Information Record Management standard


For the ECM systems a lot of organizations (especially government) require solutions to be compliant with AS ISO 15489 standard that defines Records Management requirements for the following procedures:

  • Records creation and capturing
  • Active Records management (centralized/decentralized, filling records, maintenance, barcoding)
  • Records appraisal and disposal planning
  • Policy and procedures documentation
  • Training programmes
  • Management of inactive records
  • Vital records protection

Each Record Management system consists from the following components (in general):

  • Individuals who create or maintain the records
  • policies, procedures and practices
  • documentation presenting policies, procedures and practices, including procedures manuals and guidelines
  • records themselves
  • specialised information and records systems used to control the records
  • software, hardware, and other equipment and stationery used in recordkeeping

with the following lifecycle of records

  • Creation
  • Distribution
  • Utilization
  • Active record storage
  • Record transferring
  • Inactive record storage
  • Record disposion

when “record” is characterized by:

  • Authenticity (can be proven)
  • Reliability (can be trusted, accurate and attested)
  • Integrity (complete and unaltered)
  • Useability (can be located, retrieved, presented and interpreted)


Designing and Implemented of Record Managements System

One of the most critical aspects of creating Record Management system is Requirements Gathering and Analysis to produce Business Classification Schema. A requirements gathering for RM consists in following steps:

  • Gather information on the business activities of the organisation
  • Map them into a classification scheme (detailing functions,activities and transactions)
  • Establish what records of business activity need to be created
  • Consider legislative and other external record keeping requirements

all of them are focused on business functions,activities and transactions, with the analysis phase as:

  • Analyse and summarise collected data to develop and evaluate alternative solutions
  • Techniques range from flowcharting to sophisticated modelling
  • Requires an objective fresh approach to the task
  • Choice of ‘best’ alternative depends on wide range of factors
  • cost-benefit analysis

The overall process of designing and implementing of Record Managements system is very formalized approach, called as “DIRS", and is summarized on the following diagram:



Business Classification Schema

AS ISO 15489 standard relies on classification schemas to improve the records retrieval and to limit the searching process. The recommended schema is Business Classification Schema that assist records management by:

  • Providing linkages between individual records which accumulate to provide a continuous record of activity
  • Ensuring records are named in a consistent manner over time
  • Assisting in the retrieval of all records relating to a particular function or activity
  • Determining security protection and access appropriate for sets of records
  • Allocating user permissions for access to, or action on, particular groups of records
  • Distributing records for action
  • Determining appropriate retention periods and disposition actions for records

Such classification provides a basis for arranging and retrieving records, when records should be organized in hierarchy of Series->Sub-series->Files->Documents and have the minimum set of metadata (unique ID, data and time of registration, title or description, author) with additional properties as data and time of communication, sender, recipient, link to related document, system where the record has been captured, standard, access, retention period and etc.

Creation of Business Classification Schema should follow next steps:

  • Gather documentary information and conduct interviews
  • Understand overall mission/objectives of the organisation
  • Derive and list the functions needed to achieve objectives
  • Identify hierarchies of activities which support each function
  • Identify the transactions which operationalize each activity
  • Identify processes/activities common across functions
  • Produce a map of the hierarchies for each function

Effective retrieval requires knowledge of classification and indexing techniques and a thorough understanding of the organisation’s activities

Most Common Problems of Records Management

1) The most affecting part of Record Management system is legislation requirements that require compliance with: 

  • Statutes of limitations
  • Tax legislation
  • Corporations legislation
  • Financial institutions legislation
  • Trade practices legislation
  • Health legislation
  • Evidence legislation
  • Privacy and freedom of information legislation
  • Electronic transactions legislation
  • Legislation governing the disposal of public records

2) Cultural problems

  • People not inclined to share information
  • People think relying on others reduces their own reputation
  • People see themselves as experts and refuse collaboration

3) Records Maintenance

  • a lack of understanding of cost of storing useless records or inappropriate storage procedures
  • Locating lost records
  • Locating incorrectly filed records
  • Duplication of records
  • Records not available when needed
  • Inconsistency of filing, retrieval, charge out or follow up of records


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