, and number of employees or people who have to follow the same

VII.    Use simple sentences. Add as many flowcharts or diagrams as needed to simplify the information

VIII.    For creating flowcharts in less time and with high accuracy, online tools like the draw.io, Gliffy, and Creately comes extremely handy

  1. Prepare a reference page in which cite all the sources from where the information is sourced
  2. Mention the name of existing SOPs if you have taken any reference
  3. Write about the equipment employees will require. Also, include the sources where they can find the same to complete or execute the procedures listed in the SOP

XII.    Include the precautionary steps that employees should undertake to avoid faults, mishaps, degradation in quality, and much more

XIII.    Ensure complete accuracy about the procedures whether technical or non-technical in nature by interviewing employees to execute the procedures on a daily basis

XIV.    Seek approval from the concerned authority to get the SOP approved or get it reviewed first from the Quality assurance team.

  1. Finally, get the signatures of their approval on the title page and if made any revisions as per their suggestions, do not forget to include the revision date or number of revisions on the title page

Dos and Don’ts of SOP writing

Some dos and don’ts are essential to take care while writing a SOP are the following ones:

  1. Write in an active voice with commanding words like Unplug, Include, Call, Request, Print, Check, Give, Edit, Do, Don’t, and much more
  2. Give examples wherever possible to ensure more clarity regarding procedure

III. Keep it well organized in its structure with proper headings and subheadings or bullet points wherever felt necessary

  1. Proof read it several times before submission for approval
  2. Make sure the document features no redundancy in terms of information
  3. Don’t write in a funny way as not everyone has a good sense of humor, and it can backfire

VII. Make sure the entire text is in a logical order

VIII. Never use long and complex sentences to convey intended information. Instead, convert it into simple and short sentences that everyone can understand with a quick glance

  1. In a technical SOP, never forget to include an ample number of screenshots. Using Print Screen key, this is quite easy
  2. Use the full form of an abbreviation of a technical term when the term is use for the first time within a SOP. For example, use the term User Interface for the first time while writing a SOP on website design, and then refer the term as simply UI.
  3. Refrain from using words that can be difficult to understood by all employees referring the SOP in the near future like instead of writing ‘finalize’, write ‘end’ or instead of writing ‘utilize’, write ‘use’.

XII. Pay attention to formatting before submitting the SOP for request of approval

Popular tools available for writing SOP

Technology has now facilitated people struggling with writing a SOP by giving them necessary tools. Some of the tools that you can try to write a SOP within minimal time are the following ones:

  • SweetProcess
  • Process Street
  • Pipefy
  • Hackpad
  • Evernote
  • Wunderlist
  • WorkFlowy
  • Trello

You can also do one thing i.e. go through the large collection of our SOP templates that will definitely help you in writing your own one with a little practice. We have a vast collection for almost every industry type so that you can have a good idea about the SOP writing tactics. You can also select the one that seems most appropriate to you to meet your objectives and download the same with a simple click.

Please, spare a few minutes to share your thoughts about our efforts to minimize your time in writing a SOP in the comment section below.

Important Resources for creating Excellent SOPs:

  1. http://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Standard-Operating-Procedure – Learn about how to write a SOP effectively.
  2. http://smallbusiness.chron.com/write-standard-operations-procedures-manual-2596.html – SOP guide for small businesses.
  3. https://www.bizmanualz.com/save-time-writing-procedures/what-are-policies-and-procedures-sop.html – How you can save time using SOPs.
  4. http://virtualproductivitysolutions.co.za/2012/10/10/5-tips-for-writing-standard-operating-procedures/ – Miscellenious tips for writing SOPs.
  5. https://www.des.umd.edu/ls/sop/ – Another SOP guide.
  6. http://www.digicast.com.au/blog/bid/88627/5-Mistakes-Companies-make-with-their-Standard-Operating-Procedures – Tips to avoid common mistakes while creating SOPs.