Document Control Procedure in Construction Project


The document control procedure is the control of content, naming convention, numbering sequences, change control, authorization, distribution, access, archiving, securing, and withdrawal or disposal of documents in the Construction Project
This is a procedure that has been developed to ensure that project staffs, collaborators, and contractors have consistent, complete, and correct information and that the status of documentation is known and controlled.
Document control procedures establish who is in charge of integrating those documents into the company project’s structure. They describe how to identify external records and documents, if a review is needed, and how to proceed with revisions if necessary.

Key important points to implement are the following:

  • Approve documents for adequacy prior to issuance
  • Review and update as necessary and re-approve document
  • Ensure that changes and the current revision status of documents are identified
  • Ensure that relevant versions of applicable documents are available at points of use. Ensure that approved, valid and up-to-date copies of all necessary documents are distributed to project staff concerned.
  • Ensure that documents remain legible and readily identifiable
  • Ensure that documents of external origin determined by the organization to be necessary for the planning and operation of the quality management system are
    identified and their distribution controlled
  • Prevent the unintended use of obsolete documents, and apply suitable identification to them if they are retained for any purpose
  • Ensure that documents are securely filed and maintained are easily retrievable and can be readily compiled into the handover package and archives at the end of the project.

Document Control and ISO 9001

Any organizations wanting to achieve compliance with the ISO 9001:2015 standard are required to produce certain documents, including a quality manual, a quality policy, and specified documented procedures. Of course, most project organizations will choose to document much more information than that required by the standard.

Controlling documents is a key requirement of ISO 9001:2015 (Control of Documents’ (4.2.3)), and one of the required six documented procedures is the Document Control Procedure (4.2.3).
So any ISO-certified construction organization must adhere to the key requirement of ISO 9001:2015.

Presented here is a sample of structured procedures for reference in the construction project.

