WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF RECORDING AND DOCUMENTATION MANAGEMENT?
Recording and documentation management in an organization is crucial because it enables an organization to meet its operational, legal, and regulatory obligations; be transparent and accountable; increase operational efficiency and effectiveness; and preserve organization or collective memory. But does it really matter? Is there any difference in recording and documentation? Let’s take a look.
Knowing the Fundamental Practices of Documentation and Record Keeping System!
The traits of a record are authenticity, dependability, integrity, and usability. Any records management policy, practices, guidelines, and procedures are meant to ensure that records have the following documentation and record keeping requirements:
⦁ A record is considered authentic if it can be demonstrated to be what it claims to be.
⦁ It was made or sent by the person who claimed to have done so.
⦁ That it did so at the time claimed.
An accurate documentation keeping and complete portrayal of the transactions, activities, or facts they witness may be trusted in a trustworthy record, and its contents can be relied upon during subsequent transactions or activities.
⦁ Integrity: The completeness and unclutteredness of a document are indicators of its integrity.
⦁ Usability: A record that can be located, retrieved, displayed, and interpreted is considered usable. It should be presented in the future as being directly related.
RESPONSIBILITIES FOR RECORDS AND DOCUMENTATION MANAGEMENT!
Good records management and addressing the demands of internal and external stakeholders depend on clearly defining, allocating, and enforcing records management roles within an organization.
All personnel who generate, receive, and maintain documents as part of their regular job, including senior management, records managers, records management staff, and all other staff, should have their rights and obligations for recording and documentation management within an organization clearly stated.
A company should develop and publicize its records management policy, which could take the form of a statement outlining what the company intends to do concerning records management; develop and publicize recording and documentation management requirements, guidelines, procedures, and best practices for staff compliance and reference; and review and improve records management policy, recordkeeping systems, practices, guidelines, and procedures when necessary.
⦁ Designate a senior officer as the organization’s corporate records manager to oversee records management and create and implement an effective program.
⦁ Designate Assistant Corporate Records Manager(s) to oversee records management matters in each section/unit; designate a responsible staff to Control the creation, naming, and coding of new files to enable accurate record capture and quick record retrieval.
⦁ Please include information about the specific records management roles and responsibilities assigned to each staff member in their job descriptions to encourage accountability and aid evaluation.
The method for managing records is through a recordkeeping system. It is a manual or automated information system with the essential capabilities to carry out and assist the many records management procedures, including the gathering, organizing, and classifying records to make them easier to retrieve, distribute, use, dispose of, or preserve. The different records management procedures and safeguards are explained.
An organization should ensure that a record keeping and documentation keeping system can comply with its records management policy, requirements, practices, guidelines, and procedures before building and implementing it.
A record keeping system has to have the following documentation and record keeping requirements to be effective:
⦁ Reliability: It should be able to operate consistently and regularly while adhering to set standards and processes;
⦁ Integrity: To prevent unauthorized access, document destruction, alteration, removal, access, and security procedures should be in place.
⦁ Compliance: The obligations imposed by the commercial, legal, and regulatory environments in which the company works should be handled to ensure compliance.
⦁ Comprehensiveness: It should be able to manage records in all forms collected from various organizational activities and transactions.
⦁ Systematic: It must be capable of methodically capturing, maintaining, and managing records.
Organizational skills like capture, access, registration, tracking, categorization, and destruction are some procedures used in records management at various phases of the records life cycle.
As mentioned above, the processes are presented in sequential order. Still, it should be noted that in some recordkeeping systems, especially electronic recordkeeping systems, some of them may occur simultaneously (for instance, record capture, registration, and classification are frequently carried out as an integrated series of actions) or in a different order (for instance, access control and tracking should be implemented for records throughout their whole life) from that described.
Analyzing The Record Keeping and Documentation Structure!
An organization should analyze the legal and regulatory environment, business and accountability requirements, and the risk of not capturing or retaining the records before deciding which documents generated by or received during business processes should be captured as records into a recordkeeping system and how long they should be maintained within the system.
That will guarantee that the pertinent and enough records are recorded to suit company demands.
This procedure is crucial because it reduces the expenses associated with maintaining and storing information and makes it easier to retrieve records that are currently in use.
