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Finedata Limited - Document Control Tutorial

Lesson 7 - Receiving Documents - Registering them.

When any issues with the documents themselves and the transmittal that accompanied them have been resolved, they can be registered.

When registering new documents in any system, either computer or paper based, document controllers generally try to record as much information about them as practicable. There are a few things which are fairly critical:

  • The Document Originator.
  • The Date Received.
  • The Reason Issued.
  • The Document Number.
  • The Revision.
  • The Document Title.
It should be clear from the previous lessons why these items are important, but there are a few really useful things which often considered optional:
  • The Transmittal Note Reference.
  • The Document Size.
  • The Document Status (if the document has been approved).
  • Any other reference found on the Transmittal Note - such as an Architects Instruction Number.
  • If the document relates to a specific problem area on a project, or issue of interest, this might be noted. i.e. if a project had discovered that asbestos removal was likely to be a problem, an experienced document controller might make a note such as 'Asbestos' against any documents relating to the problem.
Previous lessons covered the treatment of documents numbers and revisions, but document titles need to be entered with a similar amount of care.

It is common practice to use abbreviations when recording document titles, such as 'GRND' for 'ground' and 'SECT' for 'section. Unfortunately, it is also possible to end up with three different abbreviations for the same term. This results in difficulty when looking for information later.

It is therefore important to try an adopt as consistent approach to abbreviations as possible.

Assuming that documents have been collated in a sensible manner, the document controller can then simply work through them recording each one as they go. A good practice is to use a rubber stamp to mark them as received after each one is entered into a register. If this is done, and the document controller is interrupted the process can be returned to without duplication or omission. Where documents have been stamped already, some document controller discretely initial the documents to indicate they have been registered.

Only once all the documents have been registered can they be issued, even lent, to anyone else.

Many document originators request that the receipt of documents is confirmed. This is normally done in one of two ways:
  • By signing or initialling a copy of the incoming transmittal note.
  • By signing an accompanying receipt note.
In these days of electronic communication, confirmation of receipt may also be done by e-mail.

The correct time to acknowledge receipt is after the documents have all been registered.

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