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Question 1 - Nitpicking on Document Approval - can a document approval record be separate?


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I have a form to approve. The first 2 pages is the business content - what the form is really for -- the 3rd page is just the approval, revision history, approval signature, etc. The creator of the form wants to be able to print pages 1 and 2 of the approved form for daily use but not waste the 3rd page by printing it every time.

I know that ISO doesn't specify EXACTLY how to do this, but can I have a form that's approved and the approval record is not part of that document? If an auditor picks up the form and it's page 1 of 3 and 2 of 3, the first question is going to be "where's page 3?"

Can I have a separate approval record for each form?


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I have worked with companies that have something called a DCN/DCR - a document change notification/document change record. A separate document captures the revision history of the document and a log (record) keeps track of changes. In the company I work at currently, I hyperlink this DCN document in the footer of the document for anyone who may want to see the full revision history with signatures. (This is also maintained in a document master binder)

Some older documents have revision changes well into the double digits and it would take up pages of the document. It just seemed to be very cluttered. The DCN serves as record.


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Since ISO doesn't tell you how to do something, it's up to your organization to create a management system that works for (i.e., adds value to) the organization.

Does having that 3rd page add any value? If Page 3 goes missing, what is the impact to the process?

My own take is that the approval for forms (re: template for what will eventually become a record) doesn't belong on the form itself. Your doc control system should be robust enough to handle this approach.

John C. Abnet

Can I have a separate approval record for each form?
Good day @ISO_Man
I'll answer your question with another question. Why change anything? As long as you can show evidence that the current level document (i assume you keep the " master" as a digital document), is the same level as the document in use, then there is no problem.

Specific to your question of "can I have a separate approval record"? The answer is yes, of course.

One method I have used is as follows...
- A log (data base in some cases) assigns a sequential "serial number" for identifying all change point control (e.g. CP-0001, CP-0002, CP-0003, etc..etc..)
- The log (data base in some cases) simply identifies the following by the assigned serial number.. ..
a) The document number impacted by a given change point control serial number (e.g. CP-0022)
b) WHY the change is desired
c) WHAT changed
d) WHO approved the change
e) WHEN (date of change implementation)

The change point control serial number (e.g. CP-0022) is listed on the document (generally a field on the front/first page).

Now when a document is used, it is clear to see the most recent CPC serial number (instead of rev level) listed on the document. To understand if that is the most recent version and the WHY-WHAT-WHO-WHEN associated with the change (i.e. change history) simply look up CP-0022 in the log (data base in some cases).

Regardless of your approach, don't overthink it. As long as you can show evidence that the relevant information on the document in use is consistent with the intent (current "revision" level), then you have ensured the correct document is being used (and, by the way, satisfy the requirements of the standard).

Hope this helps.
Be well.


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Many places have the document approvals on a separate form, and the actual document or form only has a revision number or date to be used to connect to the approvals. As long as you have good doc control practices so only the current version is accessible and in use, you will not have audit problems.

With printed forms the biggest problem is people printing out a large amount and using outdated revisions.
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