Process for Managing Documents which are Overdue for Review

D

DG Doc Control

#1
Hi all,

This is my first post in this forum and I am looking at examples of how other organisations manage overdue documents.

We have just received a major non-conformance because we have over two thousand controlled documents that are overdue for review.

In the past, the overdue report was generated quarterly but it was still up to the document owners to review their own documents.

The management team want to reduce the amount of documents that are overdue and I want to be able to put into place a way of managing this.

Any suggestions?
 
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harry

Super Moderator
#2
Hi all,

This is my first post in this forum and I am looking at examples of how other organisations manage overdue documents.

We have just received a major non-conformance because we have over two thousand controlled documents that are overdue for review.

In the past, the overdue report was generated quarterly but it was still up to the document owners to review their own documents.

The management team want to reduce the amount of documents that are overdue and I want to be able to put into place a way of managing this.

Any suggestions?
Welcome to the Cove.

To give others a better picture and hence provide a more specific answer, could you provide the following details?

1. Is this major NC from an internal or external audit and to the requirements of which particular standard is this audit carried out?

2. Could you post in verbatim the complete NC statement?

3. What are these "over two thousand controlled documents that are overdue for review".

4. What does your procedures say about this 'review'?
 

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Staff member
Admin
#5
Welcome to the Cove! :bigwave:

Two thousand documents! :mg: As one who was a Document Control Admin for a few years, this number takes my breath away. It occurs to me that the owners of these documents may find the duty of reviewing such a stack of documents may be overwhelming or low on their list of priorities. How many owners do these two thousand+ documents have?

How does the system work - is there an automatic message based on a software-driven clock or calendar, or any other automatic mechanism?
 

insect warfare

QA=Question Authority
Trusted Information Resource
#6
Hi all,

This is my first post in this forum and I am looking at examples of how other organisations manage overdue documents.

We have just received a major non-conformance because we have over two thousand controlled documents that are overdue for review.

In the past, the overdue report was generated quarterly but it was still up to the document owners to review their own documents.

The management team want to reduce the amount of documents that are overdue and I want to be able to put into place a way of managing this.

Any suggestions?
For the sake of argument, I will answer as if this were ISO 9001...I'm assuming you have a requirement stated in your document control procedure that says something like, "Documents that have not been modified in over X months (or years) will require an automatic review."

Simple - design this requirement out of your procedure...If you don't make these reviews mandatory, then they won't become necessary. ISO 9001:2008 states that:

"a documented procedure shall be established to define the controls needed:

b) to review and update as necessary and re-approve documents"
And that's it. Take some weight off your shoulders - the lighter the load, the faster you can manuever.

Brian :rolleyes:
 

Wes Bucey

Quite Involved in Discussions
#7
For the sake of argument, I will answer as if this were ISO 9001...I'm assuming you have a requirement stated in your document control procedure that says something like, "Documents that have not been modified in over X months (or years) will require an automatic review."

Simple - design this requirement out of your procedure...If you don't make these reviews mandatory, then they won't become necessary. ISO 9001:2008 states that:



And that's it. Take some weight off your shoulders - the lighter the load, the faster you can manuever.

Brian :rolleyes:
Proper Configuration Management dictates an organization have a systematic plan to review documents to remove obsolete ones, update current ones with newer revisions, or affirm documents are still valid.

typically, the problems organizations encounter in fulfilling the review requirement fall into these categories

  1. reviews are not ongoing, but scheduled in batches - if the batches become too large, the job is overwhelming.
  2. timetables for review are arbitrarily set the same for every type of document - some types may need review only when an outside agency performs an action; some may have automatic expirations and not need review for retention. (a purchase order and shipping invoice may never need review unless a problem arises)
  3. some organizations confuse Records as documents which need review (they don't, except as part of preparing a report or other summary)
  4. there is no real system of flagging documents for review, retrieving them, and assigning them to competent personnel for review. (90% of reviews are simply comparing documents against updates or new revisions or determining whether they are no longer valid because the corpus of the document no longer exists [some organizations still have operating manuals for Browne & Sharpe lathes when the last one went to a recycler 20 years ago.])
 

insect warfare

QA=Question Authority
Trusted Information Resource
#8
Proper Configuration Management dictates an organization have a systematic plan to review documents to remove obsolete ones, update current ones with newer revisions, or affirm documents are still valid.

typically, the problems organizations encounter in fulfilling the review requirement fall into these categories

  1. reviews are not ongoing, but scheduled in batches - if the batches become too large, the job is overwhelming.
  2. timetables for review are arbitrarily set the same for every type of document - some types may need review only when an outside agency performs an action; some may have automatic expirations and not need review for retention. (a purchase order and shipping invoice may never need review unless a problem arises)
  3. some organizations confuse Records as documents which need review (they don't, except as part of preparing a report or other summary)
  4. there is no real system of flagging documents for review, retrieving them, and assigning them to competent personnel for review. (90% of reviews are simply comparing documents against updates or new revisions or determining whether they are no longer valid because the corpus of the document no longer exists [some organizations still have operating manuals for Browne & Sharpe lathes when the last one went to a recycler 20 years ago.])
I hear where you're coming from, Wes. No disagreements there. I was only advising the OP what damage control I would take in an ISO 9001 requirements-type environment (hopefully we are talking about the correct standard, since the OP has not replied yet) and given this type of situation, if I thought for any second that such an activity was doing more harm than good, I would not hesitate to cease that activity.

Hopefully (in this case) the OP has simply over-complicated the process and will learn from the effects it has created...hence the review system maybe just needs to be designed simpler, so it can be used more efficiently.

Brian :rolleyes:
 

Jim Wynne

Staff member
Admin
#9
For the sake of argument, I will answer as if this were ISO 9001...I'm assuming you have a requirement stated in your document control procedure that says something like, "Documents that have not been modified in over X months (or years) will require an automatic review."

Simple - design this requirement out of your procedure...If you don't make these reviews mandatory, then they won't become necessary. ISO 9001:2008 states that:
"a documented procedure shall be established to define the controls needed:

b) to review and update as necessary and re-approve documents"

And that's it. Take some weight off your shoulders - the lighter the load, the faster you can manuever.

Brian :rolleyes:
Unfortunately, the bit you quote from the standard may be interpreted two different ways due to sloppy writing. Is the requirement to review and update as necessary, or review and update as necessary? It's not at all clear what "as necessary" modifies in that sentence.

My experience is that most auditors expect periodic review to be done.
 

insect warfare

QA=Question Authority
Trusted Information Resource
#10
Unfortunately, the bit you quote from the standard may be interpreted two different ways due to sloppy writing. Is the requirement to review and update as necessary, or review and update as necessary? It's not at all clear what "as necessary" modifies in that sentence.

My experience is that most auditors expect periodic review to be done.
Or better yet - review and update as necessary?

I know, sloppy indeed. I have to agree that it can be a confusing string of words, but maybe if the writers re-worded the statement as "to review, update and re-approve documents as necessary" it would make a little more sense, at least to me...

RE: periodic review - that has been my experience too. Though I wish more people would realize that there is usually more than one way to skin a cat, and that sometimes an idea can become the institution.

Brian :rolleyes:
 
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