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Documentation Management

Element 4.2.3, Control of documents, of the ISO 9001 standard requires the establishment of a documented procedure for documentation management. The standard, as well as many companies around the world, call this function “documentation control.” Quality Control, for example, is being increasingly referred to as Quality Assurance, emphasizing the prevention rather than the detection of problems. The American Society for Quality Control (ASQC) renamed itself in 1997 to the American Society for Quality (ASQ). So let’s also switch from "control" to management to demonstrate our awareness of contemporary thinking, and manage our documentation system per the Documentation Management Procedure.

The Documentation Management Procedure for your company will depend on the type of media you use for your documentation system. Traditional paper systems, where documents are produced, approved and maintained on paper, are still perhaps the most frequently used approach. However, an increasing number of companies are switching from paper to electronic, computer-based documentation systems. Documentation Management Procedures for these two systems differ for a number of reasons. An electronic media system won’t require, for example, a master list as a separate document – the Current document directory on your network will serve this function. The Documentation Change Record Log may not be needed, as your computer program may be able to generate a change number, etc.

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Documentation Management

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