SOP - Standard Operating Procedures are policies and procedures that are adopted by the employer and employees are trained to use them with discretion. Examples might be a retail store's return policy, a company's response to a customer complaint, what to do if employees catch someone shoplifting, etc. what to do if a bank robber gives you a note demanding money, etc.
Work instruction is being trained to do specific tasks on the job, such as running a cash register, stocking shelves, answering the phone, taking a reservation, etc.
In the automotive industry SOP stands for Start of Production. It's usually the date when you begin running a program normally.
Work Instruction is just a how-to step-by-step for the job.
Well I know that SOP stands for Standard Operating Procedure in the military. So my guess on the difference would be SOP would be a set way of doing something and work instruction is simply instructions.
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