VDS Releases Guidance Series Paper #1 Developing A Sound Retention Policy Within A Solid Records Management Plan
June 4, 2010 Leave a comment
Legally and ethically, firm records must be complete, trustworthy, accessible, admissible in court and stable throughout their entire lifecycle. Records are most often documents, but can also consist of other forms of content including images, e-mail, audio-visual files or even web content. Therefore, a retention plan must address both the physical and electronic assets of a firm.
This guidance paper is intended to provide a roadmap for a successful retention policy project and to outline the five essential steps required to carefully prepare, plan, and execute this aspect of your records and information management program. Throughout this document we discuss in detail the value of:
- Securing executive buy in and support
- Identifying processes, methods and approaches being utilized to manage all forms of records at all stages of workflow
- Gathering and analyzing relevant documentation
- Understanding how technology impacts the retention strategy for a firm’s electronic records
- Defining what is considered a firm record
- Recognizing where processes and workflow might need updating to meet firm retention standards
- Determining who will play what role in the enforcement of records and retention policies
- Developing an implementation plan
- Testing the policy or elements of the policy with pilot groups
As the integrity of company records touches each and every aspect of a firm in one way or another, it remains critical that a retention plan not only account for all of a firm’s information related materials, but also recognizes the human resources responsible for managing these vital physical and digital resources.