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Defining the Roles of Reviewers for QMS Documentation


Quality Management Systems (QMS) are the backbone of process-oriented industries, ensuring consistent quality and continuous improvement. A critical aspect of QMS is the documentation that outlines processes, procedures, and responsibilities. In order to maintain the integrity and utility of QMS documentation, clearly defining the roles of reviewers is essential. Here's a closer look at the key players involved in the review cycle: the Business Process Owner (BPO), the Document Author, and the Document Format Approver (DFA).

Business Process Owner (BPO):

The Business Process Owner is typically a senior-level manager who has end-to-end responsibility for the process being documented. The BPO's role in the review process includes:

  • Ensuring Relevance: The BPO confirms that the content aligns with current business goals and practices.
  • Validating Accuracy: As the subject matter expert, the BPO verifies the technical accuracy of the process details.
  • Approving Changes: Any revisions to the process must be approved by the BPO to ensure alignment with business strategy and compliance standards.

Document Author:

The Document Author is usually the drafter of the QMS documentation and is often a quality manager or a process engineer. The responsibilities of the Document Author include:

  • Drafting Content: Creating the initial document based on input from process experts and existing procedures.
  • Incorporating Feedback: Revising the document to reflect suggestions from the review team.
  • Communication: Serving as the point of contact for any clarifications or discussions about the document.

Document Format Approver (DFA):

The Document Format Approver is responsible for the aesthetic and structural integrity of QMS documents. The DFA's role includes:

  • Ensuring Consistency: Checking the document for adherence to organizational templates and style guides.
  • Reviewing Layout: Evaluating the document layout for readability and navigability.
  • Verifying Version Control: Making sure that the document includes proper versioning information and change logs.

Additional Considerations:

  • Reviewer Collaboration: Effective QMS documentation review requires a collaborative effort. Reviewers should be encouraged to communicate openly and provide constructive feedback.
  • Training and Expertise: Reviewers should be adequately trained in QMS standards and possess the necessary expertise to evaluate documentation effectively.
  • Change Management: A process for managing and documenting changes is vital. Reviewers play a crucial role in the change management process by ensuring that modifications are justified, documented, and communicated.
  • Compliance and Auditing: Reviewers must also be aware of the regulatory requirements governing the documentation to ensure compliance. Regular audits by the BPO, Document Author, and DFA can help maintain standards and identify areas for improvement.

In conclusion, the roles of the BPO, Document Author, and DFA are distinct but interconnected, each contributing to a comprehensive review that upholds the quality and efficacy of QMS documentation. By clearly defining these roles and ensuring that all reviewers are competent and collaborative, organizations can enhance their quality management practices and drive continuous improvement throughout their operations.

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