What to look for when Developing a Records Management Policy
A Records Management Policy is a crucial document that communicates the various aspects in records management, providing a directive to the staff on how the management expects of them in the management of records.
Developing Organizational Policies for various departments can be hard, but here is a quick guideline on how to do one
- Understand the Law
Organizations are governed by the Constitution, acts of parliaments, circulars, government memos, international statutes and then ISO standards.
Understanding how each of the above impact on your organization gives you a greater overview of the organization legal and regulatory compliance as you develop the manuals.
Records management may not be explicitly stated in most of the above, but compliance to various set laws and guidelines is noted in the documentations and records generated in the course of business.
- Study the other Policies
As for records management, identify if there is need for a new policy or an adjustment of the existing one
The actualization of all the policies is dependent on how well they can document the processes. This provides you with a basis to better understand the organization and ultimately develop a records management policy that incorporates all other departments
Apart from management, most of the other aspects in records management (creation, use, disposition) is either function of another department or a joint function of the records and another department.
- Incorporate all the other departments
To better your policy ensures you’ve incorporated all other aspects in records management. This may vary from disaster management, procurement, finance, strategy and operations. This indirectly affect the streamlining and management of records in an organization.
A proper records management policy must
- Must align with the organizations needs, strategy
- Ensure efficiency in records management
- Must expressly define roles and duties in records management
- Must expressly set to embed the records functionality as a cornerstone in each department
- Should develop some criteria for drawing up a strategic plan for records management
- Must provide an aspect of autonomy (almost equal to one granted to internal auditors) to be able to effectively discharge their duties
- Must be easy to understand
- Must be current (easy to amend based on the various laws that affect it)
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