What is an SOP or the Standard Operation Procedures and what is its significance ?
The investigators in the aftermath of an incident/accident so pointedly ask you to hand them your SOP , and in turn you given them some computer printed papers with a bold written heading on in ,'Standard Operation Procedure'.
Thereafter it becomes as if the needful have been accomplished ,and the parties move on without making any critical point about what have they done with that copy of that ordinary printed stapled piece of papers , having the title 'SOP' .
There comes the mechanism of exercising the control over the employees , something , by which you may guarantee that works are performed exactly as you want them to be. Logically therefore, you will have to lay down the set of procedure or the STANDARD OPERATION PROCEDURES describing in precise details as to how an employee has to conduct a certain business.
Logically, then, you will also need to lay down the procedures on how to conduct the incidence where a departure from the SOP may be required. This , you will require as a necessity to prevent the employee from conducting the business as per his whim and later seeking the defense of inability to judge the incident Vi-a-Vis the SOP applicable to it. And ofcourse, in a fair process, how would you expect to let something happen to your business without your good knowledge of it. Therefore, you would lay down as a necessity that every single departure can happen only and only by your permission of it, or the permission of the person who you have delegated.
Now what does that mean ??
It means that SOP themselves cannot be allowed to undergo amendment, retrieval, deletion, insertion, addition without a paper trail of who did it, when, under whose authority , and perhaps the why.
That means that no ordinary computer printed paper can be accepted for an SOP written in the face of it. The paper must mention the name and description of the issuing authority, the version, issuance date, receipt of having been read or the Reading Acknowledgement and so.
That also means that people thereafter cannot take defenses such as *"as a practise..."*, or *"on grounds..."*, etc. None of such defenses are consistent with the compliance of the *SOP*. _'One has to be proven practicing only and only what he has himself laid down as a means of operation control_.
first of all, they must keep tallying that all the answers given as confirming with the SOP that they have taken custody of. They must check that no departure have happened, and if there be any, the records of receiving permissions from the designated authorities exist.