N.C. Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance
EMS and Pork Production Tools

Environmental Management Systems for Pork Producers

4.4.5 Document Control

Controlling documents relevant to the farm's EMS is an important part of implementing, improving and tracking progress. The requirements of ISO 14001 for document control can seem complicated, especially for a small farm. 

A farm interested in seeking ISO 14001 certification will need to follow the document control requirements of the ISO 14001 standard. (If producers wish to pursue ISO 14001 certification, consultation with an experienced EMS professional is advised.)

Producers not seeking certification may want to develop a simplified process. Whatever process you choose to control EMS documents, remember that the main goal is to have an effective EMS, not to create a massive documentation system. 

  • Write a procedure that describes how documents will be controlled and identifies the personnel responsible for controlling EMS documentation. The responsible party within this procedure is often the management representative, the EMS coordinator, or administrative assistant.

Keep these points in mind when you are developing the procedure:

  • Documents must be easily located. One way to do this is to create a master EMS document list. See the following link for an example of a document control chart. 

  • Some producers may choose to combine this information with their training chart. See the following link for an example that combines training and document control. 

  • Documents should be periodically reviewed and revised. Original documents need to be dated with the most current date of revision. Current versions of documents need to be available at all locations where operations essential to the EMS are performed. (One way to track documents is to use headers such as the ones used in the example procedures included in this tool.) 

  • Obsolete documents are to be promptly removed from all points of use. Obsolete documents are to be retained when necessary for legal and or knowledge preservation. 

  • Reasonable precautions should be taken to protect original documents from damage or loss, such as from fire or flood.

Controlled documents include:

  • the environmental policy.

  • all EMS procedures.

  • all records and forms used to implement the EMS.

See the link below for an example of a document control procedure and a template to be used for creating EMS documents.

(This procedure and forms can be downloaded and customized by replacing the red highlighted areas with the specifics for your farm. You can incorporate your procedure for this element within your EMS manual or maintain it as a separate document. A small farm may decide to incorporate language within the manual that addresses this element as opposed to having separate documents.)