Sharepoint Management System

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Hosting your Management System in Sharepoint may sound daunting. A Sharepoint Management System can be complex, but the basics are easily achieved using Sharepoint’s built-in features.

Firstly create three libraries, one for controlled documents, one for registers and one for records. There needs to be at least three libraries because there are at least 3 major types of documents which are likely to reside in them.

1. Controlled Documents Library

Controlled documents library contains your policies, procedure, forms. These documents must be accessible to the employees who need them. Companies tend to give the responsibility for managing the controlled documents library to specific people. So we make these people library administrators.

Sharepoint has some great standard features to help manage document approval and document reviews.

Although we can rely on Sharepoint to manage the document’s version history, it is advisable to not do so. Instead, establish a process that allows minor changes to controlled documents without a major reissue of the document. If you don’t do this, updates will not be timely or the number of updates will be extremely disruptive.

2. Registers Library

Registers are data in table form which are updated continuously as things change. Typically this information has been stored in spreadsheets. Users updating registers are typically operationally focused. When these users make changes to registers the changes are not approved, but we do record what changed when it changed and who made the changes. As such this library requires fewer restrictions than the controlled documents library. We want to minimise the time and effort it takes people to make changes here. Sharepoint Lists are a form of Register. We can entirely rely on the library settings to retain the register’s history.

3. Records Library

Many employees will create records, including managerial and operational staff. We can control the content in the records library and prevent people from changing it. This ensures the preservation of records as the Management System standards require. It is quick and easy to establish a records library, but it is important to plan it first because once it has content changing it can be difficult. Sharepoint can also manage the retention and disposal of records via policies.

General Library Settings

We set the metadata structure at the site level, where possible. Documents that move between libraries can then retain their metadata. Completed forms are an example of documents that regularly move libraries and end up in the Records library.

We do not recommend the use of folders in any of the above libraries. In general, we prefer to rely on Metadata to create views in the Controlled Documents library (and the Registers Library if there are enough registers to warrant it).

These views allow the aggregation of similar documents in a much more flexible way. This potentially allows us to present a tailored subset of the controlled documents to each user depending on their needs. An example is a view we create by default which presents the user with all the controlled documents they have created.

In the Records Library, it is also possible and beneficial to create views. Document sets may help enforce confidentiality requirements without the need for separate Confidential Records libraries (read on).


Sharepoint access restrictions are available at the site level, the library level, the document set level, and the document level. However, we do not advise restricting access at the document level. Doing so will quickly become unwieldy. We create separate libraries or document sets within libraries to restrict access to content. We manage access to these is controlled at the library or document set level.


Lists are ideal for managing training, complaints, assets, conformance issues, improvements, risks, and many other things. Shortcuts in lists and libraries can allow you to represent external databases and content within the Sharepoint site.

If you need help establishing a Sharepoint Management System or improving the one you already have, give us a call or book an appointment to discuss your needs.


A word from the Managing Director: “We aim to establish long term, mutually beneficial working relationships, helping organisations grow and avoid the pitfalls that many fall into. Too many organisations feel their certification is a burden. We want to help organisations realise the benefits of effective management systems and certification”