Names or titles are unique identification --- but how would you then identify changes to the documents -- I would think you need to also have them identified by date or a revision level to ensure the document is current.
You have to use what works for you. Many companies find that assigning a number to the form makes it clearer. We relate form numbers to elements, but that is only because it works for us; there is no need for the number to mean anything. I found that using a number eliminated any chance of confusion when a form was discussed or used.
Consider your environment and go from there. If a unique form name will serve your purpose, and you are confident that using a form name will remain workable for you as your system develop, do it.
I like the suggestion Tom made. Naming the forms against certain elements is something that I have started seeing more recently, and wish I would have done the same. It makes everything much more organized and meaningful. We currently give our forms identification that can be a combo of numbers and letters (ie. Quality Change form being - "Qualchg") This suits us, making it easy to find a form by it's id number.
All you have to do is identify them in some way. With smaller companies all the ID you need is the name of the form.
If you look at www.qs9000.com/pdf_files/Doc_Matrix.pdf you will see a document matrix for a small company. None of the procedures, forms, etc. have any identifier other than the disk file name. You could just use the name of the form as several clients have done. Companies turn to numbers and such as their size grows. If you have 5000 people you're gonna have a lot of different forms and procedures - a name simply will not do.
I recomment a letter prefix, number base and 'clarifier' (form, procedure, policy, whatever) suffix such as QA-1234-F (Quality Assurance form 1234) and where hte form is linked to the reference procedure. Let's say QA-1234-P has 3 associated forms - they will be QA-1234-F1, QA-1234-F2 and QA-1234-F3. I prefer the letter prefix so that you don't have to remember a number. If you see PUR you pretty well know its a document 'owned' by purchasing.
Keep it simple and keep it as self evident as possible. I prsonally recommend that a company NOT link procedures to sections of ISO9001 or any other standard. Do what's right for your company. As many companys are beginning to realize, as ISO9001 evolves their link to the old 20 elements means nothing. Nada.
My 3 cents...
[This message has been edited by Marc Smith (edited 02 May 2000).]
Another reason to not link the forms to ISO is to promote the philosophy that what you're doing is for the company, not for ISO.
It drives me (a little) crazy when our employees constantly refer to Operating Procedures as the 'ISO Procedures'. ISO may have been the catalyst that got us off our collective butts and got SOPs updated, but first and foremost, they're here to benefit the company.
I have a question regarding forms. We have forms that are not uniquely identified but are a part of the related document (ie: SOP's, etc..).
I am struggling with the fact that the rev. date as depicted on the forms is not always changed when the document is uprev'ed. The only time this is done, according to the staff that have been performing the doc. work for several years, is when the form itself is changed. My quandry is that because these forms are a part of the primary document their rev should be changed(date of rev EX: 11/04) when the document is changed regardless of whether the form itself was or was not changed. If the form was an independant piece with a unique number and rev. This would not be needed. Can anyone provide me with the relevant regulation(s) that specifically apply to this..?