Structured Document Control Procedure in Construction Project

1. Scope
2. Purpose
3. References
4. Definitions
5. Responsibility
6. Procedure
7. List of Appendices

1.1 This document defines the system established for the control of the documentation at the (Name of Contractor) Construction worksite and to instruct Document Control Centre and the Department / Section Heads on the actions to be taken upon receipt of  Construction documents and their revisions.
1.2 All Project Documents requiring controlled distribution shall be listed in the Document Distribution Matrix.
1.3 As part of (Name of Contractor here) Quality Management System, this procedure addresses the Quality System Requirements of ISO 9001:2008.
2.1 To ensure that approved, valid, and up-to-date copies of all necessary documents are distributed to project staff concerned.
2.2 To ensure that changes and the current revision status of documents are identified and that the relevant versions of appropriate documents are available at points of use.
2.3 To ensure that documents are securely filed and maintained are easily retrievable and can be readily compiled into the handover package and archives at the end of the project.
2.4 To prevent the unintended use of superseded documents.
3.1 PQP – xxx-xxx-xxx-xxx: Project Quality Plan
3.2 – Master Development Document Numbering Procedure: (ref: xxx-xxx-xxx)
3.3 DCC Software Manual: ACONEX
3.4 ISO 9001:2008: Quality Management Systems-
3.5 – Master Project Aconex Project Instruction: Requirements (ref.: xxx-xxx-xxx)
4.1 COMPANY: xxxxxxxxx
4.3 CONSULTANT: xxxxxxxxxx
4.4 CONTRACTOR: (Name of Contractor)
4.5 PQP: Project Quality Plan
4.6 DCC: Document Control Centre
4.7 Document: As used in this procedure, the word document means any instruction in paper or electronic form, issued by (Name of Contractor) or their Subcontractors/ Sub consultants containing requirements or Specifications or Procedures or reports concerning the execution or performance of the Project work. All documents covered by this procedure are controlled by (Name of Contractor) DCC. All documents shall be stored in Hard Copies and also in Electronic Media (ACONEX).
5.1 Document Control Manager
Reports to the Deputy Project Director and he is directly responsible for the following:
5.1.1 Maintaining and updating this procedure.
5.1.2 Allocation of Document, Document Numbering and provide Document Templates to other departments for preparing Construction Procedures, Method Statements, etc., and also for Subcontractors / Sub Consultants through the concerned departments.
5.1.3 Receipt, control, storage, and the issue of project documentation as Controlled Copies as per the Document Distribution Matrix and also storing all the documents as Hard Copies, Soft Copies and also feeding to the DCC system-ACONEX.
5.1.4 Preparation of Document Distribution Matrix in conjunction with Project Management Team.
5.1.5 Responsible for maintaining all live Project Documents and also obsolete Documents for records.
5.1.6 Supervising the establishment and maintenance of project central filing system.
5.1.7 Establishment and control of the project reference library.
5.1.8 Supervision and control of DCC printing facilities.
6.2 Receipt and Registration
6.2.1. The Project Director shall decide and state in writing who receives all incoming documents pertaining to (Name of Contractor) Project.
6.2.2. The receiver of incoming documents – if not DCC – shall immediately hand them over to DCC.
6.2.3. To the extent possible, DCC shall insist that documents from outside companies be sent under transmittal note. This requirement shall be imposed on suppliers.
6.2.4. Receipt of transmittal will be acknowledged by DCC.
6.2.5. The contents of the package received will be checked against the transmittal list, and any discrepancies noted shall be reported with the Transmittal acknowledgment.
6.2.6. All Incoming transmittals shall be filed and easy to retrieve if required for future reference.
6.2.7. Upon receipt of documents from outside or from within (Name of Contractor), DCC shall:
• Stamp transmittal with received Stamp.
• Stamp the document ‘MASTER’ in blue and enter the date.
• Enter all necessary data into the database register.
• If the received document is a revised one, the previous document shall be stamped ‘SUPERSEDED’ in red and the latest document/ drawing becomes a live document. Necessary updating shall be done in the Document Register.
• Make copies according to the Document Distribution Matrix.
• Stamp the copies ‘CONTROLLED COPY’ in red.
• Prepare distribution under an internal DCC transmittal.
6.2.8. A database register shall be set up and maintained by DCC. The following information shall be recorded for incoming documents, both from outside and from within (Name of Contractor) :
• Document number
• Document title
• Revision number
• Identification of the sender
• Date received
• Status of document (i.e. whether for information, for review, IFC, etc.)
6.2.9. The Document Register shall be maintained and distributed on a weekly basis to Project Team.
6.3 Document Distribution Matrix
6.3.1 The issue of controlled copies is controlled by DCC as per the Document Distribution Matrix prepared by DCC. The Document Distribution Matrix group shows categories of documents along one axis and lists department managers, outsiders, and other addressees down the other axis.
6.3.2 Document Control Manager shall distribute the first draft of the Document Distribution Matrix to all Project Key Personnel for their comments and after getting the comments DCC shall prepare the final version of the Document Distribution Matrix and follow the same Matrix throughout the Project period. If any further addition or deletion of names or Document list, same shall be incorporated by DCC after getting such comments from the concerned personnel.
6.3.3 Revision status of the distribution matrix shall be controlled by a revision number and date.
