Document Version Control, or revision control, is the management of revisions and changes made to files. These changes are commonly identified by a letter or numeric code, which is used to describe the current state of a document.
Version Control is helpful when managing documents that are likely to be revised and in circumstances that require a log of all changes must be kept. Some common documents that benefit from Version Control include company policies, procedures, and regulations.
Benefits of Document Version Control
- Have a detailed log of how each document was developed over time.
- Make it simple to identify the most recent versions of a document.
- Reduce the risk of accidental deletions or redundant files.
- Be able to identify documents that were current at specific dates – for example, this would be particularly useful in appeals processes.
Document Version Control Tips
- Every time a document is redrafted, it should be copied and renamed appropriately.
- Finalized documents should be protected as “read-only” files to prevent future alteration. This can also be achieved with strict access controls – for example, password protecting finalized records.
- When sharing a document, it is best to avoid sending it in an email. This helps to prevent duplicates and prevents potential security risks.
- Documents should include their name and file path in the footer of each page.
Sample Document Version Code
|Document Title 0.1.docx||
Draft versions of a document
|Document Title 0.2.docx|
|Document Title 1.0.docx||
The first finalized document.
|Document Title 1.1.docx||
Amendments made to the first finalized document.
|Document Title 1.2.docx|
|Document Title 2.0.docx||
Signifies a major change in a document, usually done after a period of time.
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