Document Control - Do hard copies of documents need to be signed?




i have a question regarding the above. Do hard copies of documents actually need to be signed?

My old employer never did this and i was never pulled up about it by an auditor.

My new employer does do this but its a pain with signing, scanning etc...

I'm thinking if i am the approved issuer of the document and control the issue number distribution then that is review enough?


Looking for Reality
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It's up to the company.

The document must be you control is pretty much up to long as the way you choose prevents use of old versions.

Signatures are a way to track that everyone (the signers) agrees that this is the version that should be in play. We use hardcopy signatures and electronic signatures, and in some cases a dbase button click.
If the document is re how to test a certain will you verify that quality and production both agree on the test procedure?
Signing is one way...there are plenty of others...


Super Moderator
The answer is simple...

What does the standard say?

What does your document control procedure say?

If either one says a signature is needed then sign the silly things. (I'll guarantee the standard doesn't)

If neither one requires a signature, it doesn't really matter what the auditor says....Not one bit, as long as you can demonstrate effective control.

All I do is audit, nothing more, just audit and in the end it doesn't matter what I say, feel, or want, only that requirements are effectively met.


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Signing document is common way how companies address ISO requirements related to approval for adequacy. Problem is, it is not intention of standard to have signatures on documents. It is to verify if e.g. activities described by documents are feasible to implement, specifications stated are compliant to input data used during documents creation, etc.

Currently we use "hybrid" system, where all hard copies have pen signatures. Some soft copies are distributed in pdf, straight as they come from MS Office using "Save as pdf" function. In cells where pen signatures are located in hard copy, soft copy have written names and surnames of issuing and approving persons, e.g. John Smith.

Other related subject. Personally I found two-stage approval system with "check" and "approve" stages as highly ineffective. "Checker" does not care as approving person definitely will check it later, and "approver" does not care as definitely checking person had checked it before.
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