What is the purpose of your Overview Document?

27 Apr, 2020

Updated: March 2023

What is an Overview Document and how can it help you and your management system?

What is an Overview Document?

Your Overview Document contains everything your organisation needs to know about your management system and how you are compliant to your standard.  As well as the Overview Document, it can have many other names such as your manual, handbook or guidelines.  Whatever you decide to call it, we recommend using a term that will mean the most to your business and employees.

Who creates the Overview Document?

During your initial assessment, your assessor will collate the required information and produce the first draft for you which will be sent to you the day before your presentation visit.  It should  then become a really useful training tool for whoever is responsible for looking after your ISO Certification as well as your employees.

We know in some cases, the Overview Document is often created and then never looked at again. However, we cannot stress enough the range of benefits to you, your employees, auditors and customers.  It is therefore recommended to continually update your Overview Document throughout the length of your certification.

What is included in the Overview Document?

Whilst there are no strict guidelines on what needs to be included, we suggest the following as a minimum:

  • Scope of your management system
  • Policies
  • Organisational chart
  • Sales process flow chart (from original enquiry to invoicing)
  • Details of your interested parties
  • What your risks and opportunities are
  • Document control process
  • Audit process
  • How you deal with non-conformances and opportunities for improvement

What can it be used for?

If constructed as a concise signpost document which is kept up to date it:

  • Will describe what your organisation does to comply with the clauses of each standard. This is extremely useful for tendering and PPQs but also serves as a reference back to the standard and what is required if you are looking to develop an area of your management system.
  • Can be used for training new starters and a refresher for existing employees by giving them an understanding of your management system
  • Help you locate relevant forms and documents through hyperlinking
  • Can be issued to customers to give them an overview of your management system

Need help getting Overview Document up to date? 

In order to fully benefit from this document, it is vital you regularly review it to ensure it remains relevant and up to date.  If you require support in getting your Overview Document up to date or have any questions, please contact your account manager who will be more than happy to help.

ISO Quality Services Ltd are proud to specialise in the implementation and certification of the Internationally recognised ISO and BS EN Management Standards.

Do you want to get ahead of your competition? Win more tenders or save time and money on reoccurring issues? Contact us today on 0330 058 5551 or email info@isoqsltd.com.

Alternatively, you can request a quote by filling out our enquiry form and a member of our team will be in touch shortly.