Review and assessment
Regular assessment and review of records management systems will give an authority a clear statement of the extent that its records management practices conform to the Records Management Plan as submitted and agreed by the Keeper.
In line with the Keeper of the Records of Scotland's (The Keeper) obligations under the Public Records (Scotland) Act 2011 (the Act) the following guidance is issued regarding self assessment and review:
The Keeper considers that it is a fundamental part of a records management plan (RMP) that it is reviewed:
• Shortly after implementation to determine whether it is operating as expected.
• On a regular basis thereafter to check that it still appropriate to the business needs of the organisation and has properly responded to the changes in circumstance that occur over time.
With this in mind it is important to schedule these reviews from the outset. The Keeper would expect to see some provision for review in an authority's RMP.
It is important that an authority's records management provision is properly assessed before and after the implementation of a plan. The Keeper would suggest that public authorities should consider implementing a self assessment survey of their level of records management development, before creating a RMP for submission. This is not a requirement of the Act.
Under the provisions of the Act (section 5.2) the Keeper has the authority to ask a scheduled public authority to review their records management plan after five years. It is hoped that this review will be done more frequently by the authority itself.
The Keeper should be notified of any changes made to an authority's RMP including those made as the result of a scheduled review.
Internal assessment of a records management plan might be facilitated by a user evaluation exercise. Larger organisations might consider the establishment of a review group.
Evidence that an authority appreciates the importance of periodic review of its records management procedures may be detailed under the formal records management policy (Element 3).
Alternatively, evidence that this element is being properly considered may be submitted separately. This can be in the form of details of the self-assessment mechanism used with reports from assessments already undertaken, or that are underway.
The Scottish Parliament has provided this example of a completed self assessment based on the JISC model:
[Scottish Parliament Maturity Model and Road Map - Acrobat PDF 955KB, new window]
Guidance specifically about reviewing records management provision
The Scottish Council on Archives has developed a self assessment tool called ARMS (Archives and Records Management System). (http://www.scoarch.org.uk/projects/qualityframework)
National Archives of Scotland workbook tool - which may be used by public authorities intending to assess their records management provision: (http://www.nas.gov.uk/foi/recordsManagementWorkbook.asp)
JISC InfoNet measuring the impact of a records management plan: (http://www.jiscinfonet.ac.uk/records-management/measuring-impact)
The National Archives - assessing RM in public authorities: (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/information-management/projects-and-work/assessing-rm-public-authorities.htm)
The International Records Management Trust also offer a self-assessment tool: (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/rmcas/)
The 'Section 61' Code of Practice speaks of the importance of reviewing a records management programme.
[Section 61 Monitoring and Reporting 2011 - Acrobat PDF 223KB, new window]
Edinburgh University provides a Records Management Self-Assessment Checklist (http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/records-management-section/records-management/staff-guidance/introductory-guidance/are-your-records-ready)
Complete Guidance Documents
Scottish Ministers' Code of Practice on records management by Scottish public authorities under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 -16 December 2011(Section 61) (http://www.scotland.gov.uk/About/FOI/18022/13383)
JISC records management guidance
The National Archives records management guidance (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/information-management/projects-and-work/records-management-guidance.htm)
University of Edinburgh records management guidance (http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/records-management-section/records-management/staff-guidance)
United Nations records management guidance (http://archives.un.org/ARMS/node/18)
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