About This Example SOP
This is an example SOP from a laboratory for a concrete tile manufacturer. It covers the main steps for measuring silt in sand.
This SOP was written to meet the needs of:
- inexperienced learners – learning tool
- competent people – used as a memory aid
- buddy trainer – training aid
Features of this Example
Steps are Written as Commands
A Standard Operating Procedure is basically a list of steps. In this SOP each step is written as a command. Using command language makes the SOP easier to read.
Command language tells people ‘what’ and ‘how’ – which is exactly what is needed in a SOP.
The steps are chunked into groups. Chunking makes steps easier to remember. It also helps people to find the information they need, quickly and easily. Each group of steps is given a name.
- steps are written as commands, a concise writing technique
- steps are chunked into named groups
- commands say ‘WHAT’ & ‘HOW’ instead of ‘WHY’
Supporting Information is grouped in Tables
Information that is not an ‘instruction’ is grouped into tables. These tables are called ‘Supporting Information Tables’ (SIT). Supporting information tables help keep the ‘why’ out of the instructions.
In this example SOP critical steps are identified by a symbol. This makes the critical steps easy to find. Putting the critical information in one place makes it easy to review before starting the task.
- information groups are easy to find and review
- symbols are used to link steps to supporting information
Pictures Add Value
Pictures are a great way to communicate information and reinforce learning. We chose this SOP as our example SOP because of the pictures. The pictures used in this SOP add ‘value’. They show ‘how’ to use equipment and do calculations. These pictures show how a SOP can reduce errors.
- pictures add value when they show ‘how’
- pictures can be used to explain a calculation
This Standard Operating Procedure was written using TRIM-SOP™ software and templates. TRIM-SOP™ does the formatting so you can focus on content.