Do Procedures and Work Instructions have to have Document Numbers?



Do procedures and work instructions have to have document numbers?
Why or why not?


Fully vaccinated are you?
You don't have to use numbers. A small company I worked with used the document disk file name as the document ID. I suggested it - they didn't need a complex system. Only 14 folks in the company.

Their index and control document is: Doc_Matrix.pdf in the Free Files Directory

No numbers - just disk file names.


Fully vaccinated are you?
A nice numbering scheme:


Subject: Re: Documentation Structure, Numbering /Rezac/Barton
Date: Fri, 14 May 1999 10:17:43 -0600
From: ISO Standards Discussion

Subject: Re: Documentation Structure, Numbering /Rezac/Barton

> I have done some research on the net and found very little. (I was
> hoping to find suggested outlines for a document control structure, and
> possibly some practical document numbering schemes.) So, my request to
> the list members is--do any of you have a document control structure and
> numbering scheme that works especially well and is practical and easy to
> use? Can you suggest any websites or technical references that would
> help me?

At my last company I used a very simple and effective system for numbering and control that works in both paper based and electronic based systems. The Document Control Number was configured ABXXXX, where AB is an alpha departmental code such as PR for purchasing. The first leading X was the level of the documentation system as in a typical ISO 9000 documentation structure, 1 for the quality manual, 2 for level-2 administrative (interdepartmental) procedures, 3 for level-3 work (intradepartmental) instructions, and 4 for level-4 records/forms. The last 3 Xs were placeholders for each document in that department, e.g. 001 for the first document, 002 for second, etc. This leaves room for 999 documents in a department for each of levels 2, 3 and 4. In practice I never had anywhere close to that many documents (try to keep it lean), but in a truly huge company and a paper intensive industry (read pharmaceuticals) I guess it could happen. In that case, I suggest departmental subdivision.

For control purposes I used a revision code XXABCXX-XXX. The revision code consisted of the date and a numerically indexed placeholder for the number of revisions that have taken place for that document. The first two digits were the date within the month (01-31), the next 3 alpha codes were an abbreviation for the month (JAN, FEB) and the last two digits were the year. The last 3 Xs were placeholders for each revision of that document, e.g. 001 for the first revision, 002 for second, etc.

This system worked extremely well. The document control number can be the filename in a computer. You can develop a database or spreadsheet file that is a hypertext index by title, department or whatever works best for your company -- keeping records of current revision codes, where the document is in the approval cycle, etc. The database becomes the entrypoint for users. When the database is well developed and maintained there is never any confusion about the latest and greatest. Simple observation allows anyone to determine where in system the document fits and whether it is current and its status. A procedure administrator should control the approval cycle, assignment of document numbers, revision codes and releases when all the approvals are complete. The revision code date is the simultaneous date of release for use and implementation date.

William E. Barton

barb butrym

Quite Involved in Discussions
I have used a similar method to yours above, but have moved on to an auditor friendly 'map', so I can sort the data base and all documents will fall under the appropriate element. Then the auditor knows where he has to go to see evidence of compliance. It keeps me sane as a consultant as I am in so many companies, its less for me to have to remember...I always know where to find a requirement

D203-001 for instance, would be the Document, level 2, element 3 and the first sequential document. The general contract review procedure. Forms, would be QF203-xxx. 2, the document level that requires the form, Element 3, and xx sequential numbers. This is agreat way to show the relationship and cross function connection to the standard.


Here at our shop, we use this method. In the level one (quality manual itself) we simply seperate the elements into sections. (Section 1; management responsibility, section 2; Quality system, etc.)
In the level two, we simply use this method, DOP-SS-NN. D is the issuing department code, the consecutive two letters stand for Operational Procedure, SS is the number of the quality manual section (and thereby the QS9000 section) to which a procedure pertains, and NN is the consecutive number of a procedure. For example Q-Quality O-operational P-Procedure, 05 (manual section, 02....QOP-05-02!
Our work instructions work somewhat the same way, OWI-09-01! O-operational W-work I-instructions, 09 (section), 01 number sequence!
On our forms, we use SF001, S-standard F-form, and number! We also place an issue date and revision level here also!
I hope that this is useful!
Joe W. Guy, Jr
QS9000 admin


I have another number question. We have process packets which have document numbers on all of them. A separate number for the process sheet, the molding charts, sinter charts, setup papers, etc.
We have made a change to the process sheet. There are almost 300 of them. How can I state in my procedure that when we make a new change, we do not have to go back through all 3oo process sheets and put the revision date on every page?
Or is there no way around it?
I would really appreciate any help...


Re: Document Numbers - Do procedures and work instructions have to have document numb

What should your Quality Manual contain? Additionally, should there be a separate folder for Operating Procedures and Work Instructions?



Re: Document Numbers - Do procedures and work instructions have to have document numb

What should your Quality Manual contain? Additionally, should there be a separate folder for Operating Procedures and Work Instructions?


The quality manual is a high level overview of the quality system. Many generally like to model the outline of their quality manual so that it matches the outline of a standard, like ISO9000. Each section of your quality manual might then include a reference to your operating procedures.

I have a separate folder (electronic) for procedures and work instructions for organization, but it is not necessary.


Re: Document Numbers - Do procedures and work instructions have to have document numb

I normally use QM for the manual, P-99 for prcedures, W-99 for work instructions, F-99 for formats and M-99 for master lists.

But at a small company (10 heads) we tried an interesting variation - and it works very nicely. The QM was maintained in a soft format on an excel sheet. References to various procedures had hyperlinks attached and there on to WI and Formats. Same backwards. The MR maintained a complete process link diagram showing the interlinking and the current revisions of various sections. The auditor could also refer to the relevant clauses in the same charts. Six years down the line, the system is still working nicely.

No, if you design it properly, you dont need to number your documents.


Hi everyone,:bigwave:

I'm new here and I have a question based on this post...I appreciate if anyone can help me...

And if you have to define how to number all documents of a group??

The doubt is because I'm in a company that have many companies (50 companies), of different business area (4 business areas), and I don't know the best way to numbering the documents...Identifying the business area, company and unit...:bonk:

thank you:thanx:
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