Vital Records Keeping Plan

Every organisation, regardless of size needs to write and maintain a vital record keeping plan – just in case. A vital record keeping plan can be likened to an insurance policy. An organisation will take out significant insurance policies in the hope it will never have to use them. While the insurance policy will cover the building and the contents, it cannot hope to cover an organisations business records. A vital records keeping plan does just that.

So what are vital records?

Vital records are those records without which an organisation could not continue to operate. They are more often than not, irreplaceable, or would require significant resources to recreate. They contain the information needed to restore the organisations business operations in the event of a system failure or a disaster.

Vital records protect the assets and interests of the organisation, its clients and stakeholders, and cover the organisation’s infrastructure as well as legal and financial matters. Vital records keeping plans should be written and retained alongside the organisations disaster management and recovery plans.

In order to determine which records are indeed vital records, it is recommended that a records review be conducted. This records review will determine location and format(s) of the vital records, as well as provide notes reflecting on why the records are deemed to be vital records. Once these factors have been determined, the vital records keeping plan can be written, implemented and regularly reviewed.

Writing and maintaining a vital records keeping plan is a significant undertaking and one that takes time to complete if done properly. Most organisations, while admitting the need for a vital records keeping plan, have little time to devote to the process and may prefer to outsource the project.

If your vital records keeping plan is out of date and needs to be reviewed, or in fact needs to be written then please contact our offices on (08) 6103 8428 or email info@infoproficiency.com.au to discuss your requirements.

http://www.archives.qld.gov.au/Recordkeeping/GRKDownloads/Documents/vitalrecords.pdf