Types of Documented Information


Are you struggling to organize and manage all the information in your workplace? You’re not alone. With the increasing amount of data and documents being produced, it can be overwhelming to keep track of everything. In this article, we will explore the importance of proper documentation and different types of documented information to help you streamline your information management process. Let’s dive in. What Are The Types of Documented Information?

What Is Documented Information?

Documented information encompasses records and documents, regardless of the format or medium on which they are generated and maintained. It includes What Is Documented Information? such as policies, procedures, and guidelines, and can exist in various forms like paper, electronic, or audiovisual media.

What Are The Types of Documented Information?

In today’s fast-paced and constantly evolving business world, documentation plays a crucial role in ensuring smooth operations and compliance with regulations. But what exactly falls under the umbrella of documented information? In this section, we will explore the various types of documented information that organizations typically utilize. From policies and procedures to training materials and meeting minutes, each type serves a unique purpose and contributes to the overall success of a company. Let’s dive in and uncover the different types of documented information.

1. Policies

  • Establish clear objectives for the policies.
  • Ensure policies are in compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.
  • Involve relevant stakeholders in the development of policies.
  • Communicate and provide training to employees on the policies.
  • Regularly review and update policies to reflect changes within the organization and external factors.

2. Procedures

  • Define Objectives: Clearly outline the purpose and scope of the 2. Procedures.
  • Outline Steps: Sequentially list the specific actions to be taken.
  • Assign Responsibilities: Allocate tasks to individuals or roles.
  • Include Controls: Incorporate checkpoints and quality assurance measures.
  • Review and Update: Regularly assess and revise the 2. Procedures to ensure relevance.

Incorporating effective 2. Procedures ensures consistency and efficiency in organizational processes.

3. Work Instructions

  1. Begin with a straightforward title that accurately describes the task or process at hand.
  2. Explain the purpose and scope of the work instructions in detail.
  3. Outline the steps required to successfully complete the task, using easily understandable and concise language.
  4. If necessary, include visuals or diagrams to assist in understanding.
  5. Include any extra information or troubleshooting tips that may be helpful.

Forms and templates – because even paperwork needs a little love and attention.

4. Forms and Templates

  • Forms: Standardized documents for consistent data collection, such as employee information or customer feedback.
  • Templates: Pre-designed layouts for creating documents, like meeting agendas or project plans.

When utilizing forms and templates, make sure they are in line with organizational standards and are regularly updated to reflect any changes in processes or requirements.

Records are like receipts for your work, except they can’t be used for returns or exchanges. Trust me, I’ve tried.

5. Records

  • Record creation: Generate records in accordance with organizational procedures and standards.
  • Information capture: Accurately document important data, such as quality control measures and compliance records.
  • Storage and retention: Safeguard records in secure and easily accessible locations for the designated retention period.
  • Access control: Ensure restricted access to maintain confidentiality and prevent unauthorized alterations to records.
  • Disposal: Implement secure disposal methods to protect sensitive information and comply with regulations.

Did you know? Proper record-keeping is crucial for maintaining regulatory compliance and promoting organizational transparency.

Reports are like police detectives – they gather information, investigate it, and present their findings in a concise and organized manner.

6. Reports

  • Compile accurate data from various sources
  • Organize information logically
  • Present findings clearly and concisely
  • Include visual aids for enhanced comprehension
  • Use language appropriate for the audience

When creating reports, make sure to verify the accuracy of the data, structure the information coherently, and use visual aids for better understanding. Tailor the language to suit the audience and provide concise and clear findings.

7. Specifications

  • Technical Details: Include precise measurements, materials, and performance criteria.
  • Quality Standards: Specify quality benchmarks to be met by products or services.
  • Compliance Requirements: Outline regulatory and legal specifications to ensure adherence.
  • Testing Procedures: Document procedures for product testing and validation.
  • Specifications: Clearly state all necessary details, measurements, and criteria for products or services.

8. Guidelines

  • Understand the purpose: Clearly define the scope and objectives of the 8. Guidelines.
  • Involve stakeholders: Gather input from relevant parties to ensure comprehensive and effective 8. Guidelines.
  • Provide examples: Illustrate key points with practical instances for better comprehension.
  • Review and update: Regularly assess and update 8. Guidelines to align with evolving best practices and requirements.

Pro-tip: When creating 8. Guidelines, prioritize clarity and practicality to enhance user understanding and compliance.

Because let’s be real, no one actually reads manuals unless they’re stuck on a deserted island with only a toaster and a manual on how to build a raft.

9. Manuals

  • Definition: Manuals provide detailed information about processes, products, or services, offering comprehensive guidance for users.
  • Content: Manuals typically include instructions, troubleshooting tips, diagrams, and frequently asked questions.
  • Formats: They are available in print, digital, or interactive formats for ease of access.
  • Updates: Regularly review and update manuals to ensure accuracy and relevance.

Pro-tip: Create a user-friendly index in manuals for quick reference and easy navigation.

