Guidance for Preparing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

April 5, 2012

The U.S. Environmental Protection (EPA) Agency has developed an Agency-wide program of quality assurance for environmental data. EPA’s Quality System requires documentation of both management and technical activities. This guidance document, Guidance for Preparing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) provides a standard working tool that can be used to document routine quality system management and technical activities. It replaces EPA’s March 2001’s Guidance for Preparing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) EPA/240/B-01-004 with minimal revisions in text and new examples of both technical and administrative SOPs.

A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is a set of written instructions that document a routine or repetitive activity followed by an organization. The development and use of SOPs are an integral part of a successful quality system as it provides individuals with the information to perform a job properly, and facilitates consistency in the quality and integrity of a product or end-result. The term “SOP” may not always be appropriate and terms such as protocols, instructions, worksheets, and laboratory operating procedures may also be used. For this document “SOP” will be used.

Source: http://www.epa.gov/quality/qs-docs/g6-final.pdf