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Document Templates

Create and Manage Document Templates

Crysta Huszai avatar
Written by Crysta Huszai
Updated over a week ago

An effective and ordered QMS is impossible without consistently enforced document formats and structures. That’s why the document creation process within Qualio is driven by Document Templates.

Some basic principles of Document Templates include:

  • Every document is built from a template. No “blank” document option like in Microsoft Word or Google Docs.

  • There are no limits to the number of templates that can be created.

  • Each template represents a different type of document and assigned a unique prefix (i.e. SOP-##, POL-##). Learn more about prefixes here.

  • Each template is customized to provide the relevant structure for that type of document, including instructions, sections, and tables.

  • Irrelevant templates can be archived (and restored), but never deleted.

  • Templates cannot be restricted by groups. All templates created for an organization will be visible to all users when creating new documents. Document visibility can be restricted using Tags and User Groups. Learn more here.

  • For the most part, customers are responsible to create and manage their templates. During initial onboarding, you will receive training and guidance on building a Document Template strategy. Qualio Plus customers will have access to additional Qualio Plus templates.

Learn about Document Templates by watching the new user training video below, or continue reading this article.

Whether you are just starting to implement Qualio or coming back for some strategy ideas, this article is your one-stop-shop for everything related to Document Templates and covers the following topics:

Access Document Templates

Document Templates can be accessed from the top navigation bar under the Documents tab. Click the Documents tab, then select Templates from the dropdown menu. Only users in the Quality User Role will see the option to select Templates.

Create a New Template

  1. From the Document Templates page, click the Create template button.

  2. On the ID and title page, enter a template ID (prefix) and template title (document type). Then click Next.

    1. Both the ID and Title can be used to search for documents, and the ID must be unique from any other template.

    2. “Title” is synonymous with “Type” when creating a new document.

    3. See the Document Prefixes section of this article for more guidance.

  3. Add Default sections to your template, then click the Next button.

    1. Add sections by clicking the Add Section button.

    2. Move sections up and down, and remove sections as needed, using the delete option.

    3. Section Titles and structure cannot be modified during document creation and editing. This should be considered as you develop templates to find the right balance between standardization and flexibility.

  4. Add Default Content to each section template as needed, then click the Next button.

    1. Section content can be modified during document creation and editing. Consider adding instructions, guidance, or definitions that can be easily deleted during document creation.

  5. Adjust the template Properties.

    1. When a new document is created, properties will be inherited from the template. Its settings will default to what is indicated on the template. However, some document settings can be modified from the template’s default settings. See the Template Default Setting table below for more details.

  6. Click the “Create template” button to save your changes and create the new template.

Hint: Before creating a new template, check if an Archived template was previously created that can be restored and updated, especially if it is using the prefix you would like to use.

Document Prefix & ID

Here are some guidelines to consider when building your Document Strategy:

  • Each document template must have an associated prefix which will determine the Document ID, along with an ascending numerical value, starting at “1”.

  • The prefix can contain letters and numbers and must end with a hyphen. Upper and lower case letters are allowed. Prefixes have a 75 character limit.

  • Document ID numbers are system generated and cannot be manipulated or reset. Qualio Support and Engineering cannot alter Document IDs “on the back-end”.

  • Document IDs are searchable within Qualio's Workspace or Library and can be used to quickly identify the type of document at-a-glance. Document IDs can also be used in Smartlinks.

  • Common prefixes:

*Policy: POL-

Contract: CON-

*Procedure / Standard Operating Procedure: SOP-

Internal Audit Report: IAR-

*Quality Manual: QM-

Design History File: DHF-

*Work Instruction: WI-

Validation: VAL-

Quality Record: QR-

Protocol: PRO-

* Included as defaults in new Qualio orgs. Can be modified and archived.

"I'm a new customer and our legacy prefixes are in a different structure - What should I do?" Sometimes customers have to convert from an existing complex, multi-code ID structure. In these situations, we recommend leveraging Document Tags to identify the different attributes captured in the previous code structure. Use tags to identify departments, vendors, products, etc.

Template Default Settings

Eligible for training

  • Yes: A Training Assessment modal will be available to add questions to.

  • No: This type of document will not require users to complete training.

  • This setting is locked for any document using this template. It cannot be changed when creating new documents.

Require Training on each version

  • Only displays when “Eligible for training” is equal to Yes.

  • Yes: Every time the document is updated to a new version, training will be required.

  • No: Retraining will not be required when document is updated.

Periodic Review period (in months)

Review limit (in days)

  • Defines the time period from when the document is sent for review until it is considered “Overdue”. Note: An “Overdue” status will not prevent a user from completing a review.

  • This setting is locked for any document using this template. It cannot be changed when creating new documents.

Approval limit (in days)

  • Defines the time period from when the document is sent for approval until it is considered “Overdue”. Note: an “Overdue” status will not prevent a user from approving a document.

