Separate from recordkeeping and document management, document control addresses the entire life cycle of business critical documents. The new handbook SA/SNZ HB 168:2017, Document Control, provides guidelines for processes and systems for implementing an effective document control program.
Historically, document control has often been seen as a cumbersome, time consuming impediment to business activities due to inefficient processes and systems. However, correct implementation of document control practices can actually streamline business activities and even assist in compliance with legal obligations.
This handbook has been prepared by the joint Australian and New Zealand committee IT-021, Records and Document Management Systems. Chair of the subcommittee IT-021-14, Document Control, Ms Casey Mowett commented on the development of the document.
“In today’s fast-paced, technology-enabled world, there are countless opportunities for process digitisation and automation. The development of this handbook has been done with this type of rapid digitisation in mind,” explained Ms Mowett. “As a result, this handbook equips businesses and organisations with technical guidelines on how to best control business critical documents.”
Judith Ellis, Chair of the international ISO technical committee TC 46/SC 11, Archives/Records Management, added that the handbook is intended to be widely applied across a number of industries.
“Serving as a complete toolkit, SA/SNZ HB 168 aims to provide the guidelines necessary for organisations to be in the best position possible as they strive to achieve best practice, as well as efficient and accountable document control. The handbook has been developed to compliment the implementation of any type of management system,” said Ms Ellis.
The complexities of document control processes are such that every organisation should always consider their own circumstances when using this handbook as a guideline.