Filed under: Document & records management
With the move from paper to electronic documents, responsibility for recordkeeping within organisations has shifted to individual staff and away from centralised records management specialists.
Much is made of the need for all staff to understand their recordkeeping responsibilities. To this end, many training and communication programs are conducted within government agencies (and elsewhere).
To a large extent, this training has failed. While staff gain a general awareness of recordkeeping, they are not provided with sufficiently concrete and detailed guidance to make their recordkeeping successful and consistent.
This article explores ways to help staff meet their recordkeeping obligations by creating a single sheet of paper for each staff member with everything that they need to know.
Traditional recordkeeping training
Most organisations have fairly well-established staff training programs on recordkeeping, covering topics such as:
- what is a record
- why records need to be kept
- recordkeeping obligations of all staff
- how to file records in corporate record keeping systems
- when and how to dispose of records
Crucially, this training only talks of records in general terms, outlining statements such as ‘records are any documents that provide evidence of a decision or activity’. In practice, not every document or email should be kept, and these general statements do little to help staff make judgements about what to file.
The training also fails to tell staff where to file individual records, other than generally pointing to the corporate records systems.
[CM Briefing 2007-08, read the full article]