The Cove Business Standards Discussion Forums
Go Back   The Elsmar Cove Business Systems and Standards Discussion Forums > >
Forum Username

Elsmar Cove Forum Visitor Notice(s)

Wooden Line

SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) vs. Policies, Procedures and Work Instructions - Page 3

Monitor the Elsmar Forum
Courtesy Quick Links

Links Elsmar Cove visitors will find useful in the quest for knowledge and support:

Jennifer Kirley's
Conway Business Services

International Quality Services

Marcelo Antunes'
SQR Consulting, and
Medical Devices Expert Forum

Bob Doering
Bob Doering's Blogs and,
Correct SPC - Precision Machining

Ajit Basrur
Claritas Consulting, LLC

International Standards Bodies - World Wide Standards Bodies

AIAG - Automotive Industry Action Group

ASQ - American Society for Quality

International Organization for Standardization - ISO Standards and Information

NIST's Engineering Statistics Handbook

IRCA - International Register of Certified Auditors

SAE - Society of Automotive Engineers

Quality Digest

IEST - Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technology

Some Related Topic Tags
work instructions (wi), sop (standard operating procedure), policies and policy statements, procedures (general)
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rating: Thread Rating: 3 votes, 5.00 average. Display Modes
  Post Number #17  
Old 11th November 2007, 11:21 PM
Patricia Ravanello

Total Posts: 307
Re: SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) vs. Policies, procedures and work instructio

Here's a slightly different twist on system documentation.

Apart from the commonly identified levels, I include "Records and References" as the 5th level. Records and References typically represent "input to" or "output from" any of the many processes in the company.

Records and references may be "controlled" or "uncontrolled", and of "internal" or "external" origin...(controlled external: Customer-specific requirements, customer procedures, or controlled internal: Engineering Drawings, Business Plan, Training Plan, etc.).

Each system SOP is viewed as the "parent" document, which may have any number of "offspring", or "Work Instructions", which are created only when and where there is a need for more detail.
NO Work Instruction is an orphan. Each can be linked back to it's "parent" S.O.P.
The rest is relatively self-explanantory and/or repetitive....see attachment.

Patricia Ravanello
Attached Files: 1. Scan for viruses before opening, 2. Please report any 'bad' files by Reporting this post, 3. Use at your Own Risk.
File Type: pdf Visio-BOS Documentation Structure.pdf (144.4 KB, 961 views)
Thank You to Patricia Ravanello for your informative Post and/or Attachment!

Sponsored Links
  Post Number #18  
Old 11th November 2007, 11:56 PM

Total Posts: 3,518
Re: SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) vs. Policies, procedures and work instructio

Good stuff, Patricia, and a good diagram to illustrate. I do like your clear thinking.
Thanks to JaneB for your informative Post and/or Attachment!
  Post Number #19  
Old 9th December 2007, 10:19 PM

Total Posts: n/a
Re: SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) vs. Policies, procedures and work instructio

I think we will can all agree there is no right answer to this question except what is right for you and your organization. If you are ISO or TS certified, just make sure you do what you say youíre doing. Keep it simple.

To define question asked I will give my spin on it.
Level 1, Quality Manual. (I use Business System Manual) All associates in organization must embrace.)

Level 2, QSP = Quality system procedures. Documents which describe process however it does not give the details to do the job. These documents provide how the process works and references level 3 documents which provide the details to perform process. I.e. contract review, Control of quality records, Purchasing, etc..

Level 3, SOPís = Instructions which give details on how to do the job. I break this level into several different categories. MI for Machine instructions, AI for Assembly instructions, PIís for packaging instructions, PIís for process instructions. I do this so I can subgroup instructions to make documents easier to access for production associates. The are the value added documents in the organization for the more time you put into these the easier it will be to train associates and identify failures in the process for root cause analysis.

Level 4, Forms = Documents which are controlled and used to provide information or record data which can impact the quality or on time delivery of the product.

