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Document Control Program

The Document Control (DC) Plan ensures that only approved, current versions of such documents are used in the workplace or transmitted to outside entities. This plan directs the preparation, review, approval, issuance, availability, and revision of documents with Laboratory-wide impact. Documents, regardless of origin and having Laboratory-wide impact, shall be registered and tracked through DC as part of the Laboratory's Quality Assurance Program. Types of documents and their definitions include:

  • Charter: A document that defines the formal organization of a specialized group at the Ames Laboratory, and outlines its mission, responsibilities, and goals. These documents are to have a maximum 5-year revision cycle, and must be approved by the program director/department manager and all of Executive Council.
  • Form: A formatted document containing blank fields (spaces) that allow the user to enter information (text fields, text area fields, drop-down menus, check-boxes, etc.). These documents are to have a maximum 5-year revision cycle, and must be reviewed by the program director/department manager.
  • Guide: A recommended practice that allows some discretion or leeway in its interpretation, implementation or use. Guidance statements may be included within other prescriptive documents, but must be noted as such. These documents are to have a maximum 5-year revision cycle, and must be reviewed by the program director/department manager.
  • Handbook: Small scale version of a manual, perhaps focusing on fewer tasks. These documents are to have a maximum 5-year revision cycle, and must be reviewed by the program director/department manager.
  • Handout: A short guidance document providing highlights of a specific plan or procedure to be used as a quick reference. These documents are to have a maximum 5-year revision cycle, and must be reviewed by the program director/department manager.
  • Manual: Comprehensive, step-by-step directions for a particular task or set of tasks that serves as a reference book. A manual details what is required, explains how to put the presented information into practice, and instructs how to solve problems as they occur. These documents are to have a maximum 3-year revision cycle, and must be approved by the program director/department manager and the member of Executive Council having oversight of the originating program area.
  • Plan: A statement of purpose for future action designed to achieve specific goal(s) within a specific time frame or in case of an event. A plan explains what needs to be done, when, how, and by whom. These documents are to have a maximum 3-year revision cycle, and must be approved by the program director/department manager and all of Executive Council.
  • Policy: A high level description of required controls for regulating processes. A policy is a set of declared principles used to direct actions in pursuit of goals and in preservation of the Laboratory as an organization. These documents are to have a maximum 3-year revision cycle, and must be approved by the program director/department manager and all of Executive Council.
  • Procedure: Specific actions used to carry out policies and/or plans in the day-to-day operations of the Laboratory. Procedures may be added to policies or plans as attachments. These documents are to have a maximum 3-year revision cycle, and must be approved by the program director/department manager and the member of Executive Council having oversight of the originating program.

The links on this page provide valuable information for document authors. Please review the Document Control Program Plan before submitting a document to the Training & Documents Office. In addition, every document that is sent to the Training & Documents Office must be accompanied by a Document Submission Form. Please use the templates when creating new or revising existing documents. 

When developing a new or existing document, it may be helpful to review the Guidelines for Lab-wide Document Creation and Revisions. For more information about the Document Control Program, or to request assistance in developing or revising documents, please contact the Training & Documents Office at 4-9972.

Ames Laboratory Document Template

Ames Laboratory Form & Handout Template

Ames Laboratory Document Chapter or Section Template