Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)

SOP is the abbreviation for Standard Operating Procedure. This article describes the SOP meaning and explains how to create SOPs.

What is a Standard Operating Procedure and what does SOP stand for?


A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is a standardized process that comprises a series of detailed instructions. It is designed to help employees perform complex tasks properly and safely. The main objective of an SOP is to develop an effective quality system, reduce absenteeism and ensure compliance with industry regulations and standards. Non-compliance with SOPs can lead to significant errors in production and operation.


Standard Operating Procedures are written step-by-step instructions that describe exactly how to carry out a routine activity. Employees should fill them out in exactly the same way each time to keep the business consistent. Standard Operating Procedures help to ensure quality, safety and efficiency in industries such as:


  • Manufacturing

  • Construction

  • Pharmaceutical industry

  • Food and hospitality

Standard Operating Procedures are primarily designed for:


  • Quality and conformity

  • High-risk tasks

  • New processes or business areas

  • Routine or regularly repeated activities

  • Training programs

SOPs should never be difficult to read or vaguely formulated. An SOP should be short and easy to understand and should contain concrete action steps that are easy to follow. A good standard operating procedure should clearly outline the steps and inform the employee of any safety concerns.


You can find out how to create an SOP in detail in this checklist article about standard operating procedure examples or start directly with one of our standard operating procedures samples (free of charge) by clicking on a suitable template below.




Featured templates

Bathroom Cleaning SOP Checklist

Bathroom Cleaning SOP Checklist

Use this Bathroom Cleaning SOP Checklist to properly clean the bathroom and assure SOP compliance. See template

Corridor Cleaning and Maintenance SOP Checklist

Corridor Cleaning and Maintenance SOP Checklist

Use this template for the process of sweeping, dusting, and cleaning of hotels or office corridors See template

Housekeeping SOP Checklist

Housekeeping SOP Checklist

Use this SOP-template for hotel room inspection. See template

Kitchen Cleaning SOP Checklist

Kitchen Cleaning SOP Checklist

Use this General Kitchen Cleaning SOP Checklist to keep a clean and sanitised restaurant. See template

Manufacturing SOP Compliance Template

Manufacturing SOP Compliance Template

A manufacturing SOP Compliance Template is used to ensure that workers follow the prescribed SOPs for operations. See template

SOP Checklist: Sanitizing Food Contact Surfaces

SOP Checklist: Sanitizing Food Contact Surfaces

Use this SOP template to prevent food-borne diseases by assuring that all food contact surfaces are cleaned. See template

Tablet Compression SOP

Tablet Compression SOP

A tablet compression SOP template is used to ensure that the correct steps are taken by lab personnel when using the tablet press. See template