I hope this helps.
  Post Number #20  
Old 10th December 2007, 01:10 AM
20110108 Request

Total Posts: n/a
Re: SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) vs. Policies, Procedures and Work Instructio

Try using ISO 9000:2005 for document definitions and ISO/TR 10013 for guidance on documentation.
  Post Number #21  
Old 9th March 2012, 04:53 PM

Total Posts: n/a
Re: SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) vs. Policies, procedures and work instructio

I completely agree with JaneB. The difference between process and procedure is sometimes muddled, but I see Process as a series of actions (not steps here but procedures and WI) and operations that proceed from a point of input and lead to a result. These actions can include procedures by workers, computer processing, machine functioning, natural processes, time, etc..

A procedure is step-by-step instruction that defines major operations that can be divided into roles and responsibilities. WI are detail-oriented little operations performed by one worker as one task (one broken-down step in the larger procedure, for example).

Anyone confused?
  Post Number #22  
Old 10th March 2012, 02:19 AM

Total Posts: 1,027
Re: SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) vs. Policies, Procedures and Work Instructio

In my organisation if I prepare a description of how the process works or how a task is done its called a QUAxxx. If the safety person prepares a document its a SAFxxx. If the projects people prepare a document its a PROxxx

Talk about the silo approach.

I keep telling them they are PRO-j-e-c-t documents. A procedue describes how a part of the process by which customer inputs get transformed into customer deliverables and that a work instruction (I'm sure theres a better name than that too) describes how a discrete part of that process is done.

For some xyz reason word "protocols" is used ubiquitously in safety these days and I'm stuffed if I know what they are???.

mitigate is used in place of 'control' now

When is the luancy going to end?

Sorry; but I do feel better now.
  Post Number #23  
Old 8th April 2015, 12:23 PM

Total Posts: n/a
Re: SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) vs. Policies, procedures and work instructio

In Reply to Parent Post by JaneB View Post

Whatever the client organisation likes and works for them. Some like SOP for everything (procedures, instructions etc), some loathe the term.

In general, I tend to think of them as roughly:
Level 1, Policy
Level 2, Process
Level 3, Procedure
Level 4, instruction/checklist etc. ('work instruction' if you insist)

But I work with organisations ranging from very small (a few people) up to very large (hundreds). Naturally the amount & type of doco they have varies accordingly.

Middle, usually - ie, procedures. Could also be processes.
I have seen some people say "Please give me you 'Method Statement'. Which level do you think such document belongs - under procedures or work instructions

Last edited by ebidyke; 8th April 2015 at 12:24 PM. Reason: sentence error
  Post Number #24  
Old 19th May 2017, 07:02 AM
massfrompak's Avatar

Total Posts: 31
Re: SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) vs. Policies, Procedures and Work Instructio

good keep it up

Lower Navigation Bar
Go Back   The Elsmar Cove Business Systems and Standards Discussion Forums > >


Visitors Currently Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 Registered Visitors (Members) and 1 Unregistered Guest Visitors)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Forum Search
Display Modes Rate Thread Content
Rate Thread Content:

Forum Posting Settings
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Emoticons are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Discussion Threads
Discussion Thread Title Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post or Poll Vote
SOP's (Standard Operating Procedures) vs. Work Instructions - Differences? tomjess Definitions, Acronyms, Abbreviations and Interpretations 20 16th February 2012 09:00 PM
IT - Software Development SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) Linda Kraft Software Quality Assurance 3 29th April 2011 01:18 PM
Policies, SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) and WIs (Work Instructions) Biss74 Quality Manager and Management Related Issues 2 8th February 2010 01:48 PM
How many SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) do I need? QAMTY ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 3 30th April 2009 07:38 AM
Standard Operating Procedures (SOP's) - Are these simply Operator Work Instructions? Manix Document Control Systems, Procedures, Forms and Templates 6 5th September 2005 03:32 PM

The time now is 03:10 PM. All times are GMT -4.
Your time zone can be changed in your UserCP --> Options.

Misc. Internal Links

NOTE: This forum uses "Cookies"