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How & When to Get the Procedure Approved

We've now completed seven stages in the Procedure writing process. From gathering the requirements, interviewing the Subject Matter Experts, drafting the procedures and getting them reviewed. This takes us up the stage where the documents must be signed off by the Project Stakeholders. While this seems straightforward, there are a few hazards  that need to be avoided.

How to Get the Procedure Approved

Now that you have finished writing the procedure, you need to get it approved and sent out to those who will use it.

  • The procedure should have been reviewed by the SME and others assigned to reviewing the SOP.
  • Changes have been incorporated.
  • The Version History has been updated to reflect the changes to each draft.

How to get it approved:

  • Send the final document to the person assigned to approve the document (usually your manager) with the correct naming structure, for example, ACME-Pharma-D-SOP-05052009. The ˇ®D' means the document is still in Draft and is not a Final document.
  • The approver examines the documents. Their role is not to check the integrity or accuracy of the material (the SMEs should have done this) but rather to ensure that it has been through the correct review process.
  • The Approver enters the name, date, and any comments to finalize the document. Most SOP templates have a section for the Document History at the start.
  • The Approver saves the document and change the D to F, so that this is now a Final document.
  • Tip: Most companies save their official procedures as PDFs. We use CutePDF (www.cutepdf.com) to convert our Word documents into PDF. It's free and very easy to use. Install it and then click File, Print and choose CutePDF Writer to generate the PDF file.
  • The Approver returns the document to the Document Owner (possibly you or your team lead) who changes the status from D to F. The document is now Final.
  • Circulate the procedure to the main contributors, so they have a copy for their reference. I'd suggest you include a nice ˇ®thank you' to those who've helped with this piece of work. It doesn't take much time and shows you've appreciated their time and effort. And, of course, builds up some goodwill that you may need when you start the next round of procedures.
  • Encourage feedback and acknowledge users to contact you if they find something that needs to be addressed.

Finally, to make sure those who need to use the procedure can find it, add it to your Document Management System and, if applicable, to your Intranet.

Procedures must be reviewed on a scheduled basis and also when IT systems are upgraded or changed.

Factor this into your project schedule and highlight whatever resources you may need in advance. Procedures are living documents and must be treated as such. When any step changes, the procedures must be updated to reflect these changes.

What do you look for when approving documents? How do you know you've got it right?
ˇˇ

Table of Contents

  1. Before you Start Writing Your Standard Operating Procedures
  2. How To Find Procedure Writers
  3. How to Get a Budget
  4. How To Cost The SOP Project
  5. How to Get Management Support For Your SOP Project
  6. How to Find An Executive Champion
  7. How To Setup the Procedure Writing Team
  8. How To Define Roles in the Procedure Writing Team
  9. How to Create SOP Writing Guidelines
  10. How to Organize the Information Gathering Phase
  11. How to Test the Current As Is Business Process
  12. How to Examine Alternatives To The Current As Is Process
  13. How to Write Standard Operating Procedures
  14. How to Write Your First Procedure
  15. How to Number Each Step in the Procedure
  16. How To Capture Exceptions in Procedures
  17. How to Use If Then Tables For Complex Procedures
  18. How to Test Standard Operating Procedures
  19. How to Get SMEs to Test Procedures
  20. How & When to Sign Off the Procedure
  21. How to Publish the Standard Operating Procedures
  22. How to Control Documents
  23. How to Use Track Changes
  24. How to Use Naming Conventions
  25. How to Convert SOPs to PDF
  26. How to Upload SOPs to the Document Management System
  27. How to Create a SOP Document Archive
  28. How to Backup SOPs Archives & Store Offsite
  29. How to Implement Procedures
  30. How to Schedule Assessments
Standard Operating Procedure Template - Download Now Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) Template
Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) Template Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) Template

Document Control

  • Process Improvement - writing SOPs provides opportunities to refine current processes. Feedback received during this activity helps identify limitation of the current processes and potential problems that may arise.

Document Control

  • Regulatory requirements - SOPs help address legislative and regulatory requirements. Developing and maintaining SOPs is an effective way to address safe work practice regulations.
  • Staff Performance - SOPs clearly describe what staff are expected to perform in the workplace. SOPs remove ambiguity and provide an objective mechanism for evaluating their performance.
  • Standardization - SOPs identify roles and responsibilities. SOPs clarify decision-making requirements and chain of commands.

Clarifications Spreadsheet

  • Training material - SOPs can be used in training programs, workshops and exercises. SOPs improve the understanding of work requirements and identify potential problems.

Buy this template

Download the SOP Template Pack

The templates included in this pack are in Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel format. You can download all templates online for only $9.99.

More details about the SOP template pack are here.

The template pack includes the following documents:

SOP Template (Detailed) 7 pages Download Word template
SOP Single Template 1 pages Download Word template
SOP Guidebook 11 pages Download Word template
Sample - RFP Pre-Issuance Procedure 7 pages Download Word template
SOP Log Book 7 pages Download Word template
SOP Document Control 3 pages Excel templates
  • Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) Manual - this is used for writing and maintaining multiple SOPs, for example, all SOPs for the HR Department.
  • Standard Operating Procedures template - this is used for writing and maintaining standalone SOPs.
  • Standard Operating Procedures Guidebook - this describes how to write SOPs. The guidebook includes the following sections:
    • Planning
    • Requirements
    • Writing Standard Operating Procedures
    • Level of Detail
    • Consistency
    • Writing Style and Language
    • Writing Conventions
    • Numerical Information
    • Component Information
    • Procedure Titles
    • Headings
    • Step Numbering
    • Procedure Organization
    • Revision Status
    • Precautions and Limitations
    • Prerequisites
    • Terms, Definitions, Acronyms, and Abbreviations
    • Writing Action Steps
    • Writing Conditional Action Steps
  • Standard Operating Procedures Log Book - this is used for controlling new SOPs, numbering SOPs, and ensuring that all SOPs are authorized before creation.
  • Excel spreadsheets - these 3 Excel files will help you manage document control, clarifications that arise during the analysis phase and monitoring roles and responsibilities.
  • Sample template - this sample template documents the pre-issuance procedure when developing Request for Proposals.

Document Control

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Supports Windows 98, 2000, 2003, 2007, 2010, XP, Vista & Apple Mac

* Note: All prices are in US$ and for a single user license.

FAQs

Q: What file formats are the templates?

A: Microsoft Word and Excel. The files work in Word 97-2010. They also work on Apple Macintosh. 

Q: How soon can I download them?

A: You can download the files instantly.

After you pay online, you are automatically sent to a page where you can download the templates online.

Q: What is the End User License Agreement?

A: You can read the License Agreement here

Need to know more?

Drop me a line at ivan at klariti dot com and I'll get back to you asap.



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