  • This setting is locked for any document using this template. It cannot be changed when creating new documents.

Download permissions for upload format

  • Defines who can download the source file from documents created using the Upload format.

  • This setting will not be shown on documents using Qualio’s editor (when no file has been uploaded).

Effective on approval

  • Yes: Once a document is approved, it will automatically be made effective on the approval date and available to your users in the Documents Library.

  • No: Select this option if training is required after Approval but before a document can be made effective (manually), or for any other delay situations.

Show section titles

  • Yes: Section titles will be visible on the final documents. This option is generally preferred.

  • No: Only content within the sections will be displayed.

  • This setting is locked for any document using this template. It cannot be changed when creating new documents.

Create a New Document from a Template

What is the user experience for selecting a template to create a new document? Once templates have been created, you can create documents from the Dashboard or the Documents Workspace by clicking the easy-to-find Create button. You’ll be brought to the Properties tab of the new document by default, where you’ll select the template from the Type dropdown.

Once you click Continue, you cannot modify the Type/template of that document, and a document ID will be assigned to that document. Once assigned, document IDs cannot be changed or reappropriated to another document.

Editing a Template

When making changes to a Document Template, you’ll be prompted to decide how those changes will affect existing draft documents. Effective Documents using the template will be automatically updated to reflect template changes when the document is revised.

Steps to edit template and apply changes to DRAFT documents:

  1. Click on the Documents tab and select Templates from the dropdown.

  2. Click on the template line item you wish to edit. Hint: Sort template Titles in alphabetical order by clicking on the Title column header.

    1. Use the filter to search for Effective or Archived templates.

  3. A slide-open drawer will present the current template broken down by Default Content and Properties. Click the Edit button in the top right corner.

  4. Modify the template content and properties as needed.

  5. Then click the Update template button.

    • If draft documents exist with the previous version of the template, after saving template changes, click on the title of the template again (as if you were editing), and you’ll find an alert that drafts exist using the older version.

    • Click on the alert and you’ll then be prompted to specify which draft documents to apply changes to.

      The Document author will receive an email notification that their document has been updated to match the newest template version.

    • If you’re editing a Draft that has an available template update, you’ll see an option to Apply Template Changes while in Edit Mode in the Properties or Change Control tab. This will not be displayed while the Document tab is selected.

NOTE: When changing the prefix, document IDs will reflect the new prefix, but the numerical value will not be altered.

NOTE: For existing documents that are in draft, any adjustments to the Properties of the template will not apply until the next draft created with the next Major version. For example, draft version 0.2 that exists when the template is updated will not reflect changes until version 1.1.

What can be changed and applied in a template

  • Name/Prefix - Changes take effect immediately upon saving

  • Properties

    • Applied only to new documents, otherwise copied from previous version:

      • Effective on approval (can be overridden manually for each new draft)

      • Periodic Review period

      • Review due in days

      • Approval due in days

    • Applied to drafts via the Apply Template Changes option

      • Section titles visible

      • Training available

      • Training required

  • Section/Content Changes

    • Changes take effect the next time a new version of a document is created.

    • When applying to existing drafts:

      • Adding new section with new text: both will be added

      • Adding text to an existing section: nothing will happen (to prevent any overwriting)

      • Moving a section: it will move; content is unchanged

      • Removing a section: you’ll be presented with the option to either add the removed template section’s content above or below the selected template section’s existing content or delete the removed section’s content entirely. Once all selections have been made, clicking Save Resolutions will confirm these changes.
        Note: Any changes made to the template will be applied to new documents created after the change. Changes to the template will not overwrite any existing document content.

Archiving & Restoring a Document Template

Document templates can be archived and restored, but not deleted. Effective and draft Documents previously created with archived templates will not require additional action and will continue to use the archived template properties, content and structure, even if reverted to draft.

Also note:

  • Archived templates cannot be modified.

  • And prefixes of archived templates cannot be “reused” on another template. (If you would like to use a prefix from an archived template, restore the template, modify the prefix to something else, then re-archive the template, freeing up the desired prefix for future use.)

Steps to archive a document template:

  1. Click on the Documents tab and select Templates from the dropdown.

  2. Click on the template line item you wish to archive.

  3. A slide-open drawer will present the current template. Click the expansion menu to the left of the Edit button, and select Archive.

Steps to restore a document template:

  1. Click on the Documents tab and select Templates from the dropdown.

  2. Filter to view archived templates by selecting Archived from the dropdown filter.

  3. Click on the template line item you wish to restore.

  4. A slide-open drawer will present the archived template. Click the expansion menu to the left of the Edit button, and select Restore.

Next Steps

Once you’ve created or modified Document Templates to fit your organization’s needs, you’re ready to begin creating Documents.

Or, if you are still considering your Qualio Document strategy, learn how Tags can be created and managed, along with User Groups, to restrict Document access.

Or, return to the Documents Lifecycle and Overview article.

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