Record Keeping


Record Keeping (Management):

Record Keeping is the professional practice or discipline of controlling and governing what are considered to be the most important records of an organization throughout the life-cycle, which includes from the time such records are conceived through to their eventual disposal. This work includes identifying, classifying, prioritizing, storing, securing, archiving, preserving, retrieving, tracking and destroying of records.

The purpose of record management is part of an organization’s broader activities that are associated with the discipline or field known as governance, risk and compliance and is primarily concerned with the evidence of an organization’s activities as well as the reduction or mitigation of risk that may be associated with such evidence.

Corporate memory is information of value for re-use. In determining whether to retain records and for how long, the value of the record for re-use should be an important criterion. Many records are simply kept as evidence of a transaction. Others are kept to document what happened and, perhaps, why it happened.

A record is something that represents proof of existence and that can be used to recreate or prove state of existence, regardless of medium or characteristics. A record is either created or received by an organization in pursuance of or in compliance with legal obligations, or in the transaction of business.

Records can be either tangible objects, such as paper documents like certificate of conformity (COC), conformity of production (COP), base type approvals, type approvals ( separate components etc),end of series (EOS), technical drawings, audit reports and audit reviews.

Once a record is created, record controls are triggered to regulate its access and distribution. A human resource employee may separate documents from a personnel file and keep them in a locked cabinet with a control log to control and track access. Role security may be set on a repository allowing access to approved users. Software may identify the official record, versions, copies, and distribution.

The storage of records can vary throughout an organization. File maintenance may be carried out by the owner, designee, a records repository, or clerk. Records may be formally and discretely identified by coding and housed in folders specifically designed for optimum protection and storage capacity, or they may be casually identified and filed with no apparent indexing. Organizations that manage records casually find it difficult to access and retrieve information when needed. The inefficiency of filing maintenance and storage systems can prove to be costly in terms of wasted space and resources expended searching for records.

An inactive record is a record that is no longer needed to conduct current business but is being preserved until it meets the end of its retention period, such as when a project ends, a product line is retired, or the end of a fiscal reporting period is reached. These records may hold business, legal, fiscal, or historical value for the entity in the future and, therefore, are required to be maintained for a short or permanent duration. Records are managed according to the retention schedule. Once the life of a record has been satisfied according to its predetermined period and there are no legal holds pending, it is authorized for final disposition, which may include destruction, transfer, or permanent preservation.

Disaster Recovery Plan:

A Disaster Recovery Plan is a written and approved course of action to take after a disaster strikes that details how an organization will restore critical business functions and reclaim damaged or threatened records.

An Active Record is a record needed to perform current operations, subject to frequent use, and usually located near the user. In the past, ‘Records Management’ was sometimes used to refer only to the management of records which were no longer in everyday use but still needed to be kept – ‘semi-current’ or ‘inactive records, often stored in basements or offsite. More modern usage tends to refer to the entire life-cycle of records – from the point of creation right through until their eventual disposal.