Setting Unique permissions for document sets to only allow visibility based on a field

I have a sharepoint list that I want to use for the whole company to process document sets. I only want one department to have access to document sets specified by that department field, e.g., sales should only see sales documents. My WF worked until I added a "set permission" action on the item. Submitters now receive this error "Item does not exist. It may have been deleted by another user." The original permission settings was set to contributors for approvers, created by, and initiators. I then changed it to design permissions and they still get that error.  Is there a solution for document sets and setting permissions for edit/view based on that department field?  I am currently using SP2016 with Nintex WF 2016

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