A class of polynomial scaling methods that approximate Doubly Occupied Configuration Interaction (DOCI) wave functions and improve the description of dynamic correlation is introduced. The accuracy of the resulting wave functions is analysed by comparing energies and studying the overlap between the newly developed methods and full configuration interaction wave functions, showing that a low energy does not necessarily entail a good approximation of the exact wave function. Due to the dependence of DOCI wave functions on the single-particle basis chosen, several orbital optimisation algorithms are introduced. An energy-based algorithm using the simulated annealing method is used as a benchmark. As a computationally more affordable alternative, a seniority number minimising algorithm is developed and compared to the energy based one revealing that the seniority minimising orbital set performs well. Given a well-chosen orbital basis, it is shown that the newly developed DOCI based wave functions are especially suitable for the computationally efficient description of static correlation and to lesser extent dynamic correlation.