Setting up QST - Document Types

QSToolbox comes with a default list, but you can customise the document 'Types' drop-down choices in the Documents module. It's one of the ways you can organise your information. 

Don't stress about getting this perfect in the beginning, since you can add types as you go and change it later. 

Here are some tips on what to think about when you're setting up document types for your management system in QSToolbox. 

#1. This is not a folder structure

The fundamental idea in QSToolbox is that users will search for documents and not browse through a folder structure like you may have had in an existing file-server based system. 

Most people know how to 'google' something in their browser. This is the same idea. 

#2. Keep it simple

It's always better to keep things simple, so this list should be as short as possible.

Think broad categories, not specifics. If you don't have 10 documents in a 'Type', you're probably being too specific. Remember that 'Types' is just one of several search options and you can layer on multiple searches to get specific, e.g., find type 'procedure' with keywords 'water, sampling' and tag 'safety'. 

Example Document Types

Here's the default list:

  • Audit
  • Company Information
  • Forms
  • Inspection and Test Plans
  • Policies
  • Procedures
  • Safety Data Sheets
  • Standards and Regulations
  • Work Instructions

If you don't have 'Inspection and Test plans', you can remove that type. If you have a lot of SWMS, you might create a new category for that. 

Here are some other categories we've seen:

  • Supplier Info (price lists, specifications)
  • Software (e.g., to track subscriptions and access)
  • Templates (e.g. proposal & report templates)
  • Manuals (e.g. equipment user and service manuals)
  • Position Descriptions

If you're thinking about departments or product lines as document types, maybe see if tags would be better for that aspect instead. 


Yes, you can have document types and sub-types, but first review #1 and #2 above. 

More choices just mean more confusion - both when a user is trying to categorise a new document and when they're trying to find one. 

If you find yourself repeating the same sub-types under several types, there's probably a better way to structure things.

  • Policies
    • HR
    • Engineering
  • Procedures
    • HR
    • Engineering


In practice, many users will search by keyword in the 'text search' box much more often than by 'Type'. It's only when you need to produce a list of certain documents (e.g. list of policies) that searching by Type is really needed. 

This leads to the last tip.

#3 Start with the end in mind

Think about how you'll need to get the information out. What reports do you need? What things do you want to be able to produce a register of - e.g. register of SDS, register of SWMS. Those will be good document types for you.