Elements to Consider When Creating an Effective SOP (Standard Operating Procedure)

Elements to Consider When Creating an Effective SOP (Standard Operating Procedure)

Elements to Consider When Creating an Effective SOP (Standard Operating Procedure)

Penning an SOP seems like a fairly straightforward task; for some, it is. Nevertheless, according to our experts on laboratory growth management, there are some elements worth watching as you write:

Working environment

You'll want to include details about the space needed for the approach and any tools needed for the jobs. For example, if a sterile environment is required, specify what equipment is needed (e.g., biosafety cabinet or Bunsen burner) and any actions essential to keep the environment sterile.

Storing reagents

Incorporate the appropriate storage conditions and site for all reagents and samples utilized during the process. This will make it straightforward for others following your SOP to locate everything they need before preparing their experiment.


Frequently an afterthought when conducting an assay, labels are an essential part of specifying and following your samples and reagents. Some labels specialize in specific environments; for instance, cryogenic labels are created for samples kept in liquid nitrogen, while xylene-resistant labels are utilized during histochemical sample prep and staining. Ideally, these integrate into your SOP, where appropriate.

Health hazards

Many practices require utilizing chemicals that pose severe health problems. Before writing your SOP, it's worth reviewing the safety data sheet (SDS) or any other authorized safety documentation for chemicals you believe might pose a danger. It's also a wise idea to evaluate the kind, amount, character, and location of use for each potentially dangerous chemical and any possible protective equipment needed. It would help if you also considered how to dispose of such chemicals and any other material safely or refuse generated by the approach, including biological waste.


When using complicated protocols, your SOP's chances of working on its first run are doubtful. Therefore, leaving room in your SOP to modify your experimental requirements is essential. Employing a flowchart is an excellent way to provide room for these modifications and to imagine which actions require change.

Results analysis

Though only some SOPs will have specified endpoints (e.g., cell culture), it's essential to manage results and analysis in your SOP for the ones that do. It helps keep results uniform across the whole lab, as each partner should analyze data similarly. Incorporate any statistical examination that might need to be completed along with the associated assurance intervals.


You don't have to be a Pulitzer-winning novelist to pen an effective SOP. But it's critical to determine the terms and the language used. Your SOP should remain as straightforward and transparent as possible, making it understandable to anybody who reads it without leaving room for interpretation.

Be specific

Each measure should be as clear as possible to dismiss any ambiguity concerning your protocol.

Having documented SOPs is critical for consistency and efficiency in a lab. They make it easier for attendants, scholars, and managers to acquire legible, noteworthy results and aid patients who depend on clinical labs for precise test results. In addition, maintaining a resource for all the details about a specific procedure permits new staff to be effectively trained for every new assignment, thus making it more straightforward to integrate new staff into your lab and improving the productivity of those already there.

We hope this helps you better understand how to write an effective SOP. Contact us today for more details on our laboratory growth management solutions.

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