50+ Free & Easy SOP Templates (Sample SOPs to Record Standard Procedures)

easy SOP standard operating procedures example templates

Writing standard operating procedures is a cumbersome task but a serious requirement for businesses the world over.

In many industries it is important to have documentation which shows you have been adhering to ISO guidelines. This can help you clinch major clients and demonstrate your professionalism.

However, when you’re starting out with your first SOPs it can be difficult to know where to begin.

That’s why we’ve pulled together a range of the best free and premium SOP templates for you to work from.

Simply go through the available SOPs below and pick out the one best suited to your needs. We’ve included Microsoft Word templates and Process Street ones too. You’ll also find a guide for writing SOPs to help you get started.

Given that it can be intimidating writing standard operating procedures, we have provided a number of industry-specific examples plus suggestions for how you can pull together basic SOPs even if they’re not documented according to ISO standards.

Read through the following sections to get completely clued up:

Let’s dive in.

Use Process Street to effortlessly manage your SOP templates

process street standard operating procedures

Our free SOP template to quickly & easily write new standardized procedures

There are ultimately two kinds of templates you want.

You want a template for making your individual procedures and a template for creating your procedure manual.

The first is more important than the second. That’s why we’ve put it at the beginning of the article:

As you can see, that template shows you how to get started creating a new procedure from scratch.

The link to that template is here:

Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) Template Structure

And that template can then guide you through making your first standard operating procedures. It is filled with extra resources and best practice examples just in case you need them.

You can add that template to your account for free, edit it, and then either run it as a checklist inside Process Street, or export it as a PDF when you have finished. Easy.

Further down the article, you’ll see some example procedure manuals we’ve created too. But here are some quicklinks in case you don’t want to scroll:

How to write standard operating procedures in 16 easy steps

To help you make use of your templates once you’ve downloaded them, we’ll give you these 16 steps to writing effective standard operating procedures.

You can employ them within the framework of a traditional SOP framework, adhering to ISO 9001 standards, or you can use them to create the processes best suited to your particular needs at this moment in your business’ journey.

Writing standard operating procedures doesn’t need to be a grueling task. If you follow our collaborative guidelines, it could even be quite fun! (Fun not guaranteed)

SOP templates standard operating procedures sop template

  1. Understand how you will present your SOPs. This step is about choosing your template to fit the needs of the process. In certain industries you will have requirements which you need to adhere to. The layout of your SOPs will be influenced by the kind of information you need to display. Investigate which international standards apply to your business operations.
  2. Gather the relevant stakeholders. To properly map the processes in use within the company, you need to have relevant members of the company present. These standard operating procedures must reflect reality so that they can be adapted and optimized to improve reality.
  3. Work out your purpose. Are you documenting your standard operating procedures in order to adhere to industry standards? Or are you confident your operations already adhere, you just need to document them? Are you doing this out of a general process optimization push? Knowing the answers to questions like these will help you prioritize your approach.
  4. Determine the structure of your SOP. There are different forms an SOP document can take. Before beginning one, understand whether this is to be a manual, a mini-manual, or a procedure document. The larger your company, the more likely it is you’ll be creating an incredibly in-depth manual.
  5. Prepare the scope of the procedure. If you’re mapping only one procedure within the document you are working on then you need to understand exactly where the procedure starts and where it finishes. It is important to clearly define the scope in order to reduce overlap with other procedure documents. Not doing so would lead to inefficiencies.
  6. Use a consistent style. This is more writing advice, but you need to think about the purpose of the document to understand how it should be written. If this is a document used solely for demonstrating to the industry that you have documented SOPs, then maybe the language will be technical and trite. However, if workers are going to be using this document as a reference point, then you’ll need to make the language clear and actionable.
  7. ✍️ Use correct notation, if applicable. There may well be standardized forms of conveying processes within your company, but if not you could begin to implement them. Business process model and notation (BPMN) provides a universal way to explain processes in a concise visual style.
  8. Work through all the necessary steps of the process. Assess the process from start to finish and note down each task required along the way to complete the process. This can be done in the form of a bullet point list with pen and paper or a note-taking app.
  9. ⚠️ Try to assess potential problems in the process. If you’re looking to improve your process as you work through your documentation, now is a good opportunity to do so. Assess the basic steps you have recorded and ask if anything else could be added or removed. If something were to go wrong in the process, where would it occur? Where does it currently occur in real life?
  10. Determine metrics against which SOPs can be judged. This is a great opportunity to make your standard operating procedures actionable and to find a way of assessing their positive impact. What metrics you choose to use will depend on the process you’re documenting. The key metrics may be related to performance or speed or a formula utilizing both of those variables.
  11. Test the process. To make sure the standard operating procedures you have documented are the most effective, test the process with the employees who undertake those tasks on a day to day basis. Make sure they are able to give feedback on the procedures presented so that you can make alterations to the process, procedures, or simply the document style before submission.
  12. ✉️ Send the process to superiors. Submit your process for review by your line manager. Alternatively, if you do not have a line manager, find a colleague whose feedback you value and send the SOP document to them before declaring it to be complete.
  13. Clarify the method of optimizing the process. A standard operating procedure document should track its own revisions over time. However, it is useful to have a general system in place to govern these revisions and how and when they occur. Creating a process for process optimization is an effective means of delivering this iterative change.
  14. ‍♀️ Run a risk assessment on the process. A process involves people or data or something somewhere which can be hurt, damaged, or lost. Make sure to run a risk assessment on your processes to make sure you’re not opening up your company’s risk exposure.
  15. Consider creating a flow diagram. A visual aid to help other people understand the overview of the process will prove useful for people both assessing and following the process presented in the standard operating procedures. Including one increases the user-friendly level of the document.
  16. ✅ Finalize and implement the SOPs. Once all participants and stakeholders have signed off on the document and people have agreed to its use, implement the standard operating procedure document for the necessary process and file the document appropriately.

