A controlled document can be modified, reviewed and redistributed multiple times over its life cycle. This type of document is typically used for a reference, with some examples being technical drawings, procedures, data sheets, application forms, plans or contracts.
Any revisions made to a controlled document cause it to supersede the version that came before it. Companies or organizations can manage controlled documents using either management software or by following the International Organization of Standards' quality assurance guidelines. A typical tracking method for controlled documents allows for a process that includes revision, approval and distribution. An ISO procedure can also include methods that deal with obsolete versions of controlled documents.