6.3.4 If the distribution matrix is revised and addresses are deleted, Document Control Manager shall instruct the addressee or concerned manager to destroy or withdraw documents that have been sent up to that point to avoid their continuing in circulation after new revisions have been issued.
6.3.5 All controlled copies shall be numbered and the number allocated to each addressee shall be marked on the Document Distribution Matrix.6.3.6 Only distribution of controlled documents shall be applied where all copies are directly distributed by DCC to all addresses.
6.3.7 The type of primary distribution shall be used where all copies are directly distributed to all addresses. At the (Name of Contractor), each department may establish their own sub-distribution matrix within their own department. Each departmental head should have control of such documents and such department shall be responsible and shall be audited to ensure that only Controlled Documents are distributed among their staff.
6.3 Issue and Distribution
6.3.1 There are two categories of document issue:
a) Documents generated within (Name of Contractor) and circulated for internal review. Normally this is undertaken by the originator using an interdisciplinary check (IDC) system and is not a DCC function.
b) Only approved documents/drawings shall be issued unless Document Control Manager has instructions to do so from the Management
6.3.2 Subsequent revisions of all controlled distribution documents shall be sent to the same addresses as the previous revision.
6.3.3 All documents shall be issued under a DCC internal transmittal and receipt acknowledgment by the project team.
6.3.4 Upon receipt of controlled copies of documents the recipient will:
a) Check that the transmittal is complete and correct as listed on the transmittal and refer all anomalies back to the DCC.
b) Return transmittal signed.
c) Destroy previous revision.
6.3.5 DCC shall report to Deputy Project Director for appropriate corrective action in case of recipient consistently or willfully failing to return the signed transmittal.
6.3.6 All requests for additional copies of controlled distribution documents must be made in writing to DCC. Requests should be limited to exceptional circumstances because of the difficulty of tracing and keeping up-to-date copies that are additional to the distribution matrix.
6.3.7 Any print showing ‘CONTROLLED COPY’ in black is to be assumed as uncontrolled and not valid.
6.4 Filing
6.4.1 Document Control Manager shall define and document a filing system to enable rapid accessing of all documents under his responsibility. The filing system shall be based on the document categories listed in the Document Distribution Matrix.
6.4.2 Master documents shall be kept in the DCC office, shall only be copied by DCC personnel, and shall not be removed from DCC.
6.4.3 Superseded copies of all documents will be stamped ‘SUPERSEDED’ in red.
6.4.4 One copy of each superseded revision of each document will be retained in the DCC offices.
6.4.5 All cupboards, drawers files, stick files, box files, etc., will be clearly marked to show their contents.
6.4.6 Access to files shall be strictly controlled by DCC. The loan of master documents to project staff is prohibited. The loan of any other document shall be limited to a strict minimum and controlled by a sign-out register.
6.5 Maintenance of Copying and Reproducing Equipment
6.5.1 IT Department shall be responsible for the good operation of all equipment in DCC and for ensuring that maintenance schedules are drawn up and implemented for each item of equipment.
6.6 As-Built Drawings
6.6.1 Draft red-lined “As-built” drawings shall be prepared by (Name of Contractor) Engineering as applicable. The completion, as well as revision status of such drawings, shall be controlled by (Name of Contractor) Engineering. Handover of the red-lined “as-built” drawings to Consultant/Client shall be done via DCC per contractual arrangements.
6.7 Storage and Security
6.7.1 DCC shall be under surveillance at all times during the normal working day and kept locked outside working hours.
6.7.2 Unauthorized entry by non-DCC personnel into the DCC office area is prohibited. A stable door or similar shall be provided to give messengers and other project staff access to documents without having to go into the office area.
6.7.3 Filing cabinets and drawing sticks shall be lockable. Steel Cabinets shall be used to store documents and drawings.
6.7.4 The DCC office shall be generously equipped with fire extinguishers and a fire alarm system. Staff shall attend the required safety training provided by HSE Department.
6.8 Control of Computerized Data
6.8.1 Document Management System is ACONEX. The system shall also provide up-to-date approval status/tracking of documents, revision control, and controlled issue to all parties involved.
6.9 Handover
6.9.1 Contract documents shall be reviewed during the mobilization stage to identify Consultant/Client Document handover requirements.
6.9.2 DCC shall be responsible for storing the documents/drawings during the life of the project including collating and handing over the documents/drawings as defined.
6.10 Archiving
6.10.1 Before project completion, Project Management shall contact the (Name of Contractor) Project Managing Office to ascertain which documents are to be archived in each center and in what form – e.g. microfilm. Project Management shall also establish where the Managing Office wishes the consignments to be sent.
6.10.2 DCC shall arrange for all necessary copying.
6.10.3 Documents shall be packed in robust and secure boxes clearly marked with the contract number and contents.
6.10.4 Each box will be individually numbered consecutively and an index compiled by the DCC.
7. List of Appendices
Appendix – A: Document Numbering Procedure
Appendix – B: Aconex Project Instruction
Appendix – C: Sample for Stamps
Appendix – D: Flow Chart
Appendix – E: Document Distribution Matrix
Appendix – F: Letter Template
Appendix – G: Shop Drawing Template
Appendix – H: Transmittal Template
Appendix – I: Document Request Form

