Document control guidelines

Intent and objectives

Document control and identification should apply to all documentation that is created, distributed and retained for information and action in managing RMIT, such as policies, management processes, committee and board papers, and material for clients or prospective clients, such as marketing brochures, program and course information. Document control is required to ensure authority, accuracy and currency of the documentation on which people act.

Control of documents

“Define what process you need to:

  • Approve documents for adequacy prior to issue
  • Review and update, and re-approve
  • Ensure changes and current status of the document is identified
  • Ensure relevant versions are available at points of use
  • Ensure documents remain legible and readily identifiable
  • Ensure documents of external origin are identified and their distribution controlled
  • Prevent unintended use of obsolete documents
  • Apply suitable identification to documents retained for any purpose.”

The AQTF and document control

From the AQTF perspective where a student, prospective student or staff member makes a decision the information that the decision is based on must be up to date. Therefore anything handed to a student must be identifiable i.e. course guides, brochures, Induction handouts, diaries, work/ module books/ course manuals and assessment Information etc. Similarly the curriculum and assessment tools used must be current up to date and Identifiable. (Note: we are not talking about an individual teachers teaching notes although anything handed out concerning regulations and OH&S etc should at a minimum be dated since these things can change from year to year.)

Document control generally comes down to good identification the Quality Consultancy Unit has generally encouraged departments to make use of the header/footer facility in the software to identify documents. This makes good sense apart from any document control requirements. This is simple and expedient, and can be set up with templates. All staff must be aware of the requirements for document control and practice it. Process’s need to be developed, monitored and reviewed regularly.

This checklist will help you check the adequacy of document control in your area

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Can you see whether the document is approved document or a draft

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Does the document show who (person, committee, unit etc) approved it or wrote the draft?

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Does the document show when it came/comes into effect (or lapsed)?

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Does the document show when it was last reviewed and/ or amended?

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Does the document show where the master copy can be found?

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Is the document paginated (e.g. page 1of 4)

A tick is generally, but not always required for each question for a controlled document

Suggested Steps (refer to template below)

1. Identify the documents that need to be controlled eg:

a. Brochures. The official ones are OK because they are centrally produced and have the Year printed on them. Locally produced brochures and flyers need to be similarly controlled.

b. Course guides

c. Curriculum See the Procedures for TAFE Curriculum Maintenance approved at the end of 2002 end d. Training packages. With curriculum and training packages it is a matter of ensuring that we keep up to date with amendments etc from the Curriculum Maintenance Managers.

e. Module books/ Course manuals With these it is important that they are reviewed at least annually and the review date recorded on the master even if the review concludes that no changes are necessary. For example, material may not need changing for 5 years but if the date on it is 1998 with no indication that it had been reviewed in the meantime it could be inferred that it is not up to date.

f. Assessment tools. Examinations tend to be document controlled because they have the date etc. However, assessment tools developed for training packages may not. The same tool may be used over a number of years and different companies etc. The tools have to be reviewed at least annually as per AQTF requirements.

g. Other material that because of its content you feel should be document controlled

2. Identify the process owner. (Generally the position that will be responsible for amendments etc). For program specific documents the template could be utilised for each program and kept in the course log.

3. Monitor that documents do have the right annotation and most importantly that reviews are conducted.

Have you ever:

  • Produced a great document, but not known what computer directory to locate it in, 6 months down the track?
  • Wanted to find out if the information flyer you were reading was the most recent version?
  • Read meeting minutes but felt you were missing out on some of the story because you didn’t know if you had all the pages?
  • Been asked by your boss to electronically locate someone else’s document when they were away?

If you answered YES to any of the above then you need document control

(unsupported embed)Explanation of document control data

Simply get yourself in the habit of placing the following in the footer of any document you produce:

  • The file name and path
  • The date
  • Page numbering in a “Page 1 of 5” format

All these can be inserted automatically from the tool bar that pops up when you “View” footer in Word. For more detail contact the Quality Consultancy Unit.

Identifying Documents to be controlled

Document Name

Process Owner and/ or author of document

Date
Approved

Web URL

Next Review
Date











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