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Finedata Limited - Document Control Tutorial

Lesson 3 - More About 'Reasons for Issue'

When a company submits documents, they usually specify a Reason for Issue. This is very often used as the basis for the subsequent distribution of the document(s) submitted. Some typical reasons for an originator submitting documents are:
  • Preliminary - These are often documents in the very early stages of work. A document may be submitted as preliminary where it is intended to give guidance to third parties as to the overall size, shape or scale of a segment of the project being undertaken - such as the general layout of a floor plan or road - but it should not be used for further detailed design by third parties or for the commencement of construction work. It is not uncommon for documents to be submitted as preliminary in two or three stages (P1, P2, P3 etc.) and are normally issued to third parties 'For Information' or 'For Comment'.

  • Information - Documents submitted for information are usually intended for guidance, they may be preliminary in nature or they may not be comprehensive (i.e. not finalised). Documents received 'For Information' are typically passed on to third parties 'For Information' or sometimes 'For Review'. Trade contractors would rarely be expected to start construction on the basis of 'For Information' documents.

  • Tender - Documents submitted 'For Tender' are usually intended for issue to potential bidders to price the work. Tender documents can form the basis of contracts so need to be as finalised as possible at the time of issue - or there may well be cost implications.

  • Comment, Review and Approval - Documents submitted 'For Approval' (or any similar reason) are generally ones of a contentious nature. A works contractor with some design responsibility might have to submit all documents 'For Approval' to allow the architects and other members of the design team to 'vet' them. Typically when documents are sent in 'For Approval' the design team only has a limited amount of time (contractually, and the amount of time may vary from project to project or from contractor to contractor on the same project) to review the documents and return any comments to the originator. The critical thing about approval documents is that the document controller is very often expected to 'chase' the design team to some extent and try to ensure that they are reviewed in good time. Delays in the approval of documents can cause delays to construction and, very often, be the subject of claims.

  • Construction - Documents issued 'For Construction' by the design team are normally finalised and good enough to be sent on to trade contractors for the same reason. Documents submitted by works contractors for the same reason need to be checked quite carefully - as they ought normally to be 'reved-up' versions of previously approved documents. It is sometimes the case that works contractors will accidently submit documents as 'For Construction' before the design team has had a chance to vet them, document controllers are often expected to identify when this has happened and deal with the documents accordingly (which might mean returning them to the originator or passing them on to the design team for approval, either way the document controller has a reasonable obligation to let the originator know what action has been taken).

  • As-Built or As-Fitted - When work has been completed, the design team and/or the works contractor responsible normally submits documents for the reason 'As-Built'. Life being what it is, however, it may be necessary for someone to check these documents to some extent - as it is common for documents to be stamped 'As-Built' when last minute modifications had to be done on site, sometimes called 'site mods', during the construction process which have not been incorporated in the documentation. There are often cost implications to the person submitting documents 'As-Built', both in terms of the cost of employing someone to 'rev-up' the documents ('As-Built' documents should take the next revision number and not simply be stamped 'As-Built') and receiving final account payment. 'As-Built' documents are often not issued, they may simply become part of an operations and maintenance manual, or issued on to what are called 'follow-on trades' for construction purposes.
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