Document Control Procedure | Appendix – A: Document Numbering Procedure (Ref.: xxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxx)
1. Purpose and Scope
2. Project Documents & Drawings
2.1 Program
2.2 CP (Contract Package) Identifier (ID)
2.3 Organization Code
2.4 Document Type Code
2.5 Discipline Code
2.6 Sequential Number ID
2.7 Drawing Sheet Number ID (If Required)
3. Sequential Number Revision Numbering

This procedure specifies the document and drawing numbering system to be used for all deliverables (Drawings & Documents) produced as part of the xxxxxx Company Master Development Project. Different numbering systems are used for documents and drawings. Items of correspondence and project-specific documents are not covered by this procedure.
Documents typically include reports, drawings, specifications and procedures, and also other project deliverables. Please refer to the example of a typical Project Documentation in the table below:
Document numbering Example:
2.1 Project Program
Example: PRO-CP00-LUS-PRC-PM-00001
2.2 CP (Contract Package) Identifier (ID)
The CP (Contract Package) identifies the actual packages on the current Master Plan, please see the list below for identification of relevant package numbers.
Example: LUS-CP00-LUS-PRC-PM-00001
2.3 Organization Code
The Organization Code Identifies the actual Organizations working on a package that will actually produce documents/drawings, please see list below for identification of relevant Organization Codes.
Example: PRO-CP00-BIV-PRC-PM-00001
2.4 Document Type Code
The Document Type Code Identifies the actual document/drawing type that will be produced by Organization, see list below for identification of relevant Document Type Codes.
Example: PRO-CP00-LUS-ABD-PM-00001

ABD As-Built Drawing
AUR Audit Report
AUA Authority Approvals
BOQ Bill of Quantities
BDG Budget
BTF Budget Transfer Form
BIM Building Information Model
CAL Calculation
CER Certificate
CHR Change Request
CKL Check List
CLM Claim
CLR Clarification
CP Company Profile
COU Confidentiality Undertaking
COT Contingency Transfer
CON Contract
COM Contract Modification
CAR Corrective Action Request
DRP Daily Report
DAS Data Sheet
DWG Drawing
EIN Engineer’s Instruction
EST Estimate
EOI Expression of Interest
EOT Extension of Time
FOA Form of Agreement
GCC General Conditions of Contract
GTA GTC Approval
GTS GTC Submission
ITP Inspection & Test Plan
ITR Inspection & Test Report
INR Inspection Request
INS Insurance
INV Invoice
LET Letter
LOA Letter of Acceptance & Notice to Proceed
LST List
MNL Manual
MAT Material Submittal
MST Method Statement
MOM Minutes of Meeting
NCR Non-Conformance Reports
OMM Operation & Maintenance Manual
PAY Payment
PRM Permits
PLN Plan
PRS Prequalification Submittal
PRE Presentation
PRC Procedure
PRG Programme
PRO Proposal
PUR Purchase order
PRQ Purchase requisition
REG Register
REP Report
RFI Request for Information
RFP Request for Proposal
RSK Risk Assessment
ROM Rough order of Magnitude
SOS Scope of Services
SDW Shop Drawing
SPE Specification
SSH Splicing Sheet
STD Standard
SUR Survey
TMP Template
TED Tender Document
TEV Tender Evaluation
VAR Variation
VOR Variation Order Request
WNG Warranty & Guarantees

2.5 Discipline Code
The Discipline Code identifies the actual document/drawing type against a Discipline that will be produced by Organizations, please see the list below for identification of relevant Discipline Codes.
Example: PRO-xxxx-CV-xxxx-xxxxx

