An SOP is a meticulous step-by-step description of how to do a task that leave no chance for errors and divergence. Writing a good SOP is not an easy job. It requires a firm understanding of the task to be described, an ability to describe in specific unique to that laboratory. Writing, implementing, maintaining and assessing, revising an SOP are all different and necessary jobs. Many people must continuously be involved in these steps.
Even a standardized method, such as an ASTM or IP method, is insufficiently written to pass as a well-written and compliant SOP. The reasons why will be described, as will the steps needed to convert a standard method into an SOP.
The necessary steps both within the laboratory and within the supporting areas for implementation and revision of an SOP are complex and will be described. These include recordkeeping, safety, training, and other areas.
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