Annotated Outline Part 4

PART 4 - Records Appraisal, Retention, Protection and Disposition

Part 4 covers records appraisal, retention, protection and disposition regardless of record media or format. It focuses on the development of the records inventory, appraisal of the records found, development of a retention schedule and protection of all records through their final disposition. Additionally, it is necessary to understand the development and implementation of a vital records program and a business continuity plan as a component of the RIM program. Because final disposition may not be destruction, an understanding of archives as well as preservation and recovery techniques regarding records is essential.

    1. Know and understand the concepts, processes and procedures involved with a records inventory. Interpret the correlation between the records inventory and the volume, scope, location and complexity of an organization’s records. Be able to explain the relationship among the records inventory, the records retention schedule and the vital records program. Understand the activities necessary to begin the records inventory including the support and authority necessary for carrying out the project and the commitment necessary from all levels to successfully complete the project.
    2. Be able to identify the objectives and strategies involved with conducting the inventory. Know the staffing involved. Understand the difference between a physical inventory and the questionnaire method and when they are used appropriately. Be able to establish the procedures necessary for conducting the inventory. Be familiar with the types of data to be collected and understand the usage of the data in the development of a records program. Understand the importance of using an inventory form as a consistent method to collect information. Know what types of information the form should collect and why.>
    3. Examine various manual and automated methods of collecting the necessary data. Identify the staff and management involved. Understand the necessary communication and how it will be delivered to all levels. Be able to implement a training program for those involved with the project. This will include training of the staff involved with the inventory and the procedures and work schedule to be followed.
    1. Data Analysis. Be familiar with how to analyze and use collected data and how it relates to and is used to develop records retention schedules, organization-wide records policies, vital records programs and archives programs.
    2. Appraisal Valuation. Understand how to appraise the various records values. Know the meaning of and be able to apply such terms as operating and administrative value, fiscal value, legal value, evidential value, informational research value and archival value.
    1. Understand the types of retention schedules such as a general or functional schedule as opposed to a program specific or departmental retention schedule and how they are used within an organization. Know the areas of the organization that should be involved in the development of the schedule and the purpose of a retention committee.
    2. Layout and Design. Understand the elements of the retention schedule and how they will be displayed. Evaluate the various media and formats and identify those most appropriate for administration and compliance.
    3. Life Cycle Milestones. Know the different stages of the life cycle of the records including active, inactive and final disposition and the appropriate controls that need to be applied during each stage. Know what event-driven retention periods and trigger dates might be. Be sure to understand media and system considerations.
    4. Approval Process. Identify the approvals required to validate the records retention schedule within the organization. Compare the advantages and disadvantages of the various types of approvals such as legal/corporate counsel, auditors, archivists and committees.
    1. Publication and Distribution. Know and understand the physical and electronic methods of publication and distribution of the retention schedule. Understand the audience, the media and the format to be used for each.
    2. Promotion and Training. . Know how to develop a strategy to promote schedule implementation and use throughout an organization. Be able to develop a communication and training program for the various user groups involved in implementing the retention schedule.
    3. Applying the Schedule. Be familiar with the effective methods of applying the records retention schedule to the records of an organization. Know the key administrators and contacts for the incorporation and application of the schedule in all applicable systems, programs and repositories.
    4. Understand disposition options including transfer, accession and destruction. Understand the various methods of destruction, the importance of secure destruction and recycling options. Be able to identify records that may not be destroyed, those that transfer to archival storage and those with other special considerations or handling requirements. Be able to identify the controls used in implementing final disposition such as box and file number validation, quality controls, authorizations and certificates of destruction.
    1. Review and Update. Understand how to develop a change control process including approvals, version control and notification processes. Be able to identify external and internal events, both scheduled and unscheduled, that may necessitate revising the records retention schedule.
    2. Know the importance of stakeholder guidance, directives and collaboration to accomplish a well-documented and compliant holds program. Be able to discuss the impact of administrative, legal, tax and audit holds. Know what they are, how they are implemented, released, tracked and managed. Understand the need for a measurement process to assess compliance and program quality.