AD Administration
AR Architectural
CV Civil
CA Contract Administration
EL Electrical
FM Facility Management
FC Cost / Finance / Commercial
FF Fire Fighting
GG Geotechnical & Geophysical
HSE Health / Safety / Environment
ITS Intelligent Transport System
LN Landscaping
LG Legal
LO Logistics
MC Mechanical
PL Planning
PC Procurement
PM Project Management
QL Quality
ST Structural
TL Telecommunication
UT Utilities

2.6 Sequential Number ID
Each Document / Drawing number will have a sequential number, each document series will begin at 00001.
Example: PRO-BIV-LUS-CV-PM-00001

2.7 Drawing Sheet Number ID (If Required)
Each Drawing number will have a sequential number (if required); each series will begin at 001.
Example: PRO-CP00-LUS-PRC-PM-00001-001

Project team members uploading or superseding documents are to update the revision in accordance with the convention described for each status lifecycle. The document revision practices adopted on this project are detailed in the following table.

Revision Convention When Used Description
All Documents
Dash All Stages Used to indicate a placeholder document (i.e. a document that has not yet been uploaded but has been uploaded with its details).
Numeric All Stages The first revision is “0” and then increments sequentially
Other Documents
Numeric All Stages Used for documents other than drawings (e.g. Meeting Minutes) where a date format may be required (e.g. “Mar09” or “dd/mm/yy”).

Appendix – B: Aconex Project Instruction  
Appendix – C: Sample for Stamps (goes here)
Appendix – D: Flow Chart (goes here)
Appendix – E: Document Distribution Matrix (goes here)
Appendix – F: Letter Template (goes here)
Appendix – G: Shop Drawing Template (goes here)
Appendix – H: Transmittal Template (goes here)
Appendix – I: Document Request Form (goes here)

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As per ISO, What is Controlled Document?

Quality assurance guidelines, including methods for mandatory document control, are published by the International Organization for Standards. Document control, as defined by ISO, entails monitoring documents to ensure that employees who refer to them always have the most up-to-date version. ISO document control procedures define procedures for controlling quality assurance documents and complying with the obligation to remove released documents as they become obsolete and to substitute them when revisions are accepted.

If employees need to know which document is the most recent, you must have a method to classify updated documents. On each document, a revision table is used to enter a brief note about what was modified as well as a revision number with a date. If you don’t need to log changes, you can mark the revision number by using a running number series at the end of the document number, or by writing the date of the most recent revision in a prominent place. The key is for employees to be able to say which of two versions of a document is the most recent.

A document or modification must be accepted before it can be released. A signature or initials near the document identification number are typically required for approval. If the approval is carried out as an activity separate from the document preparation, the person who prepared the document or carried out the revision will sign for it. A supervisor or manager, on the other hand, usually approves and signs the document or revision.

The main purpose of ISO document control is to keep track of the documents that have been issued. Employees or offices may receive records, and you can make them accessible at various locations. You must keep track of where the paper went and the revision you made in each case. This record means that when a new revision is available, you can distribute it to all locations that have the previous edition. This procedure ensures that any copy of the previous version is replaced with the most recent revision.

Documents that are no longer in use or obsolete
A system for dealing with obsolete copies of documents must be included in ISO document control. When an employee receives a new revision, he or she must follow the protocol to ensure that only the new revision is made available to staff who need it. The receiver of the updated document is usually asked to destroy or return the outdated edition. If the employee wishes to retain the obsolete document for his records, he will stamp it with a red stamp that writes “obsolete” in red across the front of the document.

What Role Do Documentation Procedures Play in Internal Control?

Internal controls are put in place by organizations to reduce risk. Losses, poor contract performance, poor quality, and non-compliance with regulations are all potential threats. Documentation procedures define the documents needed to execute the company’s control structures and delegate accountability for activities and acts. Since each employee performs several job functions and the tasks are easier for small companies which typically needless paperwork and controls than larger companies. Small companies can achieve a competitive advantage by introducing successful documentation processes that result in a minimum of inefficient controls.