To guarantee systematic planning and orderly implementation of record keeping and documentation disposal once records have been held for the appropriate amount of time, an organization should set records retention and disposal schedules for its record.
A company should also frequently examine authorized records retention and disposal schedules, say once every five years, to see if any adjustments are necessary due to evolving conditions.
⦁ Regulatory value: Records of administrative value are those required to establish the policies and practices required to carry out an organization’s operations, rules and regulations, procedural guidelines, and policy papers.
⦁ Transaction value: Records that document an organization’s operations and transactions are considered to have operational value and typical communication and technical data, for instance.
⦁ Legal value: Documents of legal value are necessary to specify the rights and duties of a company, its employees, and the people and organizations it works with. Contracts, agreements, and certifications are a few examples.
⦁ Fiscal value: To determine the legal significance of certain records, legal counsel should be consulted if required; Records of fiscal value are those that pertain to an organization’s financial transactions and are especially necessary for auditing purposes.
⦁ Contract value: sureties, bonds, and papers relating to the repayment of debts and claims, for instance, and documents that should be maintained indefinitely are those of archival significance.
These values put a marker to distinguish between the active and inactive stages of recording and documentation so that the retention time may be calculated (e.g., when an activity is finished, or a file is closed). After active usage (i.e., when the stipulated inactive record requirement is met), the records must be preserved for the retention period before being disposed of completely.
The location where inactive records are stored throughout the retention term (for example, for two years on-site and three years off-site storage).
⦁ Destruction, transfer to the organization’s archives or the Public Records Office (PRO) of the Government Records Service (GRS) for permanent retention as archival documents, migration of records to other storage formats, etc., are all examples of disposal action while recording and documentation.
⦁ Identifying documents of archival significance can be made easier by establishing records retention and disposal schedules.
⦁ If any papers of possible archival importance are discovered, an organization may request assistance from the PRO of GRS. Documents determined to have archival significance should be kept secure and controlled forever.
CAPTURE OF RECORDS:
All records should be entered into and kept in a recognizable and appropriate recordkeeping system, regardless of their format or the technical context in which they are gathered, created, or generated.
⦁ A record’s inclusion in a recordkeeping system links it to other records and provides a connection between it, its author, and the business environment in which it was created.
⦁ The recorded data must be comprehensive and contain all the content, structure, and contextual information required to provide proof of a commercial transaction or official activity.
⦁ A record should be understandable in the context of the organizational process that created it and other related documents.
POLICIES IN DOCUMENTATION KEEPING:
A company may create policies for its employees on record-keeping. Examples of records that should be made and maintained include correspondence (letters, memos, emails, and forms) with external parties directly related to the organization’s functions and activities.
When a record is entered into the recordkeeping system, documentation and record keeping requirements are registered, serving as proof that it has been made or entered. In a paper-based system, a record that is captured into a file is registered by putting contextual information, including the record’s kind (for example, a note), date of capture, and name(s) of the record’s originator(s) and addressee(s) on the file.
CLASSIFICATION OF RECORDS:
Records should be systematically organized following records classification schemes (also called file plans), which are plans for the logical arrangement of records according to one or more of the following: business functions, activities, and contents of the records.
⦁ Records classification schemes: They are plans for the logical arrangement of records according to one or more of the following: business functions, activities, and contents of the records.
⦁ A records categorization scheme often consists of a symbol-based coding system that expresses the logical relationships between the data (e.g., alphabetically, numerically, or alpha-numerically).
⦁ A records categorization scheme should be flexible enough to accommodate adjustments like the inclusion of new records series or groupings.
⦁ Records should be maintained: In a way that both makes it easy for users to access them and protects them from illegal access, use, disclosure, removal, degradation, loss, or destruction. For documents in paper form, organizations should be aware that paper deteriorates quickly in an environment of high temperature and humidity. An organization should establish standards for storing records, especially sensitive or classified.
AUDITING AND SUPERVISION:
To ensure that the records management procedures and controls are being implemented in accordance with the organizational policies and regulations, an organization should frequently monitor compliance. That is done to guarantee the efficiency of its records management program.
An organization should regularly analyze its records management program and practices to determine how well it is adhering to essential records management needs and functions, identify areas for improvement about ideal best practices, and create strategies to implement those improvements. The management needs to support the evaluation and suggested improvements in documentation and record keeping requirements.
