Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

templates for biobanks and biospecimen researchers

Standard operating procedures (SOPs) are an essential part of a biobank quality management system.

They provide an important framework for conducting basic operations for each biobank process and help to achieve uniformity and reproducibility in biospecimen and data collection, handling, processing and storage over an extended period of time.

SOP Templates

The NSW Health Statewide Biobank (NSWHSB) has created 27 templates for SOPs that are available for use, covering a range of biobank activities.

SOP 1.1 Template NSWHSB Participant Recruitment
SOP 1.2 Template NSWHSB Obtaining Informed Consent
SOP 1.3 Template NSWHSB Withdrawal Consent
SOP 1.4 Template NSWHSB Notification of Serious and Significant Findings
SOP 2.1 Template NSWHSB Emergency Procedure Freezer Fridge Failure
SOP 2.2 Template NSWHSB Facility Equipment Maintenance Repair
SOP 3.1 Template NSWHSB Biobank Education Training
SOP 4.1 Template NSWHSB Biobank Labelling Tracking Biospecimens
SOP 4.2 Template NSWHSB Biobank Blood Collection
SOP 4.3 Template NSWHSB Biobank Blood Processing Storage
SOP 4.4 Template NSWHSB Biobank Urine Processing Storage
SOP 4.5 Template NSWHSB Biobank Tissue Collection Harvest
SOP 4.6 Template NSWHSB Biobank Tissue Processing Storage
SOP 4.7 Template NSWHSB Biospecimen Retrieval
SOP 4.8 Template NSWHSB extraction of DNA from blood
SOP 4.9 Template NSWHP RNA extraction from tissue and blood
SOP 4.10 Template NSWHSB Biobank Tissue Sectioning
SOP 4.11 Template NSWHSB Biobank Staining
SOP 4.12 Template NSWHSB Biobank TMAs
SOP 5.1 Template Biobank Assessing Quality of Tissue
SOP 5.2 Template NSWHSB Inventory Verification
SOP 6.1 Template NSWHSB Clinical Annotation Biospecimens
SOP 6.2 Template NSWHSB Biobank Data Retrieval
SOP 7.1 Template NSWHSB Biobank Material Access Release
SOP 7.2 Template NSWHSB Shipping Transport Final
SOP 7.3 Template NSWHSB Return Biospecimens for Clinical Purposes
SOP 7.4 Template NSWHSB Release Return Diagnostic Samples for Research

The aim of these templates is to:

  • save biobanks and biospecimen researchers time
  • provide guidance and expertise  
  • offer a valuable and accessible resource to be used when drafting or revising Biobank SOPs, and
  • ensure biobank SOPs are consistent with national standards and ISBER Best Practices.

Our SOP templates have undergone extensive review from a variety of subject matter experts. Please direct all feedback and enquiries to nsw@biobanking.org.

How to use the SOP templates

The templates are not intended to be used as active SOPs in their current form and biobank staff and biospecimen researchers will need to edit, delete and add information as appropriate for your biobank or project.

Each SOP includes topics with examples and some of these will not necessarily be appropriate for your Biobank. Please note that the NSW Health Statewide Biobank does not endorse any listed products, which are provided as examples only.

Complimentary resources

Complementary resources include:

  • Canadian Tissue Repository Network (CTRNet) SOPs
  • Biospecimen Research Database (BRD) from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) USA where you can search SOPs uploaded by Biobanks around the world

Our Australian SOPs contain references to Required Operational Practices (ROPs). These have been developed by NSWHSB, in conjunction with CTRNet and are available as part of the NSW Biobank Certification Program, which offers free registration.

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