An organizational chart with job descriptions is the foundation of efficient internal control. Job descriptions must clearly detail the roles and duties of each position in the organization, according to documentation procedures. The reporting procedures designate who is responsible for preparing and reviewing the organizational chart, as well as how the company uses it. When workers begin work, they usually receive a copy with information about their role and job description.

Procedures and Policy
Employee manuals must typically include all applicable policy and procedure documents, according to documentation procedures. They specify what should be included in the manual, who is responsible for writing and reviewing policies and procedures, and how the organization informs workers about them. Employees usually receive a copy of the manual before they start work, sign that they got it, and agree to obey the policies and procedures, according to documentation procedures. They are kept up to date as events unfold.

Approvals and Authorizations
Internal controls are based on documented organizational charts and employee manuals, but they must also include the actual control mechanisms. Such actions are detailed in the documentation procedures. They apply to records that list employees that have the authority to make decisions and authorize budgets. Each document must define precisely what the employee may authorize or approve, as well as the type and extent of the approval or authorization. A common example is when a specific employee is given the authority to approve a transaction of up to $1 million by initialing the appropriate requisition.

Supporting Documentation
To detail the basis for decisions, strong internal control structures depend on supporting documents. Documentation procedures specify which decisions require details and what form of documentation is required. A purchase order approval, for example, can necessitate a requisition. The documentation protocol states that before requesting approval of a purchase order, an employee must prepare a requisition, as well as the details that the requisition must contain.

The reporting of important organizational information is the key aspect of internal control. Internal control is strengthened by documentation processes that determine what details must be included in such reports, who is responsible for their preparation, and who will obtain the reports. Since certain reports contain sensitive information, the reporting protocol must identify which reports are confidential and detail the security measures that go with them.

Documentation processes, even in small companies, result in a variety of documents from several sources. Implementing reconciliation between comparable data from different authors is an efficient method of checking their accuracy. The documentation procedure must determine what kind of reconciliation is required and who is responsible for it. It must clarify how discrepancies will be treated and who will be responsible for fixing them.

How to Write Document Control Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

Documents are used by all types of organizations and companies to communicate messages both internally and externally. An organization must establish processes for managing and organizing these documents in order to remain effective. In reality, the ISO publishes guidelines that non-governmental organizations may use to meet quality standards. These guidelines are explained in ISO 9001 clause 4.2.3.

  • Until the issuance of a request, outline the document approval process. Explain who is in charge of having a document signed and who must sign it before it is deemed approved. Some companies, for example, need approval signatures from several people in top management positions, such as the vice president or president.
  • After initial approval, establish standard operating procedures for document updates and reviews. Declare if records must be revised and updated on a regular basis (e.g. semi-annually) or only if required to correct changes or deficiencies. Describe the procedures for monitoring document reviews and subsequent re-approvals. Many organizations demand the same signatures for re-approval as they do for initial document approval.
  • Make a list of the measures you’ll need to better define and track document changes. You may, for example, mandate that each document be held with a revision history that details the changes made at each revision. Explain how a system of letters and numbers is used to classify the latest revision of documents (e.g. Rev. 23).
  • Establish and clarify a method for archiving and organizing revisions to current records. You may, for example, use the organization’s network server to store electronic document files or require the storage of physical paper records. Explain how employees or approved members can access the records in each case, as well as the privileges that are granted (e.g. printing or copying).
  • Describe how you’ll keep official records legible and identifiable. Explain the file-naming scheme you use for electronic documents, for example. Explain how paper records must be handled and kept accessible in the case of paper documents (e.g. lamination or recopying documents).
  • Establish a section of your SOPs dedicated to external document organization and access control. Make a list of the documents you use from outside sources (e.g. government or customer-authored documents). Explain how you’ll classify and organize these documents within your organization, as well as how you’ll keep current with new versions (e.g. retrieving government agency documents online).
  • Create a system for recognizing and avoiding the unintentional use of obsolete records if they are kept. Some businesses, for example, shred or dispose of outdated documents as soon as a new version is identified. This keeps old records out of the way and guarantees that they aren’t unintentionally used.

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