ISO 9001 Document Control Procedure

by Rahulprasad Hurkadli

A widely accepted benchmark for quality management systems is ISO 9001. Part of implementing ISO 9001 involves establishing and maintaining a document control procedure. This procedure outlines the processes for creating, approving, distributing, and controlling documents within an organization.

The purpose of the document control procedure is to ensure that all documents pertinent to the quality management system are accurate, up-to-date, and readily available to relevant personnel. This helps to ensure that employees have access to the correct information and are able to perform their roles effectively.

ISO 9001 Document Control Procedure

Why document control procedure is needed in ISO 9001

Document control procedures are needed in ISO 9001 because they ensure that documents used within the quality management system are controlled, managed, and kept up to date. This is important for several reasons:

  •  Accuracy and consistency: Document control procedures ensure that the correct versions of documents are being used by employees. This helps to prevent errors, inconsistencies, and confusion, ultimately improving the overall accuracy and consistency of processes and operations.
  • Compliance with regulations and standards: ISO 9001 requires organizations to demonstrate compliance with applicable regulations and standards. Document control procedures help ensure that documents are updated to reflect any regulatory and standard changes, and that employees have access to the most current information.
  • Traceability and accountability: Document control procedures provide a clear audit trail, enabling organizations to track revisions, changes, and updates made to documents. This helps in maintaining accountability and allows for easy identification of who made specific changes and when.
  • Efficient retrieval and retrieval of documents: With document control procedures in place, documents can be easily stored, organized, and accessed as needed. This improves efficiency, reduces time wasted searching for documents, and ensures that employees have access to the right information at the right time.
  • Continuous improvement: Document control procedures support the continuous improvement process by allowing organizations to track and analyze the effectiveness of their documents and make necessary updates or improvements as needed. This ensures that documents remain relevant and effective in supporting the organization's quality management system.

Overall, document control procedures play a vital role in ensuring the integrity, accuracy, and effectiveness of the documentation used within ISO 9001. They contribute to the smooth operation of the quality management system and help organizations meet the requirements of the standard.

key elements of document control procedure in ISO 9001

Process Activities:

Define the specific steps involved in creating, approving, and distributing documents within the organization.
Process activities are crucial for creating, approving, and distributing documents in organizations. They involve creating high-quality documents, reviewing and approving them, and distributing them effectively. These activities streamline workflow, enhance collaboration, and improve communication. They also involve identifying different types of documents and establishing their hierarchy.

Document Coding Scheme:

Establish a consistent method for assigning unique codes or identifiers to each document, ensuring easy retrieval and referencing.

A document coding scheme is crucial for effective document management. It assigns unique codes to each document, allowing for easy retrieval and referencing. This system saves time and promotes collaboration among team members. It is essential for optimizing document management and retrieving important information.

Document Distribution Management:

Determine how documents will be distributed to relevant individuals or departments and maintain a log of distribution.

Document Distribution Management involves efficiently distributing documents within an organization by identifying recipients and ensuring timely delivery. Accountability is ensured through distribution logs. Methods depend on document type and preferences. Benefits include streamlined processes and improved efficiency, enhancing productivity.

Control of Records:

Implement measures to ensure the proper storage, retrieval, and retention of records throughout their lifecycle.

Effective records control is crucial for organizations. It involves organizing, storing, retrieving, and retaining records securely. Categorizing, labeling, and indexing records aid in easy retrieval. Electronic document management systems simplify organization. Records must be securely stored to prevent loss, damage, or unauthorized access. Physical security measures and cybersecurity precautions are important. Efficient retrieval is vital, aided by clear indexes and search functions. Lastly, proper record retention ensures compliance and meets future business needs. Following these measures ensures efficient information management.

Roles and Responsibilities:

Clearly outline the responsibilities of individuals or departments involved in document control, including document owners, reviewers, and approvers.

Document control requires clearly outlining the roles and responsibilities of individuals or departments involved in order to ensure understanding of tasks and obligations. The document owner creates and maintains the document, while reviewers thoroughly analyze it for accuracy and adherence to guidelines. Approvers have final say in approving or rejecting the document and ensure compliance with regulations. By clarifying these roles, document control becomes a well-structured process.

Managing Records:

Establish procedures for managing and organizing records, including regular reviews for accuracy and relevance.

Managing records is essential for any organization. It involves establishing procedures for organizing and ensuring accuracy. Regular reviews are crucial to identify errors and keep information up to date. Outdated records can be disposed of to retain the most essential information. Efficient record management streamlines operations, enhances decision-making, and ensures compliance. It also improves efficiency and productivity across departments. Overall, it protects valuable information and makes it easily accessible.


ISO 9001

ISO 9001 Document Control Procedure

Controls for Records Protection:

Implement safeguards to protect confidential or sensitive information contained within records from unauthorized access, alteration, or destruction.

To protect sensitive information, suitable controls must be in place. These controls prevent unauthorized access, alterations, or destruction of records. Safeguards include encryption, access controls, and regular backups. Encryption encodes information so only authorized individuals can decipher it. Access controls limit who can access records through authentication. Regular backups protect against data loss. These controls maintain the integrity and confidentiality of records and safeguard the information within them.

Validity and Document Management:

Define procedures for reviewing and updating documents to ensure their accuracy and relevance, including version control and document obsolescence.

Validity and Document Management is crucial for organizations to maintain accurate and relevant documents. Well-defined procedures are necessary to review and update documents regularly. Version control is important to track changes and ensure the most recent version is used. Addressing document obsolescence is also necessary. Implementing strong validity and document management procedures helps maintain information integrity, improve efficiency, and meet regulatory requirements.

Benefits of document control procedure in ISO 9001

There are several benefits of implementing a document control procedure in ISO 9001:

  • Consistency: Document control ensures that all documents within the organization are consistently and accurately created, reviewed, approved, and updated. This helps ensure that everyone in the organization is working with the most up-to-date and accurate information.
  • Compliance: Document control procedures help organizations meet the requirements of ISO 9001 by ensuring that documented information is effectively controlled and maintained. This helps demonstrate compliance during audits and inspections.
  • Risk mitigation: By controlling documents, organizations can mitigate the risk of using outdated or incorrect information, which can lead to errors, non-conformances, or customer dissatisfaction. Consistently following document control procedures helps reduce these risks.
  • Efficiency: Document control procedures help organizations streamline their processes by ensuring that employees have access to the right documents at the right time. This helps minimize time wasted searching for information and promotes productivity.
  • Accountability: Document control procedures establish clear roles and responsibilities for document owners, reviewers, and approvers. This promotes accountability within the organization and ensures that proper control and oversight are in place.
  • Version control: Document control procedures ensure that different versions of documents are properly managed. This helps prevent confusion and reduces the risk of using outdated or incorrect information.
  • Traceability: Document control procedures provide a clear audit trail, making it easy to track changes made to documents and identify who made the changes. This promotes transparency and accountability.

Overall, implementing a document control procedure in ISO 9001 helps organizations maintain consistency, compliance, and efficiency in their document management processes, leading to improved performance and customer satisfaction.


The Document Control Procedure is crucial for ISO 9001. It governs the creation, review, approval, distribution, and retention of all organizational documents. This procedure ensures accuracy, consistency, and prevents errors and outdated information. It also establishes a framework for version control. Implementing an effective Document Control Procedure enhances efficiency, decision-making, and compliance. It also supports continuous improvement and maintains the integrity of documented information, promoting quality and compliance.

ISO 9001