Records management, or RM, is the practice of identifying, classifying, archiving, preserving, and destroying records. The ISO 15489: 2001 standard defines it as "The field of management responsible for the efficient and systematic control of the creation, receipt, maintenance, use and disposition of records, including the processes for capturing and maintaining evidence of and information about business activities and transactions in the form of records". Evidence in its broadest sense includes anything that is used to determine or demonstrate the Truth of an assertion Information as a concept has a diversity of meanings from everyday usage to technical settings A business (also called firm or an enterprise) is a legally recognized organizational entity designed to provide goods and/or services to
The ISO defines records as "information created, received, and maintained as evidence and information by an organization or person, in pursuance of legal obligations or in the transaction of business". An organization (or organisation &mdash see spelling differences) is a social arrangement which pursues collective goals which controls its own performance and The term person is used in Common sense to mean an individual Human being. The International Council on Archives (ICA) Committee on Electronic Records defines a record as, "a recorded information produced or received in the initiation, conduct or completion of an institutional or individual activity and that comprises content, context and structure sufficient to provide evidence of the activity. " While the definition of a record is often identified strongly with a document, a record can be either a tangible object or digital information which has value to an organization. A digital system uses discrete (discontinuous values usually but not always Symbolized Numerically (hence called "digital" to represent information for For example, birth certificates, medical x-rays, office documents, databases, application data, and e-mail are all examples of records. A birth certificate is a Vital record that documents the birth of a child X-radiation (composed of X-rays) is a form of Electromagnetic radiation. An office is generally a room or other area in which people work, but may also denote a position within an Organization with specific duties attached A document (noun is a bounded physical representation of body of Information designed with the capacity (and usually intent to Communicate. A Computer Database is a structured collection of records or data that is stored in a computer system Application software is a subclass of Computer software that employs the capabilities of a computer directly and thoroughly to a task that the user wishes to perform Debt AIDS Trade in Africa (or DATA) is a Multinational non-government organization founded in January 2002 in London by U2 's Electronic mail, often abbreviated to e-mail, email, or originally eMail, is a Store-and-forward method of writing sending receiving Records are to be managed according to their value to the organization rather than their physical or logical characteristics.
The other crucial aspect of the above definitions is their consistent reference to records as evidence. Indeed, records management can be seen as being primarily concerned with the identification and management of the evidence of an organization's business activities.
The practice of records management involves:
Often, a records management system helps to aid in the capture, classification, and ongoing management of records throughout their lifecycle. Such a system may be paper based (such as index cards as used in a library), or may be a computer system, such as an electronic records management application. A library is a collection of information sources resources and services and the structure in which it is housed it is organized for use and maintained by a public body an institution
ISO 15489:2001 states that records management includes:
Managing physical records involves a variety of diverse disciplines. At the simplest, physical records must be organized and indexed. In more complex environments, records management demands expertise in forensics, history, engineering, and law. History is the study of the past particularly the written record Those who study history as a Profession are called Historians Etymology Engineering is the Discipline and Profession of applying technical and scientific Knowledge and Law is a system of rules enforced through a set of Institutions used as an instrument to underpin civil obedience politics economics and society Records management then resolves to being a coordination of many experts to build and maintain the system.
Records must be identified and authenticated. Authentication (from Greek αυθεντικός real or genuine from authentes author is the act of establishing or confirming something (or someone as In a business environment, this is usually a matter of filing business documents and making them available for retrieval. However, in many environments, records must be identified and handled much more carefully.
The general principles of records management apply to records in any format. Digital records (almost always referred to as electronic records) raise specific issues however. It is more difficult to ensure that the content, context and structure of records is preserved and protected when the records do not have a physical existence. Guidance on the management of electronic records can be found on the websites of National and State Archives authorities listed below.
Unlike physical records electronic records cannot be managed without a computer or other machine. Functional requirements for computer systems that can be used to manage electronic records have been produced by the US Department of Defense DoD 5015.2, the National Archives of England & Wales  and the European Commission MoREQ. It is noteworthy that the Moreq specification has been translated into at least twelve languages  and is used beyond the borders of Europe. Development of MoReq was initiated by the DLM Forum, funded by the European Commission.
Particular concerns exist about the ability to retain and still be able to access and read electronic records over time. Electronic records require appropriate combinations of software versions and operating systems to be accessed, and so are at risk because of the rate at which technological changes occur. A considerable amount of research is being undertaken to address this issue, under the heading of digital preservation. The Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) located in Melbourne, Australia published the Victorian Electronic Records Strategy (VERS) which includes a standard for the preservation, long-term storage and access to permanent electronic records. Public Record Office Victoria (PROV is the government archives of the Australian State of Victoria. The Victorian Electronic Records Strategy (VERS is a standard that addresses the problem of capturing managing and preserving electronic records The VERS standard has been adopted by all Victorian Government departments. A digital archive has been established by PROV to enable the general public to access permanent records.
As of 2005, records management has increased interest among corporations due to new compliance regulations and statutes. While government, legal, and healthcare entities have a strong, historical records management discipline, general record-keeping of corporate records has been poorly standardized and implemented. In addition, scandals such as the Enron/Andersen scandal, and more recently records-related mishaps at Morgan Stanley, have renewed interest in corporate records compliance, retention period requirements, litigation preparedness, and related issues. Enron Creditors Recovery Corporation (formerly Enron Corporation, former NYSE ticker symbol ENE was an American Energy company based in Arthur Andersen LLP, based in Chicago, was once one of the "Big Five" accounting firms among PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte Touche Morgan Stanley ( is a global Financial services provider headquartered in New York City New York United States The retention period of a document is an aspect of Records management. Statutes such as the US Sarbanes-Oxley Act have created new concerns among corporate "compliance officers" that result in more standardization of records management practices within an organization. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 ( also known as the Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act of 2002 and commonly called SOX or Sarbox Most of the 90s has seen discussions between records managers and IT managers, and the emphasis has expanded to include the legal aspects, as it is now focussed on compliance and risk.
