Create standard operating procedures for printed products

Business Sectors (Suites): Print Administration
Developed by: Improve
Approved on: 30 Mar 2020


This standard is for people working in the production co-ordination unit of a printing company. The standard states the skills and knowledge required to assist in the creation of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for work activities used to produce a printed product, whether that being health and safety, preventative maintenance, the production process, the administrative processes or customer enquiries. It is not intended for an entrant to the industry but for someone who has minimum two years' experience in the industry.

It will involve you liaising with and assisting the practitioners/departmental managers within your company to either generate or improve the operating procedures currently in place or to be used. You will be required to analyse and document methods in place/or to be put in place and to assist with implementation/improvements/changes.

Whether systems are in place or to be implemented, you will be required to assist in the production/improvement of SOPs for a range of activities, such as health and safety, order handling, file handling, production processes, despatch/delivery, customer concern procedures.

You have to be aware of the utilisation of Product Cycle Time (lean manufacturing) time and try to reduce the impact of the "eight wastes" categories that are:

  • T -Transport – Moving people, products & information
  • I - Inventory – Storing parts, pieces, documentation ahead of requirements
  • M - Motion – Bending, turning, reaching, lifting
  • W - Waiting – For parts, information, instructions, equipment
  • O - Over production – Making more than is IMMEDIATELY required
  • O - Over processing – Tighter tolerances or higher-grade materials than are necessary
  • D - Defects – Rework, scrap, incorrect documentation
  • S - Skills – Underutilising capabilities, delegating tasks with inadequate training

Your responsibilities will require you to comply with organisational policy and procedures for the activities undertaken and to report any problems that you cannot solve, or are outside your responsibility, to the relevant person/department.

Your existing knowledge should provide a uniformed understanding of what is required and provide an informed and sequential approach to the techniques and procedures in use or to be set up and implemented. You will need to understand the principles and procedures for creating/assisting with/implementing SOP and their application in adequate depth to provide a sound basis for carrying out the activities to the required criteria.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

  1. assist with analysis of current operations to identify suitable procedures
  2. comply with current and relevant legislation related to health and safety at all times
  3. engage with operational staff to give them the opportunity of input
  4. collate all information received following standard operating procedures
  5. assist with development/improvement of standard operating procedures following standard operating procedures
  6. supply standard operating procedures for staff to work to
  7. assist with improvement/implementation of standard operating procedures following standard operating procedures
  8. monitor their use against operating procedures
  9. produce standard operating procedures to meet company requirements
  10. revise standard operating procedures following company procedures

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. health and safety requirements of areas you are creating standard operating procedures
  2. specific regulations and safe working practices and procedures that apply to your work activities
  3. various formats used in creating standard operating procedures (SOP)
  4. where to find SOP document formats used
  5. how SOPs are structured and the importance of their use
  6. information required to create SOPs
  7. methods of communicating/facilitating required information for SOPs are captured
  8. operations/processes captured in SOPs
  9. why SOPs are the basis for quality and continuous improvement
  10. what wastes are and how to eliminate them
  11. how to simplify work done, eliminating waste and potential for human error
  12. actions taken to deal with specific difficulties in working relationships
  13. who you should seek assistance from when you have difficulties with working relationships
  14. lean manufacturing and the relationship with achieving flows in processes
  15. how to distinguish facts from opinions in order to identify improvement actions
  16. extent of your own authority and whom you should report to, in the event of problems that you cannot resolve


Produce Standard Operating Procedures for the following:

  1. Health, safety and environmental practices and procedures
  2. Planned preventative maintenance of equipment procedure
  3. Pre-production procedures
  4. Manufacturing production operations
  5. Despatch/delivery procedures
  6. Customer enquiries

Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

30 Mar 2025





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Printers, Printing Machine Minders and Assistants, Printing Trades

SOC Code



Print; production; costing; estimating; sales; account; management; quality; procedures