Using Process Street for your SOPs

standard operating procedures examplesThere are ways in which you can employ a Process Street template effectively for documenting standard operating procedures. The key advantage in using Process Street for this is that each process can be run as a checklist by staff members following the procedures.

Finding a way to balance the standardized layout of standard operating procedure documents and the regular actionable properties of Process Street will allow you to save considerable process documentation time as your company moves forward.

The most simple way to start working toward standard operating procedures with Process Street is to simply begin documenting your processes.

Not every documented process needs to adhere to ISO dictats. Within Process Street’s system a template acts as the standard procedures for a particular task. You then run the checklist from that template when you undertake the process without it affecting the original documentation. At its heart, that is exactly what standard operating procedures are in the real world.

If your processes are well documented then you’ve made a good start. If your processes are actionable then they are much more likely to be adhered to. No one likes picking up an SOP manual and sorting through page after page to find something useful.

With Process Street, you dodge that barrier and increase the chance of someone following the procedures correctly. In short, running your SOPs through Process Street helps improve process adherence.

Here’s an example Process Street SOP template:

This template is engineered to adhere to the ISO-9001:2015 Quality Mini-Manual standards.

Click here to access this template in a new tab!

You can also find a fully filled-out completed version of that template here:

Being a template, you can edit it as you please and replace the text you’re prompted to replace. The initial few sections cover the key information pertaining to the template while the procedures section where the process is documented follows.

If you wanted to use this template on a day to day level, you can store a master copy in an SOPs folder within Process Street and make a copy of the template which could exist in a different folder for use by a team. Your team could then run the copied template as a checklist every time they come to undertake the task.

This would be one way of making your template actionable within your organization once the SOPs have been documented.

If you want to read more about using Process Street to run an ISO standard quality management system, then check out some of these links:

If you want to keep physical versions of your standard operating procedures, then you can always click to print your template and save it as a PDF. This will provide a clean copy of your SOPs with the task list structured as being a table of contents from which other sections follow.

Process Street SOP templates for every industry and sector

Click on the dropdown arrows to gain access to SOP templates related to that industry. Do keep in mind there are plenty more templates accessible from our checklist template library!

⬇️ Click here to see Process Street’s ready-made marketing SOP templates

Client Onboarding for a Marketing Agency (SOP template)

Click here to open the Client Onboarding For A Marketing Agency Template in a new tab!

AB Testing (SOP template)

Click here to open the AB Testing Template in a new tab!

Creating a Newsletter (SOP template)

Click here to open the Creating a Newletter Template in a new tab!

