Folks, thanks for the insight, it was very helpful. Dave, great metaphor with the egg -- I'll be sure to use it if you don't mind.
Barb and Al, thanks for your examples of Tier 1-4 implementation. Barb uses the word "Generic" and I think that this might be the key word in the answer to my questions.
EG., the writing of my company's "Requirements" document for a specific product is an "action" and belongs in Tier 3. Tier 2 would specify how we are supposed to write the requirements document, that is, specifies good quality practices for requirements analsyis. For example Tier 2 might have a "template requirements document" with all of the suggested sections applicable to a requirements document. Tier 2 documents might also talk about how, when writing the actual Tier 3 requirements document, you can be sure that the requirements are valid, complete, feasible, etc.
As for the Design documents that I also spoke of, I guess you could replace the paragraph I just wrote above and substitute the words "Design" in place of "Requirements". I.e., Tier 2 could have a Design Document Template, while Tier 3 would actually contain the actual design document, which, of course, better follow the template if we are to be compliant with our own QMS.
Thoughts on my interpretation?