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Documents can exist electronically, in hard copy, or in both forms.

Document control principles apply to both.

For hard copies, a list must exist showing where copies are distributed. The Quality Manager must be able to identify the exact number and location of all hard copies, so that all can be changed when a revision occurs. A distribution list is needed for this purpose.

Depending on the organisation, different documents usually need to be issued to different people or locations.

Sometimes an identified part of a document is issued to a location. For example, a laboratory method may be documented as a work instruction, which includes a flow diagram of the main steps. It would be acceptable, when a new version of the work instruction was issued, to separately produce the flow diagram, laminate it, and display it in the laboratory.

Clearly of course, the flow diagram would need to carry the version number and/or date, and be included on the distribution list for copies of work instructions.