Batch Approval allows users to batch review and approve documents with less complex lifecycles. This feature uses the Batch object and Batch Approval object lifecycle to facilitate this process. Users relate documents to a Batch record using the new Create Batch option within bulk document actions, then send the Batch record through its own lifecycle. Configured entry actions within the Batch Approval lifecycle can update the lifecycle states of related documents.
Batch Approval vs. Change State Bulk Action
The advantage of using Batch Approval instead of the Change State bulk document action is that the set of documents does not need to be in the same initial lifecycle state or even share the same lifecycle. Vault even allows batches that include some documents already in the target state.
If an organization is exclusively using Batch Approval to review and approve documents, Admins don’t need to configure user actions or workflows on the individual document lifecycle.
Batch Approval can move documents from various lifecycles in a single action because it uses state types in its configuration, rather than specific lifecycle states.
For example, VeePharm runs an approval workflow on a Batch object record. When the record undergoes its state change to Approved, an entry action on that object state moves all related documents (all documents in the batch) into their own lifecycle’s Steady state (Approved, Approved for Use, etc.).
Batch Approval can move documents into any of the state types (Steady, Obsolete, In Review, etc.). All lifecycles for documents in the batch must have values specified for the target state type in order for an action to complete successfully.
Example Usage: eTMF
In eTMF, some companies use an operating model that includes centralized review and TMF approval, which is distinct from “functional” approval. In this model, functional contributors upload files in order to submit them to the TMF. A centralized review team then checks the TMF documents and deems them to be accepted or rejected. Using the Batch Approval feature, functional contributors can send a batch of their documents at once for review and the centralized review team can act on the batch.
When you create a “batch” of documents, you’re first creating a new Batch object record and then associating documents with that record.
How to Bulk Add Documents
You can add a group of documents to a single batch using the Create Batch bulk document action.
How to Add & Remove Individual Documents
There are two options for adding and removing individual documents. You can perform this action by editing document fields or from the Documents panel in the Batch record details.
To add or remove an individual document from the record details:
- Navigate to the batch’s details page.
- In the Documents section, click Add.
- Optional: Search to find a specific document or set of documents.
- Remove a document by clearing its checkbox.
- Add a document by selecting its checkbox.
- Click Close to exit the search dialog and save your changes.
Note: You can also use the Upload button in the related documents dialog to create a new document and add it to the batch.
To add or remove an individual document from the Doc Info page:
- Navigate to the Doc Info page.
- Click Edit to open edit mode for the document fields.
- Remove a document by deleting the specific batch from the Batch Number field.
- Add a document by adding the specific batch to the Batch Number field.
- Click Save.
Note: In some Vault configurations, the Batch Number field is hidden or read-only. If you cannot see or edit the field, you cannot add or remove individual documents.
Changing States for Batch Documents
When you use Batch Approval to move documents to a new state, you don’t perform any action directly on the documents. Instead, you move the Batch record through an object workflow or directly into a new state through a State Change user action. Entry actions on the Batch record’s state can move the related documents.
The options that you see for a Batch object record will depend on your Vault’s configuration.
For example, VeePharm configured their Batch object to include a workflow which sends the Batch record to an approver. When the approver completes the final task, Vault moves the Batch record into Approved state and moves all associated documents into the state associated with the Approved state type (Approved for Use, Approved for Distribution, etc.) for their lifecycle.
Entry Criteria on Document Lifecycle States
Batch actions may sometimes move documents into a document lifecycle state that includes entry criteria. In this situation, Vault verifies that individual documents meet the entry criteria for their new state. If the document fails to meet the entry criteria, you won’t have the opportunity to update the document. Instead, the entire batch action fails. When the action fails, all documents in the batch and the Batch record itself remain in their initial lifecycle state.
Entry Criteria on Batch Lifecycle States
Admins in your Vault may apply entry criteria to states in the Batch Approval lifecycle, which check to see if related documents are all in a specific state type, or none are in a specific state type. If you try to move the Batch record to a state like this and related documents are in the wrong states, the action will fail. When the action fails, all documents in the batch and the Batch record itself remain in their initial lifecycle state.
When moving documents between states using Batch Approval, users don’t need to have the correct role-based permissions for changing states on individual documents. Vault performs these state changes as “System,” rather than as the individual user interacting with the Batch record.
Note: Users can unknowingly approve documents using Batch Approval if they don’t have View Document access to all documents in the batch.
|Security Profile||Objects: Batch: Create, Edit||Ability to create and update Batch records, which is necessary to use the Create Batch bulk action or to manually create Batch records. By default, this permission is only granted to users with the standard Business Admin, System Admin or Vault Owner security profiles.|
|Security Profile||Application: Library: Bulk Update||Ability to see the Actions menu in the Library, binders, etc., which allows you to access bulk action options.|
|Document Role||Edit Fields||Ability to update document field values for an existing document, which allows users to edit the Batch Number field.|
Vault prevents you from adding Unclassified documents to a batch.
Batch state changes cannot update documents that are currently checked out or in an active workflow.