⬇️ Click here to see Process Street’s ready-made IT SOP templates

Email Server Security (SOP template)

Click here to open the Email Server Security Template in a new tab!

Client Data Backup Best Practices (SOP template)

Click here to open the Client Data Backup Best Practices Template in a new tab!

Enterprise Password Management Checklist Template (SOP template)

Click here to open the Enterprise Password Management Checklist Template in a new tab!

⬇️ Click here to see Process Street’s ready-made retail SOP templates

Retail Employee Onboarding Checklist (SOP template)

Click here to open the Retail Employee Onboarding Checklist Template in a new tab!

Ecommerce Product Listing (SOP template)

Click here to open the Ecommerce Product Listing Template in a new tab!

Daily Store Opening Checklist (SOP template)

Click here to open the Daily Story Opening Checklist Template in a new tab!

⬇️ Click here to see Process Street’s ready-made construction SOP templates

Construction Proposal Template (SOP template)

Click here to open the Construction Proposal Template in a new tab!

Construction Progress Report (SOP template)

Click here to open the Construction Progress Report Template in a new tab!

FHA Inspection Checklist (SOP template)

Click here to open the FHA Inspection Checklist Template in a new tab!

⬇️ Click here to see Process Street’s ready-made HR SOP templates

Performance Review Checklist (SOP template)

Click here to open the Performance Review Checklist Template in a new tab!

Diversity Hiring Process (SOP template)

Click here to open the Diversity Hiring Process Template in a new tab!

Holiday Leave Application (SOP template)

Click here to open the Holiday Leave Application Template in a new tab!

⬇️ Click here to see Process Street’s ready-made sales SOP templates

Sales Competitive Analysis SOP Template

Click here to open the Sales Competitive Analysis Template in a new tab!

Company Research SOP Template

Click here to open the Company Research SOP Template in a new tab!

Sales Presentation SOP Template

Click here to open the Sales Presentation SOP Template in a new tab!

Monthly Sales Report SOP Template

Click here to open the Monthly Sales Report/a> SOP Template in a new tab!

Sales Forecasting SOP Template

Click here to open the
Sales Forecasting SOP Template in a new tab!

Sales to Service Handoff SOP Template

Click here to open the Sales to Service Handoff SOP Template in a new tab!

SaaS Upselling SOP Template

Click here to open the SaaS Upselling SOP Template in a new tab!

⬇️ Click here to see Process Street’s ready-made customer success SOP templates

DoubleDutch’s Customer Success SOP Template

Click here to open the DoubleDutch’s Customer Success SOP Template in a new tab!

Customer Feedback SOP Template

Click here to open the Customer Feedback SOP Template in a new tab!

Customer Service Training SOP Template

Click here to open the Customer Service Training SOP Template in a new tab!

Churn Prevention SOP Template

Click here to open the Churn Prevention SOP Template in a new tab!

Churn Reduction SOP Template

Click here to open the Churn Reduction SOP Template in a new tab!

⬇️ Click here to see Process Street’s ready-made all-purpose SOP templates

Simple SOP Template

Click here to open the Simple SOP Template in a new tab!

Master SOP Template

Click here to open the Master SOP Template in a new tab!

Enforced SOP Template

Click here to open the Enforced SOP Template in a new tab!

Collaborative SOP Template

Click here to open the Collaborative SOP Template in a new tab!

Variable SOP Template

Click here to open the Variable SOP Template in a new tab!

Conditional SOP Template

Click here to open the Conditional SOP Template in a new tab!

For information on how successful businesses are using Process Street for creating and writing SOPs, watch the video below.

Free Microsoft Word templates to build your SOPs

The traditional route to take when someone wants to start documenting their standard operating procedures is to begin the task within a word processing system and create a series of smaller documents which eventually can come together to form a larger manual.

Essentially, it’s like writing a book.

The first template we’ll present is one of the most useful. I’ll explain why.

A general-purpose template with guiding notes

hospital SOP TemplatesStandard operating procedures are important in all industries but particularly valued within healthcare. Lives are at stake and stated processes must be very carefully followed.

This template is from the National Health Service in Britain and was designed by researchers from the University of Oxford. Given that is template is a result of collaboration between one of the best universities in the world and the world’s largest healthcare provider, I think we should take it pretty seriously.

