8.0   Documentation and Document Control

Documents related to the EMS and significant environmental aspects need to be controlled to ensure that only the current versions of the documents are referred to and are available as needed. The documents must be reviewed periodically, revised as needed and approved before issue or reissue. Obsolete documents must be removed or otherwise safeguarded against inadvertent use. Documents are paper-based and on electronic data systems

This section details the activities necessary to:

•  Issue documents and manuals to the Coulson Group of Companies' staff, employees and contractors as required.

•  Ensure proposed revisions are currently reviewed prior to being issued.

•  Ensure controlled manuals are current.

•  Ensure the manuals reflect the current needs of Coulson's operations.

The Coulson Group of Companies is committed to ensuring that all EMS manuals and the supporting manuals and documentation meets legislative and ISO 14001 (2004) requirements while being practical and effective for use by Coulson employees, staff, and contractors.  The Coulson Group is further committed to ensuring systems are in place for effective data control.

Document Control ensures that:

•  Supporting current EMS documents are located in all operations and guide effective functioning of the EMS .

•  Obsolete documents are promptly removed from points of issue.

Document Maintenance and Responsibility

The Environment Manager and EMS Clerk are responsible for reviewing, updating and maintaining documents. Access to make changes to documents and the EMS is restricted to the Environment Manager and/or the IT Manager under the direction of the Environment Manager.

Environmental Management System Manual

The Coulson Group of Companies Environmental Management System EMS is available in electronic form only.

Supporting Documents

The Coulson Group of Companies relies on several documents to support its EMS .  The key documents include:

These supporting documents summarize regulatory or other environmental requirements as well as operational controls in the form of procedural direction.

Document Approval and Issue

The Coulson Group has developed an ‘on-line' EMS manual. This format replaces the ‘hard-copy' format and ensures that all Coulson personnel are provided with current documentation. This also reduces the costs, inefficiencies and potential for errors in the location and replacement of obsolete documents.

Some EMS documents, such as the EMS Policy and SOP's will continue to be provided in hard copy to provide ready access at the worksite for all personnel.


The EMS is reviewed annually by the Environment Manager.  Supporting documents are to be reviewed as new legislation is introduced, procedures change, or where opportunities for improvement are identified. Such revisions and required replacement are the responsibility of, and at the discretion of the Environment Manager.

Annual internal and external auditing processes include reviewing documentation to ensure it is properly maintained and updated.

EMS Manual

The on-line EMS manual is a password protected and controlled document that can only be revised at the direction of the Environment Manager. 

Controlled Documents

There are two categories of documents: “controlled” and “uncontrolled”. EMS documents, such as the EMS Policy and SOP's will continue to be provided in hard copy to enable employee’s ready access.  Controlled documents shall display the creation date, revision date and approval date at the bottom of the last page. New issues, revisions, and reissues of hard copy documents are accompanied by an “Update Notice” describing:

  • The changes to documents and the procedures for posting new documents
  • the procedures to remove and destroy obsolete documents.

Uncontrolled Documents

The Coulson Group of Companies may issue “uncontrolled” EMS documents. These are for informational purposes only. They will not be numbered or tracked.

Forms and Checklists

Forms and checklists associated with EMS tracking are available electronically and are to be submitted directly to the EMS database upon completion. Procedures for these and other records are discussed in the Record Keeping section of this manual.


All proposed changes or amendments to the EMS and related documents are subject to the review and approval of the Environment Manager.

Filing Protocol

All EMS filing is to be completed as outlined in the Record Keeping section of this manual. Copies of documents related to the significant environmental aspects are to be maintained in the central EMS files by the EMS Clerk. Where documents are outdated or superseded, obsolete documents are to be destroyed by the Environment Manager.

Document Retention

Document retention shall be for a 4 year period. All Coulson documents are considered “Private and Confidential” unless otherwise stated.