Document Control

Learn QHSE / Quality Management / What is Document Control

What is Document Control?

Document control is the planned method that will ensure the required information for your organisation is managed and organised.  Effective document control ensures that all relevant information is available for your employees to do their jobs.


Why is document control important?

Document control is important because it can become your single source of truth that the right things took place, that the right people were involved, and that the right products or service were indeed implemented.

When your employees can't find information or know how to store information, it can cause enormous amounts of confusion.  They end up maintaining documents on their hard drives, or resort to setting up some different storage to share files, but those places just become dump stations for random documents.

Therefore it is critical that documents are controlled effectively to ensure they are reliable, traceable, and are kept in a secured location, as this leads to the assurance of quality of the documents. Simply put, without document control, there will be no quality assurance.


Document Control Best Practice:

Here is some best practice guideline for the control of documents, these are as follows:

  1. Make your procedures thin and meaningful and ensure they focus on the value-added outputs.
  2. Ensure they reflect what you do as an organisation – rather than trying to align to standards, clause-by-clause.
  3. Remember who the reader is – there’s really no point having a complicated document control and approval system unless you’re NASA.
  4. Use a good compliance software tool that is output-focused, not document-control focused.Approving the documents are adequate prior to use
  5. Make sure your continuously review and update the documents where necessary and re-approve them
  6. Identify changes and the revision status
  7. Ensure all relevant documents are available when needed
  8. Ensure the documents are always legible and easy to identify
  9. Ensure you identify the documents that originate from outside of organisation and control them
  10. Prevent the accidental use of outdated documents. If they need to be kept for any purpose, ensure they are named outdated


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