Privacy, data protection, and identity theft have become issues of interest for records managers. Privacy is the ability of an individual or group to seclude themselves or information about themselves and thereby reveal themselves selectively Identity theft is a term used to refer to Fraud that involves stealing money or getting other benefits by pretending to be someone else The Records Manager for an organization is the person responsible for the management of records in the organization The role of the records manager to aid in the protection of an organization's records has often grown to include attention to these concerns. The need to ensure that certain information about individuals is not retained has brought greater focus to records retention schedules and records destruction.
The most significant issue is implementing the required changes to individual and corporate culture to derive the benefits to internal and external stakeholders. Records management is often seen as an unnecessary or low priority administrative task that can be performed at the lowest levels within an organisation. Publicised events have demonstrated that records management is in fact the responsibility of all individuals within an organisation and the corporate entity.
Related topics of current note include: information lifecycle management and enterprise content management. Information Lifecycle Management refers to a wide-ranging set of strategies for administering Storage Systems on Computing devices Enterprise content management ( ECM) is a set of technologies used to capture store preserve and deliver content and documents and content related to organizational
Records management, being a complex practice, involves many years of education and practice for full mastery. Many colleges and universities offer degree programs in library and information sciences. Furthermore, there are professional organizations such as the Records Management Association of Australasia (RMAA) (RMAA) Association of Records Managers and Administrators (ARMA International) and the Institute of Certified Records Managers which provides a separate, non-degreed, professional certification for practitioners, the Certified Records Manager designation or CRM. The Association of Records Managers and Administrators (ARMA International is a not-for-profit professional association for records and information managers and related industry practitioners Additional educational opportunities in the form of a certificate program are also available from AIIM International and from the Records Management Society in Great Britain and Ireland. The Records Management Society was founded in 1983 as the main professional body for records managers in Great Britain and Ireland Education and training courses and workshops on scientific and technical records full lifecycle management and the Quality Electronic Records Practices Standards (Q-ERPS) are available from CENSA, the Collaborative Electronic Notebook Systems Association.
An electronic records management system (ERM) is a computer program (or set of programs) used to track and store records. Computer programs (also software programs, or just programs) are instructions for a Computer. The term is distinguished from imaging and document management systems that specialize in paper capture and document management respectively. A document management system (DMS is a Computer system (or set of computer programs used to track and store Electronic documents and/or images of paper ERM systems commonly provide specialized security and auditing functionalities tailored to the needs of records managers.
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has endorsed the U.S. Department of Defense 5015.2-STD as an "adequate and appropriate basis for addressing the basic challenges of managing records in the automated environment that increasingly characterizes the creation and use of records. The United States National Archives and Records Administration ( NARA) is an independent agency of the United States federal government charged The United States Department of Defense ( DOD or DoD) is the federal department charged with coordinating and supervising all agencies and functions of the government " Records Management Vendors can be certified as compliant with the DoD 5015. 2-STD after verification from the Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) which builds test case procedures, writes detailed and summary final reports on 5015. The Joint Interoperability Test Command ( JITC) is a United States military organization that tests technology that pertains to multiple branches of the armed services 2-certified products, and performs on-site inspection of software.
The National Archives (UK) has published two sets of functional requirements to promote the development of the electronic records management software market (1999 and 2002). The National Archives (TNA is a British Governmental organisation created in April 2003 to maintain a National archive for " England, Wales It ran a program to evaluate products against the 2002 requirements. While these requirements were initially formulated in collaboration with central government, they have been taken up with enthusiasm by many parts of the wider public sector in the UK and in other parts of the world. The testing program has now closed; The National Archives is no longer accepting applications for testing. The National Archives 2002 requirements remain current.
The European Commission has published "MoReq," the Model Requirements for Electronic Records and Document Management in 2001. The European Commission (formally the Commission of the European Communities) is the executive branch of the European Union. Although not a formal standard, it is widely regarded and referred to as a standard. This was funded by the Commission’s IDA program, and was developed at the instigation of the DLM Forum. A major update of MoReq, known as MoReq2, was published in February 2008. This too was initiated by the DLM Forum and funded by the European Commission, on this occasion by its IDABC program (the successor to IDA). A software testing framework and an XML schema to accompany MoReq2 and a software compliance testing regime are under development; these are expected to be finalized during 2008.
The National Archives of Australia (NAA) published the Functional Specifications for Electronic Records Management Systems Software (ERMS), and the associated Guidelines for Implementing the Functional Specifications for Electronic Records Management Systems Software , as exposure drafts in February 2006.
Archives New Zealand (Te Rua Mahara O Te Kawanatanga) published a 'discretionary best practice' Electronic Recordkeeping Systems Standard (Standard 5) in June 2005, issued under the authority of Section 27 of the Public Records Act 2005. Part A of the Standard states, under purpose, that 'This Standard articulates a set of functional specifications for electronic recordkeeping systems for use within the New Zealand public sector. These specifications apply to records irrespective of the media in which they were created and stored. ' Part 3, Conceptual Basis, states that 'The generic requirements in the European Commission’s Model Requirements for the Management of Electronic Records: ‘MoREQ’ specification form the basis for the Standard’s functional requirements. '
Commercial records centers are facilities which specialize in the storage of paper and electronic records for organizations. Commercial records centers provide high density, secure storage for paper records and can provide climate controlled storage for sensitive non-paper media. The trade organization for commercial records centers is PRISM International.