How Are Lab Standard Operating Procedures Developed?
Standard operating procedures are important in any lab where quality output is expected. The standard operating procedures provide the steps that one should be expected to take when carrying out various tasks in such a manner as to limit the risk of errors. There are several ways in which these procedures can be developed.
One of these is by studying the standard operating procedures of other similar labs. For instance, when starting a pharmaceutical lab, one can visit other similar labs and then find out which standard operating procedures they use. They can then modify these to suit their specific lab conditions. One of the negative aspects of using this method is that if you solely depend on it to develop the standard operating procedures, you may end up not instituting others that are equally important.
International bodies also provide directions on issues such as how to conduct quality control studies in a lab, as well as development of standard operating procedures for specific processes. To make use of this, one has to first figure out the functions of the lab, as well as the processes that will be undertaken therein. You can then approach such a body for information on the best way to carry out these processes so as to minimize errors, wastage of reagents and other negative issues.
Standard operating procedures can also be based on the types of chemicals one is working with. For instance, some highly volatile chemicals may need to be stored and handled in a special way, lest they end up reacting vigorously and even harming the people handling them. In such cases, the standard operating procedures can be derived from the accepted ways of handling these chemicals or processes.