An organization should set up an ongoing training program for its employees to give them the necessary knowledge and abilities regarding the standards and procedures for records management, particularly about creating records during employment, recording those records, and managing them in designated recordkeeping systems.
Particular records management and documentation keeping training on
⦁ Records management concepts.
⦁ Principles and practices should be given to records management staff.
⦁ Including records managers, registry supervisors, and registry staff.
⦁ Training should cover topics like records classification.
⦁ Records scheduling and disposal, and records capturing.
Staff members should get training in records management when it is most convenient for their work. Training in record administration, for instance, the skill of recording and documentation, must be included in the orientation session for new employees. Regular refresher training should be scheduled for serving employees.
ELECTRONIC RECORDS MANAGEMENT CHALLENGES OF MANAGING ELECTRONIC RECORDS!
Documentation keeping lowers storage and operational expenses and facilitates record retrieval.
⦁ The proliferation of digital documentation and record keeping requirements has been accelerated by the advancement of information technology (IT) and the increasing usage of networked computers for corporate purposes.
⦁ Electronic records, such as emails, spreadsheets, and video recordings, are being created and maintained for use in decision-making and the execution of a program.
⦁ However, due to the vulnerability of the media they are stored on (such as magnetic tapes, optical discs, and USB drives). Their dependence on technology for access and use (since they cannot be read directly without the use of computer software and hardware for documentation keeping), their ease of manipulation (i.e., updating, deleting, and altering), electronic records have a vulnerable nature and present unique challenges in managing an organization’s records.
Aforementioned factors: In light of the aforementioned factors as well as the requirement for proper controls over electronic records, a new recording and documentation management policy, strategies, practices, procedures, and tools that are benchmarked against international records management standards and best practices are required in order to support efficient and effective management of both electronic and non-electronic records in such a setting within an organization.
However, in recent years, electronic records management (ERM), which promotes the use of electronic tools to manage both electronic and non-electronic documents in a consistent and integrated manner, has developed to offer the remedy.
Use of ERM in public sectors:
In the public sectors of places/nations, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the European Union, and the United States of America, ERM has been widely implemented and pushed. International professional organizations, particularly the International Council on Archives (ICA), have continuously worked to provide guidelines, best practices, and ERM solutions.
A SOLUTION TO DRIVE ERM IS ERKS An ERKS: It is designed and developed in accordance with well-established recording and documentation management principles and practices and is able to support efficient business operations of an organization, is frequently adopted as a solution to drive ERM in office settings based on the ERM implementation experience of the countries/regions mentioned in paragraph above.
Use of ERM in the computer system:
An electronic records management system (ERKS) is defined as an information/computer system with the required records management capabilities.
⦁ Its purpose is to electronically collect, organize, classify, and control the creation, storage, retrieval, distribution, maintenance and use, disposal, and preservation of records over the course of their entire life cycle.
⦁ It seeks to maintain records with the necessary levels of trust and integrity by fusing the benefits of working electronically with tried-and-true records management concepts.
MAIN GOALS FOR RECORDING AND DOCUMENTATION KEEPING!
⦁ Allow a quick and simple method to discover papers.
⦁ Reduce the use of paper-based documents and switch to electronic ones.
⦁ Cost savings and enhanced productivity.
⦁ Simplify processes and information flow.
⦁ Storage of physical objects and decrease of space.
⦁ Retain records for the duration of their existence.
⦁ Enhance transparency and openness.
⦁ Automated searching to find records efficiently.
⦁ Specify the timeframes for regular storage.
⦁ Auditing records.
⦁ Security and assistance throughout a lawsuit.
⦁ Conformity with laws and regulations.
The organization can benefit from both document and record management procedures and systems.
Document management aids in ensuring responsibility for the production of documents, while records management aids in ensuring accountability for maintaining the records necessary for the organization’s operations.
The majority of business content management systems currently offer efficient document and record management features. Workers are responsible for meeting documentation and record keeping requirements and making sure that all of their dealings with external events connected to the company are recorded and saved electronically. The responsibility for managing the organization’s records falls to the information manager or information officer and their staff. The file manager is also in charge of creating rules that explain the division’s objectives to other organizations. This is done to ensure that everyone working for the company understands how to handle information and the legal, corporate, and business standards related to file management.