Prepare Bench Aids for each piece of equipment including daily maintenance instructions


All the SOPs on use and maintenance of equipment have now been written. These SOPs are stored in the folder Equipment SOPs. However, it is convenient to have a simplified procedure near each piece of equipment that can remind the user of the most important steps to take. These procedures are called Bench Aids.


Develop Bench Aids for all relevant pieces of equipment. These are stepwise procedures for routine use of the piece of equipment; they contain the procedure for operating the piece of equipment and, if necessary, the basic preventive maintenance steps and calibration procedure that needs to be carried out regularly. Procedures that need to be carried out once in a while (preventive maintenance/calibration) don't have to be included in these Bench Aids. For this the user/person responsible for the piece of equipment/Equipment Officer can use the SOP.

See the example bench aid for operating a centrifuge provided in the right-hand column.

Highly important: make the Bench Aids part of the SOPs: include the Bench Aids as appendixes to the SOPs (hence: the SOP version number must be printed on the bench aid as well). Every time an SOP is revised, the old bench aid needs to be revised and replaced by the new one. As the version number of the SOP is shown on the bench aid, you can easily check if the bench aid is still in accordance with the current SOP version.

How & who

Equipment Officer:

  1. Prepare Bench Aids based on the SOPs for operating equipment.
  2. Make the Bench Aids part of the SOPs by including them as appendix and giving them the same version number as the SOPs.
  3. Laminate the copies of the Bench Aids or put them in plastic document pouches to protect them from water and other deteriorating factors and place them at a visible, logical location near the piece of equipment they have been written for.
  4. Explain to the staff members the difference between Bench Aids and SOPs. Explain that they can find the routine procedures for operating the equipment on the Bench Aids but that they have to read the SOPs and use these for more specific procedures such as maintenance or calibration.

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This activity belongs to the QSE Equipment
ISO15189:2007: 5.5.3
ISO15189:2012: 5.5.3