How to Become a Document Controller

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To be a document controller (responsible for handling a company's documents at a project or organizational level) you be must be concerned about the security, availability and accuracy of company documents. This includes classified and unclassified information.

Do a self-assessment. Ask yourself some important questions: Do you like details? Can you perform several tasks at once? Can you prioritize work? Can you learn company procedures quickly? Can you follow document numbering policies? Are you familiar with many types of documents including specifications, reports, plans, procedures and manuals? Can you manage audits through the use of quality assurance checklists? Can you interpret computerized document revision systems? Can you track document status?

If you answered "yes" to at least eight of the questions above then a career in document control may be for you. Use Internet job search sites to identify opportunities for document controllers in your area. Examine the qualifications required and determine what skills you need before applying.

Become proficient in office software applications. Most document controller jobs require use of Microsoft Office and Adobe products. Use the job aids and examples on those company websites to learn and use these applications. Training videos provide an introduction to the tools and how to use them. There are more than 150 courses you can take, with exercises you complete at your own pace. You can also download trial versions to practice.

Become certified. Depending on the industry, you may need expertise with International Organization for Standardization standards or other regulations relevant to the business in which you seek employment, such as the Food and Drug Administration for commercial pharmaceutical industry. These organizations provide extensive knowledge repositories on their websites. Do your homework by researching these standards.

Some jobs require experience with Material Requirements Planning (production planning and inventory control software systems used in manufacturing) and Enterprise Resource Planning (tools used in engineering change control) systems. Use the Association for Operations Management website to get details on obtaining Certified in Production and Inventory Management credentials.