Contribute to the improvement of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in food and drink operations

Business Sectors (Suites): Achieving Food Manufacturing Excellence
Developed by: Improve
Approved on: 31 Dec 2021


This standard is about the skills and knowledge needed for you to contribute to the development or maintenance of fit-for-purpose Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to support your organisation's drive to improve food and drink operations. This is important to increasing productivity and success of manufacture, processing and supply within the food and drink supply chain. Contribution is typically provided through working in a team, although this does not exclude individual contributions from outside of close working teams.

You will need to show and understand how you can provide information, data and related specifications within the food and drink operating standards required. You also need to show and understand how you can make recommendations for the creation or updating of SOP which relate to your role. You will need to comply with your company policy for SOP development, take responsibility for your contribution, and refer any issues outside of the limit of your authority to others.

This standard is for you if you contribute to the improvement of SOPs working in food and drink operations including, manufacturing, processing, packing or supply chain activities. You may have responsibilities for maintaining and improving quality in the workplace, with either autonomous or operationally restricted responsibilities.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

Identify opportunities for SOP development
1. identify opportunities and make positive suggestions about SOP development in accordance with the improvement plan 
2. gather initial information to inform potential development in accordance with procedures 
3. assess information and check that your suggestions can be justified and are realistic in accordance with the improvement plan 
4. secure approval for the contribution to SOP development from the relevant personnel 

Make recommendations for SOP development 

5. collate information and data on current or similar operations 
6. source and identify the requirements of the food safety management system 
7. identify documentation, utilities, tools, equipment and resources required for the operation 
8. use relevant measures of plant effectiveness and improvement to inform development 
9. make valid recommendations for SOP development in accordance with procedures
10. make sure all recommendations are practical by comparing the current process in person
11. refer any issues outside the limit of your authority to the relevant personnel 
12. check and confirm that your recommendations meet all workplace requirements with the relevant personnel 

Obtain and provide feedback on SOP development 

13. seek feedback on the value of your contribution to development from the relevant personnel 
14. check the content of the new or updated SOP against the information provided in feedback 
15. provide feedback on your contribution to development to the relevant personnel

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. the health, safety and food hygiene requirements of the area in which you are developing SOPs
  2. the purpose and objectives of SOPs
  3. how SOPs can produce performance benefits and support and/or sustain operational standards
  4. where to find SOPs relating to your role and within limits of your responsibility
  5. how your company SOPs are structured and presented
  6. what the company policy or protocol is for SOPs development
  7. what documentation is required to inform SOPs
  8. the scope of information and data required to develop SOPs
  9. the relationship between SOPs, quality and continuous improvement arrangements
  10. how the eight wastes are important in food and drink processes, how they can be reduced or eliminated and their value in informing SOP development
  11. how SOP developments are communicated in your workplace
  12. what the best methods are for formulating recommendations
  13. how to present recommendations
  14. how to give and receive feedback regarding your contribution to SOP development
  15. the limits of your own authority, and reporting arrangements in the event of problems that you cannot resolve
  16. the formal and informal communication channels used and which to use dependent on the situation


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

31 Jan 2025





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Food Production Operatives, Manufacturing Technologies, Plant and Machine Operatives, Process Operatives, Process, Plant and Machine Operatives

SOC Code



Food operations; Manufacturing; Excellence; Improvement; Standard; Operating; Procedures; SOP;