A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is a set of step-by-step instructions describing the correct use of a piece of equipment. Members trained to use equipment are required to read SOPs every time before they use a piece of equipment. Reading an SOP does not constitute training and untrained members must complete the equipment-specific training process for the piece of equipment they wish to use. SOPs are required for every piece of equipment in the lab and provide the following information about the use of a piece of equipment:
- Hazards associated with the use of the equipment.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that is required when a piece of equipment is in use.
- Pre-operational checks that must be carried out every time before a piece of equipment is used.
- A list of steps that describe how to correctly use the equipment.
- Post-operational checks that must be carried out after a piece of equipment has been used.
- Forbidden activities.