Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

A standard operating procedure is a written instruction describing how a routine task is to be carried out; when, where and by whom.

Why do I need SOPs?

SOPs play a fundamental role in continuous quality assurance and ensuring best practice at your pharmacy, in order to assist you in protecting the safety of your patients and members of the public. The implementation of SOPs, which are specific to your pharmacy, will help you to:

  • ensure quality and consistency of service to patients
  • ensure good practice is achieved at all times
  • utilise the expertise of the pharmacy team effectively
  • facilitate delegation of appropriate tasks to trained members of the pharmacy team
  • provide role clarification for all members of the pharmacy team
  • provide staff training
  • provide assurance of staff understanding of processes to be followed in the pharmacy
  • provide an opportunity for pharmacists to define and assess their practice
  • facilitate communication and team work

Who is responsible for SOPs?

As the person responsible for the management and administration of the pharmacy, it is the responsibility of the superintendent pharmacist to ensure SOPs are in place, and, to approve the SOPs.  It is good practice to include all staff, and in particular the supervising pharmacist, in the preparation of the SOPs. The SOP’s implementation date should be recorded, which is the date that the SOP shall become effective from.

As the person who is in ‘whole time’ charge of the pharmacy, the supervising pharmacist is responsible for the implementation of SOPs. It is important that they ensure that the processes outlined in the SOPs accurately reflect the practices at their pharmacy.

All members of the pharmacy team are responsible for following the implemented SOPs that are relevant to their roles and responsibilities.

Information and Resources

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  • Where do I start?

  • Outline for Preparing SOPs

  • What SOPs should I have in place at my pharmacy?

  • How do I ensure my SOPs are accurate?

  • What staff training is required?

  • When should SOPs be reviewed?

  • What should I do if I make changes to the SOPs?

Updated December 2016