OnPolicy Glossary of Terms


  • Add a document – Editors and Administrators may add, or load, documents (files with .doc, .xls, .pdf extensions) into your OnPolicy system. See How to Load a Document into OnPolicy for instructions on uploading files.
  • Add a user – The system Administrator can add more users to OnPolicy, up to the user limit in your agreement. Users can be Readers (who are granted read-only permission) or Editors (granted read-write permission). See Create OnPolicy Users for more information.
  • Administrator – Your OnPolicy Administrator ensures that the system is maintained and is up-to-date. The Administrator has full access to all parts of your OnPolicy system (documents, tasks, users, etc.). Most organizations will have one OnPolicy Administrator.
  • Approve a document – One of a number of tasks/responsibilities in the OnPolicy Work Flow. In OnPolicy, documents are submitted, reviewed, and approved before being released to the user community.
  • Approver – Someone who approves a document. “Approver” is one of several roles within the OnPolicy work flow process. See the Approve and Release Documents section of “Work Flow”.
  • Author – Someone who loads a draft document into the OnPolicy and submits the draft to the Work Flow. Submitting a Draft is the first step in the Work Flow process. (NOTE: The Author of a draft document should be the one who wrote it. If the document’s actual author hands it off to someone else for uploading, that complicates the Work Flow, which is why we cannot recommend it.)


  • Certification – See “certify”.
  • Certify – Attest, or declare, that a person or organization meets a set of requirements (described in a standard, regulation, or body of knowledge (BoK)) by virtue of passing a test, examination, or audit. The organization/individual passing the test or audit usually receives a certificate. Example: “This document certifies that the [quality management system] of (X Company) has been audited and is found in accordance with [ISO 9001].”
  • Compliance – See “comply”.
  • Comply – Act in agreement; obey; adhere, as to a requirement (regulatory, standard-based, industry-based, user, or internal). Example: “OnPolicy can help your company comply with the [documentation requirements of ISO 9001], Sarbanes-Oxley, and many others.”


  • DMS – 1. Document management system. 2. Document management software, such as [OnPolicy].
  • Document – 1. (n.) Something that conveys information. A document can take many forms (paper or electronic file, photo, etc.). 2. (v.) Record an event or process.
  • Document Control – A method for maintaining Critical To Quality (CTQ) information in order to prevent unauthorized changes and ensure that the correct version is available at the correct locations for proper use.
  • Document management system – An organized, methodical, systematic approach to authoring, reviewing, storing, sharing, and controlling an organization’s documentation. “OnPolicy” is a type of [document management system].


  • Edit a document – Make changes (revisions) or suggest making changes to an existing document. In “OnPolicy”, anyone with Editor status (permissions) may edit a document. See “Editor”, following.
  • Editor – Role, or set of permissions, defined by OnPolicy. Editors, as the label suggests, can edit documents and perform other functions in OnPolicy (loading documents, changing permissions, etc.). “Editor” is one of three basic OnPolicy roles, the others being “Reader” and “Administrator”. Editors can be assigned roles like a document Author, Reviewer, Approver, Releaser, and/or Follower. See the Main Help Page (Home page) of this wiki, under the heading “For OnPolicy Editors”.
  • Editor Module – One of two activity modules in OnPolicy, the other being the Reader Module. Only Editors and the Administrator work in the OnPolicy Editor Module; Readers work in the Reader Module.


  • Follow a document – Observe or monitor a document as it progresses through OnPolicy’s Workflow. See “Follower”, below.
  • Follower – One who follows a draft document through the OnPolicy Work Flow process. “Followers” are designated as such by Editors (e.g., the document Author can identify Followers, as well as Reviewers, etc.). Followers are notified when a document’s status changes (it has been rejected, approved, etc.) — theirs is not an active role in the Work Flow (that is, they do not review, approve, or release documents).


  • ISO – [International Organization for Standardization], a worldwide organization, based in Switzerland, is responsible for developing and maintaining numerous standards for virtually every field of endeavor. Among the 20,000-plus standards and guidance documents ISO has published, ISO 9001 2015 Procedures, is probably its best known and most used.


