Document Matrix - Can the Server Directory Listing(s) be used?


Andy Bassett

Document Matrix's. Can the Server be used?

Looking at a subject on another thread jogged my memory about a problem i have had in the back of my mind for some time.

I have never yet seen a company that gets any benefit out of a Document Matrix (I know the theorey behind it, but thats the reality).

If i am using a EDP System, can i not simply say that the latest documentation can always be found on the server, and if necessary do a screen shot of the server as evidence for the auditor.?

The only documentation that may then need to be in a matrix is externally supplied documents. Delivery Notes etc

Andy B

Spaceman Spiff

That is exactly how I re-constructed the document system at my company. Thus far, the assessor did not have any problems with this method. I do need to state that the IT Administrator and I are the only two with Read & Write access to the Documentation System drive.


I implemented the same process using ISO-x-Pert at a previous company. Worked great, auditors had no problem with it.

Brenda Mundroff

So, why do we need a document matrix? The only benefit I see is for the auditor or
the MR to be able to identify who owns what and where it is located. Outside of that, the technicians know where there doc is located. Other benefits I might be missing?


Fully vaccinated are you?
Originally posted by Andy Bassett:

If i am using a EDP System, can i not simply say that the latest documentation can always be found on the server, and if necessary do a screen shot of the server as evidence for the auditor?
Yup - you sure can say the 'latest' documentation is on the server. And your document 'matrix' can be a directory listing.

On the other hand, many companies use a matirx to define retention times and such. In fact, many companies have multiple document matrices.


Did we confuse "Document Matrix" with "Master List"
A master list being a list of documents,document numbers, location and rev. level.
A document matrix being a matrix of functions down one side and types of documents across the top with the responsibility for approval and release as the filler.


Fully vaccinated are you?
There is no requirement for a document matrix (per your definition) that I know of.

There is no requirement for a document list (per your definition as well), either.

4.5.2 Document and data approval and issue

The documents and data shall be reviewed and approved for adequacy by authorized personnel prior to issue. A master list or equivalent document control procedure identifying the current revision status of documents shall be established and be readily available to preclude the use of invalid and/or obsolete documents.
ISO9001:2000 (from the 'released' Australian 'standard')

5.5.6 Control of documents

Documents required for the quality management system shall be controlled. A documented procedure shall be established:

a) to approve documents for adequacy prior to issue;
b) to review, update as necessary and re-approve documents;
c) to identify the current revision status of documents;
d) to ensure that relevant versions of applicable documents are available at points of use;
e) to ensure that documents remain legible, readily identifiable and retrievable;
f) to ensure that documents of external origin are identified and their distribution controlled;
g) to prevent the unintended use of obsolete documents, and to apply suitable identification to them if they are retained for any purpose. Documents defined as quality records shall be controlled (see 5.5.7).
Note that the 2000 version says nothing about a master list.


Marc, As usual you are absolutly right. Those were my "personal" definitions based on previous "wants/needs" of the auditor. The real requirements were "stretched" a little.
In our system we are still required to have the master list as required by QS9000.


Again you are correct, however, Master list or equivalent....
Somehow I don't see the difference, other than to add fuel for comentary between auditor/auditee.


Fully vaccinated are you?
It says: "...equivalent document control procedure...". You can state in your procedure that "...a summary of documents can be obtained by doing a directory listing..." or whatever. All they want is that you can show what documents you have and that they are in control. Yeah - rev level, etc., but technically you can get that from the document.

The point is if you design your systems to satisfy what an auditor feels is a satisfactory system you can quickly loose control. Having a master list and matrix is a typical expectation of an auditor. That doesn't mean that is the requirement. If an auditor started telling me I have to have a master list or matrix and I used a different methodology which fulfills the requirement, I'd fight for my system.
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