    3. Evaluating Compliance. Understand the elements that need to be considered to validate a compliant record retention schedule. Understand the use of compliance measurements, audits and approvals to ensure that the record retention schedule is uniformly applied throughout the organization.
    1. Identification of Vital Records. Know and understand the concepts of a vital records program. Illustrate how to identify vital records and manage their protection. Recognize the segments of an organization that benefit from a vital records program. Learn how the identification of vital records can take part in the initial records inventory.
    2. Risk Analysis. Know how to estimate disaster potential and the consequences of information loss. Be able to identify the types of risk assessment and how they apply to the vital records program. Be able to evaluate the methods and the degree of protection needed for the various categories of vital records. Be able to perform a cost/benefit analysis to assess the best method of protection.
    3. Protection Methods. Understand the various methods for protecting vital records. Know and understand the definition of terms such as built-in and improvised duplication or dispersal and on-site storage. Be able to identify vital records storage equipment (including vaults, safes, etc.) as well as access restrictions involved in their use.
    4. Developing the Plan. Understand the elements of a vital records plan, the stakeholders that need to be consulted and how to implement the plan effectively. Be able to identify components of the published plan and the available tools for program implementation and maintenance.
    5. Testing and Updating. Examine various methods to test the program, the purpose of audits as well as triggers and scheduling for updates.
    1. Know and understand the terms associated with business continuity planning. Be able to classify the types of disasters. Know the levels of support needed to enact the plan. Be familiar with the resources needed to facilitate the plan both inside and outside the organization. Understand the risk analysis involved in developing the plan. Understand how the responsibilities for preparedness should be assigned throughout the organization and be familiar with contingency procedures. Understand why the plan will require regular maintenance and updating.
    2. Implementation Procedures. Be able to document procedures to be followed in case of a disaster. Be able to define the scope of authority of the person in charge of recovery operations and to identify emergency personnel, equipment, sources and supplies. Know how to plan for the training of personnel and the testing of the plan. Understand how the plan is to be maintained and updated.
    3. Understand that the business continuity plan must ensure a reasonable level of protection for records that are private, confidential, privileged, secret, or essential to business continuity. Know the various forms of protection including means of storage, alternate locations and security procedures. Understand the need for a measurement process to assess compliance and program quality.
    4. Understand the priorities involved with recovering various records. Identify the immediate, short term and long term recovery procedures following a disaster in which records of any media type were damaged or destroyed. Know the procedures associated with the recovery of records damaged by water, fire, smoke, or chemicals. Be able to relate these procedures to a business continuity plan. Be able to list the equipment and resources that must be available at alternate locations to allow the organization to resume business operations.
    1. Archival Appraisal. Know and understand the criteria used to appraise records for archival value. Be able to define the terms that describe archival values such as historical, research, intrinsic, evidential and informational values. Understand how the physical condition of records fits into the appraisal process.
    2. Arrangement, Description and Use. Know and understand the purpose of an archive and be able to describe archival storage techniques, locating systems and finding aids. Be familiar with the services that are provided to researchers at an archive. Be able to describe provenance, original order, archival finding aids, lists and indexes. Understand the restrictions involved with copyright laws.
    3. Conservation and Preservation of Archival Materials. Preservation is necessary for those records determined to have long term and/or historical value. Methods used to preserve these records are media dependent and in the case of electronic or digital records, may require movement to another form for long term preservation and availability of information. Be familiar with the conditions that can damage records and the processes used to reverse or halt the further deterioration of records in any media. Identify the environmental controls that are necessary for the preservation of archival records recorded on all media. Be able to describe specifications that are required in the building construction, safety, temperature and humidity controls. Discuss the role of metadata in ensuring a complete and accurate history of the preservation of records over time.
    4. Media Software/Hardware Considerations. Know and understand the issues surrounding maintenance of the hardware and software necessary to interpret the information that is stored on media other than paper.
    5. Archival Administration. Understand the differences between a manuscript collection and public and private archives. Be familiar with the reason for establishing each type of archives. Know the relationship between records and archive management. Understand how to develop policy and procedures regarding such issues as control including access and security.