10. Training Materials

  1. Develop training materials tailored to the specific audience to ensure comprehension and engagement.
  2. Include clear objectives, relevant content, and interactive elements to enhance the training experience.
  3. Design materials in various formats, such as presentations, handouts, and e-learning modules.
  4. Maintain consistency in branding, formatting, and instructional design principles throughout all materials.
  5. Regularly review and update training materials to reflect any changes in processes or technologies.

In 1833, the Factory Act was passed in the United Kingdom, setting the foundation for workplace safety regulations and the provision of training materials to educate workers about safety protocols.

11. Agreements and Contracts

  1. Review the terms and conditions outlined in the agreement or contract.
  2. Ensure that all parties involved clearly understand and agree to the obligations and responsibilities specified in the agreements and contracts.
  3. Seek legal counsel if there are complex clauses or unclear provisions within the agreements and contracts.
  4. Confirm that all necessary documentation and signatures are in place for the agreements and contracts.
  5. Maintain accurate records of all agreements and contracts for future reference and compliance.

The signing of ancient trade agreements and contracts dates back to the Mesopotamian civilization, providing evidence of the early documentation of commercial transactions and legal obligations.

Because minutes of meetings are like gossip sessions, but with official signatures and less drama.

12. Meeting Minutes

  1. Capture the date, time, and location of the meeting in the Meeting Minutes.
  2. List the names of attendees and absentees in the Meeting Minutes.
  3. Outline the meeting agenda and topics discussed in the Meeting Minutes.
  4. Record decisions made, action items assigned, and responsibilities delegated in the Meeting Minutes.
  5. Summarize key points and discussions, including any disagreements or concerns in the Meeting Minutes.
  6. Include attachments or supplementary materials distributed during the meeting in the Meeting Minutes.
  7. Obtain approval from the meeting chair or designated authority in the Meeting Minutes.

Project plans: because sometimes it’s better to have a plan than to wing it and hope for the best.

13. Project Plans

  • Define Objectives: Clearly outline the purpose, scope, and deliverables of the project.
  • Task Breakdown: Identify and list all necessary tasks to achieve the objectives of the project.
  • Timeline: Create a comprehensive schedule with milestones and deadlines for each task.
  • Resource Allocation: Allocate the required resources, including budget, personnel, and materials, to each task.
  • Risk Management: Identify potential risks and develop contingency plans to mitigate them.

14. Change Requests

  1. Document the necessary change, including the reasoning behind it and its potential impact.
  2. Identify the individuals or departments involved in the process of implementing the change.
  3. Outline the necessary steps to carry out the change, specifying any required resources.
  4. Establish a process for reviewing and approving the change request.
  5. Record all communication regarding the change request and its current status.

If you’re afraid of getting audited, just remember: paperwork never hurt anybody. Well, except for paper cuts.

15. Audit Reports

Audit reports, an essential part of documented information, offer a thorough analysis of audited processes, identifying any non-conformities and highlighting areas for improvement. These reports are vital in monitoring the success of corrective actions and ongoing improvement efforts. They also act as a historical record for evaluating compliance and performance, promoting transparency and accountability within the organization.

16. Customer Feedback

  • The collection of customer feedback is a vital form of documented information that reflects the opinions and experiences of consumers.
  • It plays a critical role in evaluating the satisfaction of products or services and identifying areas for improvement.
  • Feedback can be obtained through surveys, reviews, direct communication, and interactions on social media.
  • Utilizing customer feedback is beneficial in refining business strategies and improving the overall experience for customers.

17. Supplier Information

17. Supplier Information is a critical aspect of documented information, which includes details about supplier performance, compliance, and quality. It encompasses supplier evaluations, audits, certifications, and specifications for materials or components. This documented information is essential in the selection, monitoring, and maintenance of quality standards throughout the supply chain.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Types of Documented Information?

There are several types of documented information, including policies, procedures, work instructions, forms, and records. Each type serves a different purpose in a business or organization.

What is the difference between policies and procedures?

Policies are high-level guidelines that provide direction and set expectations for how certain processes or activities should be carried out. Procedures, on the other hand, outline specific steps and actions to be taken in order to achieve a certain task or goal.

What are work instructions?

Work instructions are detailed step-by-step instructions that provide guidance on how to carry out a specific task or activity. They are often used in manufacturing or production environments to ensure consistency and quality in the final product.

What is the purpose of forms?

Forms are used to collect and organize information in a standardized way. They can be used for a variety of purposes, such as gathering employee information, recording customer orders, or tracking inventory.

What are records and why are they important?

Records are any documents or information that provide evidence of past activities, decisions, or events. They are important because they serve as a historical record and can be used for reference or to prove compliance with regulations or standards.

How should documented information be managed?

Documented information should be managed in a systematic and organized way to ensure accessibility, accuracy, and security. This can include creating a document management system, establishing version control procedures, and regularly reviewing and updating documented information.

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