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
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
- 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?
Table of Contents
Before you Start Writing Your Standard Operating Procedures
How To Find Procedure Writers
How to Get a Budget
How To Cost The SOP Project
How to Get Management Support For Your SOP Project
How to Find An Executive Champion
How To Setup the Procedure Writing Team
How To Define Roles in the Procedure Writing Team
How to Create SOP Writing Guidelines
How to Organize the Information Gathering Phase
How to Test the Current As Is Business Process
How to Examine Alternatives To The Current As Is Process
How to Write Standard Operating Procedures
How to Write Your First Procedure
How to Number Each Step in the Procedure
How To Capture Exceptions in
How to Use If Then Tables For Complex Procedures
How to Test Standard Operating Procedures
How to Get SMEs to Test Procedures
How & When to Sign Off the Procedure
How to Publish the Standard Operating Procedures
How to Control Documents
How to Use Track Changes
How to Use Naming Conventions
How to Convert SOPs to PDF
How to Upload SOPs to the Document Management System
How to Create a SOP Document Archive
How to Backup SOPs Archives & Store Offsite
How to Implement Procedures
How to Schedule Assessments
- 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.
- 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.
- Training material - SOPs can be used in
training programs, workshops and exercises. SOPs improve the understanding of work
requirements and identify potential problems.
Download the SOP Template Pack
The templates included in this pack are in
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:
- RFP Pre-Issuance Procedure
- Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) Manual
- this is used for writing and maintaining multiple SOPs, for example, all SOPs for the HR
- 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
- Writing Standard Operating Procedures
- Level of Detail
- Writing Style and Language
- Writing Conventions
- Numerical Information
- Component Information
- Procedure Titles
- Step Numbering
- Procedure Organization
- Revision Status
- Precautions and Limitations
- 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
for $9.99 - Buy