SOP Process – SOP Review and Approval


Reviewing and approving SOPs with IntelliSOP

On IntelliSOP you can review your SOPs and have them validated and approved by one or more individuals. SOP reviewers and approvers have appropriate training and experience with the process. After approval, the new version of the SOP is published and assigned to the corresponding actors in the involved organizations. Every employee can access the depth of information required for them to perform their daily activities. Managers have a more granular view on the SOPs they manage. They can see inconsistency in the assignments, non-compliance due to unassigned roles, void SOPs, and training compliance for any step in the process in real time.

It is especially helpful if draft SOPs are actually proved by individuals other than the original writer before the SOPs are finalized. This way, every actor involved in the process would have the opportunity to verify whether the description on the SOP accurately reflects the real process. IntelliSOP allows for this kind of testing with an easy interface, where people can filter and hide draft SOPs. Testers would be assigned to a certain role within the process described in the SOP and they just need to prove if all the information, task description and supporting material is accurate.

Then technical reviewers may perform a check to ensure the SOP appropriately describes the standard procedure in order for staff to understand and comply with it. On IntelliSOP you would then change the status of the SOP from draft to final, and people assigned to a given role will receive the assignments on their dashboards.

The finalized SOPs should be approved as described in the organization’s Quality Management Plan or its own SOP for development of SOPs. This step is immediate with IntelliSOP: just one click puts an SOP in effect and removes the old, obsolete one. Every stakeholder will then have the proper access to this new SOP, their supporting controlled documents and the corresponding audit trail is updated.

Generally the immediate supervisor, such as a section or branch chief, business line lead or departmental head, together with the organization’s quality assurance officer(s) review and approve each SOP, prior to its release for use. With IntelliSOP, they all get an organization administrator role, through which they can configure, update, create new version of SOPs, change their validity period, etc. All changes performed in the system are tracked, so that every inspection or audit can transparently understand what has been done with the system.

Signature approval indicates that an SOP has been both reviewed and approved by management, and staff should be made aware and trained on it, and follow the process defined from its effective date onwards. Line managers benefit from the training compliance tracking features of IntelliSOP. They can see direct reports’ training completion, time and date of completion for each training and the compliance for every stakeholder in each process.

As per the Government Paperwork Elimination Act of 1998 in the United States, use of electronic signatures, as well as electronic maintenance and submission, is an acceptable substitution for paper, when practical. A similar recommendation exists for the European Union under the Directive 1999/93/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 December 1999 on a Community framework for electronic signatures.