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What Does ISO 9001 Clause 7.5.3 Control of Information Mean?

Control of Information
Control of Information

ISO 9001 Clause 7.5.3 "Control of documented information" refers to the management of documented information required to demonstrate the conformance of products and services to specified requirements and the effective operation of the quality management system.

Control of Information

This clause specifies that an organization needs to ensure that its documented information is adequately controlled to guarantee its availability, accessibility, and proper use. It involves managing the creation, updating, distribution, and accessibility of documented information to ensure that the right information is available at the right place and time.

This control aims to maintain the accuracy, relevance, and integrity of documented information throughout its lifecycle. Organizations should determine who has the authority to access, distribute, and make changes to these documents, establish suitable formats and media, and maintain document control processes to prevent unauthorized access or unintended changes.

In essence, the control of documented information ensures that all the necessary documents are up-to-date, easily accessible, and appropriately managed to support the effective operation of the quality management system.

For instance, this control may involve maintaining records, reports, work instructions, policies, procedures, and other documentation in a central repository, ensuring they are regularly updated, and restricting access to authorized personnel only to prevent unauthorized changes.

Example Control of Information Implementation

In compliance with ISO 9001 Clause 7.5.3, a manufacturing company can implement control of information by managing its assembly instructions.

Manufacturing Scenario: A company produces electronic devices and must adhere to strict assembly guidelines to ensure the quality and functionality of the products. The assembly process involves several steps, and any discrepancy or mistake in the assembly can lead to defects and malfunctions.

  1. Documented Assembly Instructions: The company maintains detailed, documented assembly instructions that include step-by-step procedures, visual aids, and specific quality checkpoints.

  2. Access and Distribution: These instructions are stored in a centralized digital database accessible to authorized personnel only. Each department or team involved in the assembly process has controlled access to these documents.

  3. Version Control: The company employs a clear version control system to keep track of document revisions. When an update or change occurs in the assembly procedure, it is logged, and the previous versions are archived for reference if needed.

  4. Training and Compliance: All employees involved in assembly are trained on these instructions. Regular training sessions are conducted to update the team on any revisions or new quality standards.

  5. Review and Audits: Periodic internal audits or reviews are conducted to ensure that the assembly instructions are in line with the quality standards and that they effectively support the manufacturing process.

  6. Restricted Access: Access to these documents is restricted to avoid unauthorized changes. Only designated personnel, such as quality managers or supervisors, have the authority to modify or update the documents after thorough review and approval.

ISO 9001:2015 Clause 7.5.3 Control of Information

By implementing control of information, the company ensures that the assembly instructions are regularly updated, easily accessible, and carefully controlled to support the effective operation of the quality management system, ensuring product quality and conformity to standards.

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