Best Practices For How To Structure And Write A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)
John J. Meola is a Certified Safety Professional (CSP) and an Associates in Risk Management Degree (ARM).
He has over 25 years of experience in construction, insurance, manufacturing and risk management. He is an Adjunct Instructor at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Business and has a BA in Education.
He is the Safety Director for Pillar Inc. based in Richmond VA and is a consultant with private clients in various industries. He is an OSHA Construction Safety Outreach Trainer and is the author of two safety handbooks. He is also a regular contributor to several construction trade publications and presents seminars to select audiences all over the United States.
Using a library of SOP’s to help organize and control your operations is just good business sense. This is particularly important in high-risk and critical operations, construction or industrial, where a mistake can be costly or result in catastrophic accidents or failures.
One of the prime reasons to create an SOP is to predict and eliminate incidents, errors, accidents, failures, poor quality outcomes, etc. This process has become an accepted norm in many businesses, particularly manufacturing, construction, service industries, transportation and logistics, CPG and many other businesses.
Learning the key elements and steps, the vocabulary and definitions applicable to the SOP creation process will be covered in our Webinar. The process can be a little confusing to the uninitiated. We will review the main elements of SOP formation and describe how to compose the document in sufficient detail to reflect your technical and managerial acumen.
When done correctly, writing an SOP is not a one-person exercise, no matter how good that person is. It typically involves several levels of talent in an organization. This Webinar covers a lot of ground and you will learn valuable information on the methodology and concepts behind why this document is the gold-standard in running a business efficiently over the long term.
- Understanding the goals of the SOP library
- An acceptable minimum level of organization and writing ability to compose a SOP
- Who should take the lead on the initial draft, who are the ancillary contributors; when to engage Subject Matter Experts, etc.
- References, metrics, guides, standards and Best Practices
- What are the requisite degrees of technical and trade knowledge to lend credibility to your document
- Document control practices, ISO Standards
- Authorities, responsibilities, sign–offs and approvals
- Common mistakes, failures and errors in the SOP construction process
- Where to find free and up to date source documents of relevant information
- Resources and references that will add legitimacy to your findings
Course Level - Basic to Intermediate
Who Should Attend
- Safety Directors; Safety Officers; Safety Managers
- Personal Injury Attorneys, lawyers
- Insurance Loss Control Managers; Claim Adjusters
- Human Resource personnel
- Field Superintendents
- Working Foremen
- Supervisors; Crew Leaders
- Safety Committees
- Business Managers
- Property Managers
- Operations Managers
- Project Managers
- EHS Managers
- Risk Managers
- Military Safety Officers
- NAVFAC Personnel – US Army Corp of Engineers
- OSHA Personnel
- Industrial Hygienists; Health Care; In-Service Trainers
- Building Code Enforcement Officers
- Safety Auditors, Inspectors, Technicians
- Engineers in Training (EIT’s); Contract Auditors and Monitors
- QA/QC Officers
Why Should You Attend
Accidents cost money and damage reputations. They can bring lawsuits and cause all kinds of problems for an organization, including the drive up your insurance costs. The same is true to a large extent for product Quality, on-time job completion and a host of other deliverables on a Project or a construction site, or an assembly line. SOP’s help minimizes the potential for failure in these and other categories and can help create a defense against allegations of negligence or indifference. You cared enough to WRITE DOWN THE STEPS and proceduralize the process. Good call on your part!
SOP’s came into common use during and following WWII when business had to re-tool and readjust to demands of Mil-Spec and then to the post-war Baby Boom. Consumers wanted the right product or service and companies wanted to be customer responsive.
The Sop process was largely manual, paper and pencil based, for about 50 years, until the CPG and other strong market drivers started to increase demands for quality and safety, to name the two prominent drivers of the process.
The concept of TQM –Total Quality Management – emerged as a primary motivator for SOP’s, in the 1980s and the process took off from there into many different iterations.
The digital age made the SOP construction and maintenance process much more flexible and adaptable. This I how the ‘Wiki’ concept was born, allowing any person to contribute their knowledge to the applicable document.
In addition to helping your operations team get it right on the first attempt, your client will likely be impressed with your knowledge and ability to spell out in detail how you plan to get the job done and not cause a headache from a preventable glitch or accident.
When correctly assembled, a well-written SOP is a confidence-building document, that proves you know what you’re talking about and the client made the right choice in selecting you.
These documents are critical to an organizations document library and operating protocols. SOP’s build uniformity, safety, and quality into one easy to access format.
This webinar will explore the several methods commonly used to construct a system of SOP’s for your organization and get the most out of them.
They are actually called by many different names, but the underlying theory and principle are the same- get the job done according to Company Policy, cultural values, safety, quality, efficiency, and incident avoidance, for example. Military, large complex organizations, construction activity of all types, self-directed field crews, technical trades, high-risk operations, dispersed geographical operations, seasonal and hard-to-manage operations are some of the primary applicable operations.
The growing demands of the commercial market require that contractors and vendors of all categories be able to demonstrate their skill and proficiency and ability to deliver the goods or services on time, error-free and safely, SOP’s are a vital component in assuring the right outcome on the first go-around. They form a vital element in the Continuous Improvement cycle, acting as a starting point for baseline metrics and moving forward.