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Finedata Limited - Document Control Tutorial

Lesson 1 - What is Document Control?

Document Control is all to do with the management of information.

On most projects information comes in the form of documents - which might be drawings, specifications, plans, method statements or even samples - and are received at a central point. On construction projects this is often referred to as the Document Control Department and Document Control Centre on larger projects, although it is increasingly 'trendy' to use the terms Information Manager and Information Management Centre.

Once received, documents are registered, their basic details noted in a database, on a spreadsheet, or even handwritten onto distribution sheets or into log books. The basic details might include things like the document number, revision, title, size, originator and reason for issue.

COPIES of documents that have been registered can then be distributed to interested parties.

Original documents should NOT be allowed to leave the Document Control office, generally speaking to let anyone have the originals is akin to throwing them away - people will claim never to have had them and the Document Controller will be forced to ask for replacements.

Documents which have not yet been registered should not be given to anyone AT ALL, even Project Managers or other senior staff as they will almost certainly go missing.

Typically, where documents have come from the architects or engineers of a construction project (often referred to as the Design Team), they would be distributed to the organisations doing the actual work (these are referred to as Works Contractors, Trades or packages).

Conversely, documents which originate from Works Contractors are often circulated around the Design Team for comment or approval - before being returned to the originator (this part of the document control process is normally called 'Approvals' or 'Design Review').

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