Types of SOPs – Administrative SOP Text Information Guidelines

Administrative SOP Text Information Guidelines

Organization follow certain processes and procedures on a regular basis. Thus, SOPs may be written:

  • for any repetitive technical activity
  • for any administrative procedure
  • for any functional programmatic process.

As with the technical SOPs, administrative SOPs can be written for a wide variety of activities, e.g.:

  • reviewing documentation such as contracts, product requirements specification
  • QA Project Plans
  • Quality Management Plans
  • inspecting (auditing) the work of others
  • determining organizational training needs
  • developing information on records retention and maintenance
  • validating data packages
  • archiving procedures
  • describing office correspondence procedures, etc.

In order to serve their purpose, Administrative SOPs need to include a number of specific steps aimed at initiating the activity, coordinating the activity, and recording and/or reporting the results of the activity, tailored to that activity. They need to describe the procedural steps to be followed, as well as who will take responsibility to perform the activities described.

For example, audit or assessment SOPs should specify:

  • the authority for the assessment
  • how auditees are to be selected
  • how the audit will be organized and conducted
  • how the host will be selected
  • what will be done with the results
  • who is responsible for corrective action.

Administrative SOPs should fit within the framework presented here, but this format can be modified, reduced, or expanded.

In general, administrative/programmatic SOPs will consist of five elements: Title Page, Table of Contents, Purpose, Procedures, Quality Assurance/Quality Control, and References.

1. Title Page
2. Table of Contents
3. Procedures

The following are topics that may be appropriate for inclusion in administrative SOPs:

a. Purpose: identifying the intended use of the process.
b. Applicability/Scope: identifying when the procedure is to be followed, organizational area or department where it applies.
c. Summary of Procedure
d. Definitions: defining any words, phrases, or acronyms having special meaning or application.
e. Personnel Qualifications/Responsibilities: identifying any special qualifications users should have such as certification or training experience and/or any individual or positions having responsibility for, or some level of involvement in the activity being described.
f. Procedure: detailed description of the process steps, detailed instructions.
g. Criteria, checklists or other standards that are to be applied during the procedure such as citing this document as guidance for reviewing SOPs.
h. Records Management: for example, templates and forms to be used and locations of files.

4. Quality Control and Quality Assurance Section

Describe any Quality Control steps and provisions for review or oversight prior to acceptance of the product or deliverable. This can include test plans such as verification and validation plans for software or running a “spell-check” program on the finished document.

5. Reference Section

Cite all references noted in the body of the SOP, thus aligning with Good Documentation Practices and for easy reference.