Management, Risk & Compliance

Why documentation control is the cornerstone of a QMS

Good documentation control is integral to a sustainable governance framework. An effective document control system not only establishes expectations for how the organisation should act and behave, but it also ensures accountability and transparency.  

A clear document management structure supports managers to delegate and helps teams to understand the organisation’s requirements and their individual responsibilities. Importantly, good document control enables organisations to maintain a safe working environment, manage risk, scale and complexity, and remain compliant with industry standards.  

There are a number of things that can stand in the way of organisations managing documents well. Difficulties can arise when there is no central management system and clearly delegated responsibility and accountability, or limited resources to maintain the currency of the organisation’s governance framework. And this inevitably leads to teams creating their own document management systems and referring to printed document trails as a fallback.  

Tired man sitting on the floor with boxes and piles of paper documents around him.

If you’ve been thinking about improving your document management system, here are nine essential requirements to keep in mind.  

  1. Centralised system – so that everyone in the team can easily access the latest approved versions of documents.  
  2. Clear processes – for ongoing review and updates to policies, procedures and protocols as the organisation’s requirements change.  
  3. Version control – to be able to track and manage different drafts and versions of a document for auditing purposes. 
  4. Naming conventions – using key words to clearly define the document for ease of searching.  
  5. Delegated ownership – so that key team members are responsible for ensuring documents remain current.  
  6. Traceability – to keep track of who has been involved in each document and authorised changes.  
  7. Accountability – for approval of changes to documentation. 
  8. Transparency – to support a culture of taking responsibility for ensuring the organisation’s governance framework remains current, accessible and comprehensive.  
  9. Archiving system – to retain a history of past versions of approved documents. 

Need some more convincing on why good documentation control matters? Here’s some of the benefits you can expect.  

  • Define and set an organisational culture through consistency in policies, procedures and protocols. 
  • Onboard new staff rapidly by providing ready access to the organisation’s policies, procedures and protocols. 
  • Provide evidence of compliance with industry standards.   
  • Identify gaps in the governance framework and support the organisation’s assessment of risk exposure.  
  • Empower management to take responsibility for strengthening the governance framework and give employees better insight into the organisation’s requirements. 
  • Streamline processes for updating and revising documents as the organisation’s requirements change or improvements are made. 
  • Support the organisation to better manage safety, quality and risk.  

Document control software such as LogiqcQMS can support organisations with building an effective document management system. As most organisations adapt to remote working, digital solutions can enable team members to access the latest approved version from any device, in any location.

The right software can support managers with delegating, communicating, and coordinating the review and updating of documents. At the same time, document control software can give confidence to the workforce that they have ready access to the organisation’s governance framework, while managing appropriate access to documentation.  

Interested in learning more about how LogiqcQMS can help you with your document control requirements? Let’s start a conversation.