Three layer documentation system in a small company


Anton Ovsianko

Layers of documentation

Hello, All,

Here I am back in the forum after renovation. Thanks to Marc!

I am in a little doubt... whether I am right, or wrong. The 3 layer documentation system is a recommendadtion, but not a requirement, isn't it?

I have been thinking of a QAS documentation for a small production company with processes, which are not very complex and numerous. To keep it simple, we chose a 2 layer (tier) documentation structure:
1. The Manual and The Policy
2. Procedures, including work instructions as their chapters or sections, where necessary. These chapters or sections can be quoted and, say, hanged on the wall before the worker. However, they are NOT separate documents.
Is such an approach criminal from the point of view of the Standard? or acceptable?

Thanks for help.

Elsmar Forum Sponsor

David Mullins

You've been around enough to know almost anything goes!

Documentation structures is certainly a subject where everyone has different preferences, and different organisations have different needs in terms of depth/quantity of documentation.

My Quality Manual is only a few pages, then has the master list of system level procedures, which are then (the procedures themselves) included in the manual.

Instruction level documents can be distributed as required, so I keep this level separate from the procedures (I talking hard copy here).

I usually have the forms in a separate manual, but you can have them at the back of the corresponding procedure.

Then there's induction manuals, lab manuals, position descriptions, ......



Check out the topic in the General Quality Topics section-"Documentation". This subject is discussed extensively. (My post dated 6/26/01)


E Wall

Just Me!
Super Moderator
Anton...wouldn't you still have a level 3 which would be any resulting data/records accumulated during the processes?

Just a thought to consider, Eileen


E Wall/Anton
I once asked in the forum under documentation where the three level or tier catagories came from because they are not mentioned in the old or new standard. The bottom line was that there is no requirement for "Level" anything. It just became "the way". Similar to "Major" and "Minor" N/C's. The terms have evolved and are used routinely like they are requirements. Now that the "routine" has been established, Anton will have to address those documents in his Level 2's, somehow. Even if they aren't referred to as Level 3, they must be distinguished from other types of documents and controlled.

[This message has been edited by energy (edited 22 August 2001).]
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