  • Login – (Also spelled “log in”) Enter an application (“app”), typically by typing a user name and password into their respective boxes on a login screen, then clicking on a button labeled “Log In”, “Enter”, or “OK”. For help with logging into OnPolicy, see Logging In as a Reader or Logging In as an Editor.
  • Logon – (Also spelled “log on”) See “Login”.



  • PDF – Portable Document Format or “PDF” is the file type of the files that are released to Readers of the OnPolicy system to prevent unauthorized changes for occurring. See Supported PDF Conversion file types for more information.


  • Reader Module – One of two work environments in OnPolicy; the other is the Editor Module. Readers are granted permission to use the Reader Module only. Editors may make changes to the Reader Module via the Editor Module.
  • Release a document – The last step in the “OnPolicy” Work Flow process, after submitting a draft document, reviewing the document, and approving it. Documents have to be released before Readers can view them. If a newly-released document (or an updated document) is “Required Reading”, the users required to read that document are notified.
  • Releaser – One who is assigned the task of releasing a document to OnPolicy Readers. Any Editor may be designated a document Releaser by the document’s Author, another Editor, or the OnPolicy Administrator. See Work Flow for information on releasing documents.
  • Required Reading – Any OnPolicy document can be made “required reading” for individuals or departments while it is in the Work Flow. Anyone having an active role in a document’s Work Flow can make the document “required reading”. Also see the section on Required Reading.
  • Requirement – Task, feature, or other thing the company must have or must do to comply with a regulation, standard, user need, or other statement. Example: “‘Document control‘ is one requirement of ISO 9001“.
  • Review a document – Examine a document and assess it for its conformity to accuracy, usability, appearance, and other stated and unstated requirements set forth by the company, customers, regulations, standards, and/or guidelines. Document review is an integral part of the OnPolicy Workflow. According to certain standards and regulations, documents must be reviewed periodically (at least annually, according to some) or when events or activities (e.g., process failure) mandate a review.
  • Reviewer – Role within the OnPolicy Workflow. A “Reviewer” inspects a draft submitted by an “Author” and after reviewing the document, rejects the document or accepts it. If the Reviewer rejects the document, it is returned to the Author for revision. If the Reviewer accepts the document, the next person in the Flow (another Reviewer, or an Approver) is notified that the document is ready for inspection. See Work Flow for more information.
  • Revise a document – Change a document (e.g., to bring it up to date, meet changing requirements).
  • Revision number – A numeric or alphanumeric string that indicates how many times and/or to what degree a document has changed over its existence. In the OnPolicy document management system, revision or version numbers contain four sets of digits. The first time a document is released, its revision number is “”. If the revision number reads “”, that tells you the released document has been revised once since its original release. For more on revision numbers, see the section on Work Flow and Revision Numbering elsewhere in the wiki.
  • Revision control – See “version control”.


  • Sign off – Approve, as a document. Comes from the act of signing a paper document (letter, procedure, etc.) to indicate management’s approval or acceptance of the document as written (e.g., “The owner signed off on the vendor agreement.”). Also, OnPolicy Readers can “sign off” on documents they’re required to read — see Required Reading elsewhere in this wiki.
  • Signoff – Approval (of a document).
  • Security – OnPolicy is a SaaS application that runs in the cloud hosted by Amazon’s AWS platform. See AWS Security Features.


  • Version control – Method of assuring that only one version of a company document — the correct, most up-to-date version — is available at the point of use. One of the regulatory or standard-based [requirements of a document management system], and a key feature of OnPolicy, is that it enforces version/revision control. Also see “Revision (version) number”.
  • View a document – See “Read a document”


  • Workflow – In the “OnPolicy” system, workflow is the process of:
    • Authoring a “draft” document (or revising a document already in the system);
    • Submitting the draft to one or more Reviewers;
    • Reviewing the document, to ensure that it meets document requirements (from correct spelling and punctuation to layout, content, and usability) and accepting it as written or rejecting it and returning it to the Author;
    • Revising the document, if needed, and resubmitting it to the Reviewer(s);
    • Approving the document accepted by the reviewer(s) or rejecting it, which returns the document to the Author(s);
    • Further revising, resubmitting, review, and approval (if needed); and
    • Releasing the reviewed and approved document so the user community can read it. (Also see Required Reading elsewhere in the wiki.)

See the section on Workflow in OnPolicy for more information.

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