This paper proposes a new concept, The Inspection Plan file, which provides a solution for managing the increased complexity that is associated with the Photomask Inspection process. The Inspection Plan gives a statement of intent on how the inspection process should be performed, as distinct from the Inspection Map that is produced as the output from the completed inspection. This is analogous to the construction industry, where Plans represent statements of requirements, which are then followed by Maps that are created as a result of surveying the area. The paper looks at existing management of the inspection process by the use of Do Not Inspect Regions (DNIRs) that provide a Boolean control mechanism using rectangular regions. The suggested Inspection Plan File is a multi-layer database that can consist of polygonal regions. Examples are provided of the benefits of an inspection strategy based on Inspection Plans. The paper provides suggestions for software tool vendors on the capabilities that are required in order to easily generate Inspection Plan files. Some of the suggested techniques are also applicable to the generation of DNIR regions. The paper concludes by giving suggestions to the manufacturers of Inspection systems, on how these systems could make use of Inspection Plan files.