DOCUMENT CONTROL IN ISO 9001 | ISO 14001 | ISO 22000 | OHSAS 18001 & OTHER STANDARDS
Document Control is yet another very important requirement of ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 22000, OHSAS 18001 & other ISO certification standards.
Its like a soul for any management standard.
To have the documentations [the paper work, as some of us fondly like to call it] in an entity/company, small, medium or large, is very important.
This is so because it makes principles, policies, intentions, ideologies & all other things that we contemplate in our heads, visible to one & all. And when things are visible, it is easier & effective to understand, control & analyze them. It eliminates confusions, ambiguity, duplicacy, etc. They set the "reference frame" against which all activities are to be evaluated.
Further, this way, we do not loose the sight of the goal posts, the lighthouses that are supposed to guide us, keep us on track.
In brief, anything & everything, that we intend to do, is more effective when we write it down.
So much for the importance of documentation !!!
In the context of ISO 9001 | ISO 14001 | ISO 22000 | OHSAS 18001, the following types of documents are required by any organization. Either all or some of these are definitely applicable.
> Quality Manual = Describes the quality management system in accordance with the stated policies & objectives [the intentions & the landmarks that one wants to achieve]. This answers the question 'What you want to do".
> Quality Management System Procedures = Describes the interrelated activities & processes required to implement the management system. This answer the questions "How you will do it".
> Work instructions & other documents for quality management system = These are the subsets of what point 2 intends to achieve. It says how a specific activity needs to be specifically done. An activity done appropriately will ensure that the entire process is completed appropriately. Yes, a process is nothing but a set of interrelated activities performed in a specified / pre-deteremined sequence.
The primary aim of an organization is to achieve efficiency & effectiveness. In line with these objectives, all activities are designed & delivered.
Document control means that that there will be a written mechanism to control the documents. Control in terms of which authority, a person or committee, will prepare/make/revise the documents. Which authority will approve these. The history & tractability of documents. Legibility. Up-to-date documents in usage & obsolete ones in their rightful place.