More than just being a template you can enter information into, this document contains highlighted text in each section which explains to you how to approach each task.

In this sense, document acts like both a writing template and a writing guide; clearly and concisely guiding the user through the document.

Click here to access this template.

As my grandad would say, “there are many ways you can skin a cat” – not that you would want to.

Not every layout will feel right for every company. That’s why we’ve included a range of other options for you to choose from.

A formal general purpose SOP template

example sop standard operating procedure templates

This template doesn’t do anything particularly fancy.

However, it is four pages long and covers all the areas you’ll need to cover in creating fully documented standard operating procedures.

Again, the template is geared slightly toward medical affairs, but only by specifying that one of the assessors is a medical director. Other than that, this is a fully actionable outline which is ready to go without changes or adaptations.

This is a comprehensive SOP template from and doesn’t provide guidance throughout. Fair warning.

Click here to access this template.

A laboratory technician SOP for workplace safety

standard operating procedure samples

This template is geared toward lab work, as you can see from the preview image above.

This more specialized approach from would be effective not just for laboratory technicians but anyone working within similar circumstances. It has steps already labeled in regards to dealing with controlled chemicals and other such hazards.

If you work in a high-risk single location then this template could prove to be useful for your needs.

Click here to access this template.

An SOP for conducting pilot studies

sop template example

This template is geared for a researcher running trials and trying to adhere to strict processes while doing so.

It’s a very short set of standard operating procedures and isn’t going to intimidate anyone.

As you can see from the preview image above, it is geared more for pilot testing than for full all-out research. The goal is to record each time you have ran a test and to track the processes with the table provided.

This template is useful for anyone wishing to control for process variance when undertaking research.

Click here to access this template.

A GP’s SOP for controlled substances

sample sop templates

This template is designed – as you can probably see in the image preview above – to help doctors with the management of controlled drugs when prescribing and dispensing them to patients.

It is quite a niche use case, but similar structures can be replicated by other industries for controlled access scenarios. The same principles generally apply.

This is a very in-depth standard operating procedure template in comparison to the others presented in the last few given above.

Click here to access this template.

Process Street’s privileged password management procedure template

I’ve included this Process Street Privileged Password Management template here to provide a contrast between different approaches one can take for utilizing standard operating procedures for managing controlled substances or access.

I designed the above template, so I am likely a bit biased – however, I feel that the Process Street solution provides a more actionable way of keeping on top of monitoring, authorizing, and tracking given the flexibility and speed of the interconnectivity the software provides.

That particular password management system is designed for very large companies who limit access to highly sensitive data. If you’re a company that handles high-level client data, you need to have these kinds of processes in place to demonstrate your commitment to data security compliance.

This template – like many of Process Street’s templates – is superpowered by utilizing Process Street’s workflow automation features.

In terms of our features, they include (but aren’t limited to):

Click here to open the Privileged Password Management Process template in a new tab!

More NHS standard operating procedure templates

To finish off our general-purpose standard operating procedure templates, we’re going to return to the templates designed by the University of Oxford for use within the National Health Service in Britain.

We’ll present a number of more niche templates that are geared for specific purposes. These should show you how to construct complex SOPs while providing you with the templates to employ in your business if you have these needs.

Excel database design

standard operating procedure template sop template

This template works as an example SOP for how to standardize the setup of databases within Microsoft Excel.

The specific focus of this template is on setting up the database for medical research purposes, but the structure can be adapted to suit any database needs. The real detail lies in the procedures which you can write to fit your specific needs.

Click here to access this template.

Archiving essential documents

sop template free

As you should be able to see in the preview image above, this standard operating procedure template is structured to systemize the archiving of important documents.

You might include details of the referencing system in one section and then a step by step walkthrough in the procedures.

Click here to access this template.

Document control SOP

sop template examples

Again, as presented in the preview image above, this standard operating procedure covers document control.

This includes elements like naming conventions and storage while also looking to help with standardizing processes. Though originally geared toward the healthcare needs of the NHS, this provides a valuable template for any organization looking to implement document controls.

Click here to access this template.

Ethics committee application

sop templates example ethics committee

This template helps to standardize the approaches for applications. In particular, applications to ethics committees.

However, the general-purpose could be very easily reimagined for the purposes of submitting investment applications, tendering for government contracts, or any similar process.

