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Document Control - old prototype documents as reference?

Discussion in 'ISO 9001:2015 - Quality Management Systems' started by John Michael Kane, Feb 26, 2019.

  1. John Michael Kane

    John Michael Kane Member

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    I have a situation where a team member wants to make a large quantity of historical documentation available for reference use but scanning, copying etc into a reference folder. Many of these documents were never released as they are prototype documents, many are old emails, some were released 10 years ago.

    I can't conceivably open and release thousands of documents for reference.

    How can I provide document control for these old documents without re-releasing them?
     
  2. Graham Thorpe

    Graham Thorpe Member

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    I think all that stuff is knowledge but is it relevant? I am sure we do not want to know everything. I think its about a cut off point when the information becomes useful for folks picking up the project.
     
  3. John Michael Kane

    John Michael Kane Member

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    it's not a single project - it's intended to be a sort of "reference library" - so relevancy is determined by the immediate need of the specific engineer. The question is can I just make all of documents available to an audience of about 50 people as a REFERENCE source but still have it considered acceptable within ISO-9001:2015?
     
  4. Golfman25

    Golfman25 Well-Known Member

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    If they are just reference documents and not operational documents, why do you feel you need to re-release them to "control" them? Why can't it be as simple as the "secret box?"
     
  5. tony s

    tony s Well-Known Member

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    If it's absurd for you, it's also absurd for ISO 9001. You don't need to give everybody a copy of the library. The intent of ISO 9001 is to control those documented information required/necessary for the QMS not ALL the reference documents.
     
  6. John C. Abnet

    John C. Abnet Well-Known Member

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    Good day @John Michael KAne and welcome to the site.
    Most organizations keep and maintain "lessons learned" and/or "rule of thumb" type documentation. However, in most of those organizations there is output (point of work) documentation that controls the processes. It is those point of work documents that if "Wrong or Gone" could cause a nonconformance. Therefore, in the example I have given only those point of work documents should be identified within the scope of so called "controlled documents".

    The term I use above..."wrong or gone" is a term I developed years ago to help my teams determine if a document needed controlled (or not). The goal is to ask the question...,
    If a document is "Wrong or Gone" can this contribute to a nonconformance? If the answer is "no", then likely no formal method of document control is needed.

    Within this thread you have received numerous good council. Your organization will now need to consider this council and, based on your organization's situation, make a determination.

    Hope this helps.

    Be well.
     
  7. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    This is one of the biggest myths of document control! By labeling any document "For Reference" that invites people to use it! That's why the place where books are kept for people to access is called a "Reference Library". By then labeling obsolete documents as such invites people to use something which may be the wrong document.

    Much better to label them what they are "Obsolete".

    Using "For Reference Only" may fool (some) auditors, but those who understand document control (and calibration) know it's not effective.
     

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