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New ISO Standards: Do you have to change your document procedures?

by Ofentse Sefolo
New ISO Standards: Do you have to change your document procedures?

Documentation and Documentation Control supports all ISO Management Systems, which provide a number of improvements to a business, such as improved quality and compliance. Adequate documentation and document control ensures that documented processes and related controls are consistently implemented across an organisation and help to identify and deal with non-compliance issues quickly and effectively.

The new ISO Management Systems standards’ requirements for Documented Information has led many business owners to wonder if they can get rid of documented procedures and whether there are no longer requirements for documents and records.

Documented information vs records
“Documented Information” now refers to all documents that are directive in nature, such as policies, procedures, instructions, templates and documents containing historical information, which were previously termed “records”. The latest ISO standards have replaced the terms documented “procedures” and “records” with “Documented Information”. According to ISO, Documented Information is: “meaningful data that is required to be controlled and maintained by the organisation and the medium on which it is contained.”

Documented Information refers to documents that are “maintained” while records are Documented Information that are “retained”. A form is a document and when it is completed, it becomes a record that is “retained”.

More freedom with the new ISO Standard
ISO 9001:2015 allows more freedom in how, what and when to document a Quality Management process. The old ISO 9001:2008 was more explicit about this type of documentation.

With the new document requirements, an organisation has the flexibility to use appropriate information, maintain current versions easier, provide broader access/distribution and reduce costs associated with documentation, as long as it conforms to the requirements pertaining to their Management System.

Maintaining Documented Information, or Document Control, entails setting up arrangements to ensure that Documented Information of the ISO Management System remains relevant, up-to-date, accessible and aligned to the organisation’s strategy. There are many benefits of Documented Information, including having evidence of conformance to the ISO Management Systems standard and having a “single point of truth” in how a process is carried out. It also assists with staff training and is an important consideration for auditing purposes.

For more information, contact Riskza on +27 (31) 569 5900 or via www.riskza.com.

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