Hello! I’m Stuart Barker the ISO27001 Ninja and in today’s tutorial we are going to look at ISO27001 Clause 7.5 Documented Information. Now, in a change to the tutorials we’re actually going to cover three sub clauses within this one implementation guide and it’ll become apparent why in a moment.

We’re going to cover

  • ISO27001 7.5.1 General 
  • ISO27001 7.5.2 creating and updating documentation 
  • ISO27001 7.5.3 control of documented information.

The first thing to be aware of here is that this is almost a page of content in the actual standard. Now bearing in mind the standard is only 10 pages of valuable content, to take up an entire page you would think that this is quite important, which it is, but the standard doesn’t actually say a lot. It is a lot of words for not very much actual content and guidance.

I’ll go through a definition of what the standard is looking for then I’ll tell you how you can satisfy that and then I’m going to walk you through the steps, the policy, the what you need to do so that you know what it is when it comes to the how and the writing and the implementing.

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ISO27001 Clause 7.5.1 General


So, let’s make a start.  ISO27001 Clause 7.5.1 General – 

the organisation’s Information Security Management System (ISMS) shall include documented information required by this document  and documented information determined by the organisation as being necessary for the effectiveness of the information security management system.

Implementation Guide

Brilliant! Right, so what does it say? It says you need some documents but you need the documents that you need. Now what we have is the ISO27001 Toolkit, the ultimate ISO27001 toolkit that actually contains all of the documents that you do need, that the standard itself, in the various Clauses that it goes through requires of you, I provide that for you. So, you can take a look at the ISO27001 toolkit and if you want to know what those documents are rather than me regurgitate existing content take a look at this particular video, here, which is a walk through, it’s The Grand Tour of the ISO27001 Toolkit that basically talks you through, well, very basically talks you through the structure of what the documents are, how they hang together and it shows you the exact documents that you need.

So, the point here is it wants the documents required by the management system. You can create them however, if you want the ISO27001 toolkit that I provide you, it does it in the most effective and efficient way. At the time of writing, it’s been downloaded thousands of times and used over many, many years. It is the most efficient way but you can do it however you want.

It says that we’re going to have information determined by us as being necessary. Now actually some of the documentation is necessary to affect the management system itself but it does give you some leeway. I mean you could always argue we didn’t determine it was necessary and you could still pass. I mean good luck with that but you could.

The notes that it gives us here is the extent of the documented information can differ depending on size. So, it acknowledges that. Now the ISO27001 toolkit meets businesses and organisations of all sizes, from two, three people all the way up to hundreds and thousands of employees and many of the clients fall into all of those categories but you are going to have your documentation based on

  • your size
  • your activity
  • your products,
  • your services
  • the complexity of who you are
  • your processes
  • and the competency of persons.

I do like the standard, right, I mean technically we could say we didn’t deem it necessary and we’re not competent. I mean it’s never going to happen but you could.

What I would say is to implement this, get a copy of the ISO27001 toolkit. If you don’t get the ISO27001 toolkit watch the video on the ISO27001 toolkit walkthrough, see the documents that you do need, every document is available on YouTube with a guide so worst case tappy-tappy you type it in and you could write it yourself but you’re going to need that documentation.

ISO27001 7.5.2 Creating and Updating


Let’s look at the next ISO27001 7.5.2 Creating and Updating

When creating and updating documented information the organisation shall ensure appropriate identification and description – e.g. a title, a date, an author or a reference number. It will ensure appropriate format, language, software, version, graphics and media and it will review and approve for suitability and adequacy.

Implementation Guide

So, what is it saying? It’s saying have some documents, which you’re going to have. If you followed any of my videos you see that all of my documents have

  • Version Control
  • Classification
  • Document Owner
  • Last Review Date.

So, you’re going to make sure that you have all that in place. You’re going to make sure that you review and approve your documentation on a periodic basis, at least annually, so nice, good common sense approach to things within there.

Then when it comes to the control of documented information so …

ISO27001 7.5.3 –  documented information required by the information security management


Let’s look at ISO27001 7.5.3 documented information required by the information security management

documented information required by the information security management system (ISMS) and by this document shall be controlled to ensure it is available and suitable for use, no brainer, where and when it is needed, of course, and it is adequately protected, of course, from loss of confidentiality and proper use or loss of Integrity. For the control of documented information the organisation shall address the following activities as applicable – distribution, access, retrieval and use, storage and preservation, control of changes and retention and disposal of. Documented information of external origin determined by the organisation to be necessary for the planning and operation of the information security management system (ISMS)  shall be identified as appropriate and controlled.

Implementation Guide

There’s a lot to go at there. Control your documentation, make sure you’re putting it on your document storage, make sure that you’re following your usual access control, make sure you’re backing it up, is appropriate, make sure that your version control is correct, that you’re keeping your revision history. Nice, easy, control of documentation.

Documents and Record Policy

So, what I want to do is I’m going to have a little look through the documents and records policy that actually sets all of that out for you. So, when we go through the document and records policy what you’re going to see is that we have a purpose, that the purpose of the policy is the control of documents and records in the information security management system (ISMS). You’re going to see the scope of that, the principle of that, then what you see in our policy is we talked to the creating and updating of documents, so, when creating and updating documented information the company ensures the appropriate identification, description and the format. We talk in our policy about the availability of documents, so basically, we’re taking the requirements of the standard and we’re putting them into a policy, so, all of that is available for you. I’m not going to read that policy for you, I’m going to show you that, I’m going to highlight that, I’m going to say go to the link and download that.

Implementation Summary

What I would say here is a full page of information not really telling you very much, you know how to manage documents, you know how to store them, you know how to grant access, you know how to back them up. Disaster Recovery you know that. What might be new to you here is document markup with the Version Control, the classification, the document owner. That’s fine make sure that your documents have that, make sure that you have a process of approval in place and then when it comes to this particular Clause you are going to be golden.

Get a copy of the ISO27001 toolkit. Look through the ultimate guide, the ISO27001 Documents Grand Tour Video that shows you what documents that you need, as a minimum grab yourself a copy of the document and records policy that shows you a bare minimum what you need to do and you are going to be golden.

My name is Stuart Barker. I am the ISO27001 Ninja. That was ISO27001 Clause 7.5 Documented Information. Until the next tutorial peas out