Click here to access this template.

Preparation and approval of protocol amendments

sop template checklist

Throughout your business you will have different processes, procedures, protocols, or policies in place.

These are the general rules which guide our actions.

However, sometimes these practices need to change or be adapted after they’ve already been put in place. This standard operating procedure template aims to create a clear means of changing those established practices through the correct channels.

The SOP will help you manage your other SOPs.

Click here to access this template.

Qualitative research study protocol template

professional sop template

Within your company, you likely carry out a considerable amount of research. This research may be qualitative or quantitative. Either way, you need to have standard operating procedures in place for how this research is conducted.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to standardize methodologies, but you do need to establish how data will be stored, who has access to what data, how to ensure participants can give informed consent, and a whole range of other factors.

This SOP is geared to make sure all research is carried out to high standards.

Click here to access this template.

Risk assessment SOP templates to review your procedures

Hopefully, by now, you’ll feel fairly comfortable with what is required from your standard operating procedures and how you can approach them.

No standard operating procedure is complete, however, until risk assessments have been completed.

As such, we’ve included 5 links here for you to explore. We have two templates specifically geared for risk assessing standard operating procedures plus one example document to show you how the finished version might look. We then have two more general purpose risk assessments for those of you not aspiring to ISO levels, and performing a more casual documentation process.

  1. US Food and Drug Administration. This PDF works as both a template and a guide to risk assessing your standard operating procedures and further risk management.
  2. National Health Service South Tees Clinical Commissioning Group. This risk management strategy and standard operating procedure document demonstrates what a risk oriented section of your SOP manual would look like. Check out page 30 for some actionable risk assessment insights.
  3. British Transport Police. This PDF template provides a guide to how to manage risk management and its impacts.
  4. Newcastle University. This risk assessment form is general purpose and helps you predict and manage risks and hazards in any given situation. This is the example template created by the university.
  5. Health and Safety Executive of the UK. This document is the combined risk assessment and policy template published by the Health and Safety Executive 08/14. This template is easily actionable and not overly complex while remaining effective. This is my recommended risk assessment given it is produced by a standard setting body.

There’s also our very own Risk Management Process.

Click here to open the Risk Management Process Template in a new tab!

Premium SOP Templates

If you’re in the market the most comprehensive, high-quality SOP templates (read expensive) out there, look no further than the Bizmanualz collection written by Chris Anderson, DBA, LSSBB.

Bizmanualz is a premium library of SOP templates delivered in various formats (including Word) with products that span from a single procedure template to an entire company handbook.

From complete CEO and CFO handbooks to department-specific procedure templates like accounting, finance and IT policy procedure manuals, Bizmanualz is the most comprehensive SOP collection out there.

We’ve been impressed by the exhaustive Bizmanualz library that boasts over 1,200 SOP templates . The procedure manuals cover the core departments of a business, encompassing 7,000+ pages of detailed procedure documentation all available for immediate digital download.

We also love that they offer a sample that you can get for free.

Grab a free sample SOP here.

ISO Quality Procedures
Bizmanualz also has a comprehensive collection of ISO-compliant manuals including ISO 9001, AS9100 D and ISO 22000 Food Safety HACCP.

Take a look at their extensive collection of SOP Templates at

Pick the right SOP template and get started

As much as it can be intimidating when you begin writing standard operating procedures for the first time, we hope these templates, explanations, and examples have made the task at hand a little clearer.

Once you recognize the shared structures between different templates, you can begin to see what are essential elements and what are optional inclusions.

With that knowledge in mind, you can look past the unnecessarily verbose language normally used in SOPs to see that they are just very thorough process documents.

So pick a template – or two – and begin documenting your first procedure.

Before you know it, you’ll have an entire ISO level manual on your hands!

Have you written standard operating procedures in the past? What resources would you recommend for someone approaching it for the first time? Let us know in the comments below!

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Adam Henshall

I manage the content for Process Street and dabble in other projects inc language exchange app Idyoma on the side. Living in Sevilla in the south of Spain, my current hobby is learning Spanish! @adam_h_h on Twitter. Subscribe to my email newsletter here on Substack: Trust The Process. Or come join the conversation on Reddit at r/ProcessManagement.

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