Why read receipt of SOPs will no longer be sufficient in the future. Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) are the backbone of standard-compliant processes in the company. Everyone must know and follow them; and companies must demonstrate that they do. The Saarbrücken-based software company DHC Business Solutions is now opening a new chapter in the management of SOPs with DHC VISION: These will be more multimedia, and SOP knowledge will be tested through interactive quizzes. The benefits for companies are significant.
Good working practice (GxP) is essentially based on guidelines and their implementation in the company through SOPs. These describe the sequences of essential processes in development and production; they also specify how results are to be checked and documented. Precise guidelines must be followed on how SOPs must be created, distributed throughout the company, and ultimately how they must be trained. No less demanding is the proof that valid specifications are known and actually “lived” in the company. Often there are thousands of documents that are subject to strict management and must stand up to traceable external scrutiny.
“The high density of regulations in GxP all too often obscures the view of beneficial innovation”, remarks Dr. Wolfgang Kraemer, Managing Director of DHC Business Solutions. Kraemer sees the main starting points for this in SOP training management and SOP creation: A simple, short video, for example, could usefully expand the often purely textual description of an SOP; and interactive tests conducted online could directly determine whether an SOP has not only been read, but actually understood. “With DHC VISION, we are consistently thinking this process through to the end: Our management system is becoming more multimedia for the SOPs and more interactive where learning comprehension is concerned”.
In the future, DHC VISION will allow online tests to be integrated into the applicable documents of an SOP. Different types of questions and tasks are available; they can be used to check the understanding of an SOP and to assess its successful application in practice. Employees are only given clearance if they achieve a minimum score on the test. And the software then generates a tamper-proof certificate for this. Interactive online tests, for example, play a key role in training and certification workflows.
“This means that you have much more meaningful documentation on hand for audits”, emphasizes Dr. Rudi Herterich, also Managing Director of DHC. “But the decisive factor is ultimately the added value for internal management: Test evaluations provide the company with detailed information on training successes and targeted indications of additional training needs. This allows quality to be specifically assured in production and development”.
The new DHC VISION SOP Test Engine is developed as a plug-in to the DHC VISION management system.
To accompany this, DHC will offer a wide range of services in the future. “Our new SOP Managed Services look at the entire training and certification cycle”, emphasizes Dr. Wolfgang Kraemer. “We support our customers in the creation of tests and test questions and also in the evaluation of test results. Our concern is to raise SOP management to a new level of quality.”