Why do I need this document?
The Document Control Register helps you to manage policies, forms and assessments and ensures you are working on the most recent edition (not a photocopy of some form that is three years out of date!).
It is not an absolute requirement but auditors’ feedback is that it is very good idea. Having this register and keeping it up to date will really help with your next audit. It gives you a comprehensive list of all your QMS documents for audit. This not only means you can easily check if documents are up to date, but the auditor can see what documents you have and can readily request them as needed. It saves a lot of time at audit (and likely some cost).
To make this system work you need to make sure you:
- Have document footers showing the date the document was developed. The dates will need to be updated once you do your annual reviews (refer to your Compliance Calendar and Annual Training Plan). This will mean you are ready for your next audit in three years’ time.
- Decide on a numbering system that makes sense to you and your team. This becomes more important once a service starts to grow and/or if you decide to add current assessments etc. to the Register
If there is more than one person on your team, the Document Control Register becomes more important as it will assist all providers to be using the correct form. This is good practice for all documents but critical for documents you give your participants (e.g. Service Agreement and Support Plans) as these need to comply with NDIS Rules and Terms of Business (which tend to change).
The Register enables a provider on your team to register a document and have it available to all your team members. This will provide consistency across your team and prevent providers reinventing forms that already exist.
Why the auditors like it
They love registers!
They can see:
- You have a system to keep track of different versions of your documents
- You regularly review policies and other documents
- You are serious about quality management
- OPEN the Document Control Register
- CUSTOMISE it to reflect the policies and forms your organisations uses. You can expand it to include your assessments as well
- EDUCATE your team on the process of introducing a new form or assessment
- UPDATE the register it when you do your annual reviews – refer to your Compliance Calendar and Annual Training Plan
- UPDATE all your team if/when changes occur – and make sure they delete old copies
- ARCHIVE your old copies for possible future reference – this may prove critical if a complaint arises or any litigation commences