Records Management Checklist

The guide is also available as an interactive PDF.



We first developed this better practice guide in 2008 to complement our performance audit Records Management in the Victorian Public Sector. At that time the Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) provided limited detailed records management guidance for agencies. However, PROV now provides detailed guidance on its website.

Despite this, our guide is still frequently downloaded from our website so we have issued this update to reflect the current regulations.

This guide should be used in conjunction with the relevant standards, guidelines and advices that PROV issues, including their Information Management Maturity Measurement Tool, known as the IM3.

I am confident the checklist will help agencies to assess the procedures and practices established by them to manage their records.

Acting Auditor-General Peter Frost's signature.

Dr Peter Frost
Acting Auditor-General

March 2016  


Records management is a fundamental function of all government entities and the responsibility of all agency staff. It is generally recognised that records management has three broad objectives:

  • providing information to enable agencies to conduct their business
  • supporting agency communications, actions and decisions, therefore improving public accountability
  • preserving historically and culturally important documents.

Without proper records management, government agencies cannot be assured that they are operating effectively and are meeting the requirements of the Public Records Act 1973 and numerous other relevant acts and regulations. While a sound records management framework will not necessarily ensure agencies' records are well managed, having appropriate policies, procedures and processes increases the likelihood of this outcome.

Establishing and maintaining an effective records management framework is a significant challenge for many agencies. The changing legislative and other requirements, and the developments in information technology make this an ongoing task.

PROV has a statutory role to establish records management standards and assist agencies to better manage their records. Information on the range of services and guidance that PROV provides is available on its website .

Purpose of the checklist

This checklist will help government agencies assess the administrative frameworks they use to manage their records. It will help agencies comply with the records management standards PROV issues and to identify areas for improvement. The checklist is not a substitute for the records management standards but is designed to complement and support them.

The checklist is organised into seven principles for sound records management. These principles are consistent with the Australian Standard for Records Management (AS ISO 15489) and standards, specifications, guidelines and advice that PROV issues. To maximise the benefit of the checklist, it should be used in conjunction with the standards and guidance material referred to throughout.

Seven principles for the sound management of records

Image shows the seven principles for the sound management of records 1 Records management objectives and policy, 2 Management and oversight, 3 Strategic planning,  and resource allocation, 4 Operational procedures, practices and systems, 5 Staff with records management responsibilities, 6 Communications, and 7 Monitoring and reporting.

Using the results to improve records management within the agency

Once agencies have completed the checklist they should:

  • determine why any missing policies, processes, procedures or mechanisms are not in place
  • develop strategies and actions to establish them
  • assign responsibility and time frames for their establishment.

The missing elements should also be prioritised so that the most critical elements are established first.

The results of the assessment should be communicated to the agency's senior management so it is aware of the state of the agency's records management and the action required to improve it.

The use of the checklist could form part of each agency's continuous improvement program.


The Victorian Auditor-General's Office would like to acknowledge Ms. Judith Ellis of Enterprise Knowledge Pty. Ltd. and staff from PROV for their assistance in the preparation of the first issue of this guide.

Principle 1

Records management objectives and policy

Records management objectives set out what the agency's records management function is trying to achieve. These objectives should be clearly defined, measurable, achievable, relevant and set with a time frame in mind. The objectives should be aligned with the agency's business outcomes.

For agencies to achieve these objectives, it is important that they are translated into a high-level policy that articulates the principles and objectives for good records management. The policy should:

  • acknowledge records as an important business asset
  • acknowledge sound records management as a fundamental function of government agencies and the responsibility of all staff
  • outline the main aims of records management and indicate how good records management will help the agency to achieve its key objectives
  • identify the core principles for good records management.


Critical elements


Records management objectives, principles and priorities have been developed and documented.


A records management policy has been developed that:

  • outlines the agency's overall goals, vision and purpose of records management
  • indicates the value the agency places on records management and outlines its commitment to the sound management of records
  • outlines the key records management functions (i.e., creation, capture, classification, access, storage, security, maintenance, transfer, disposal and preservation)
  • acknowledges that all staff have a responsibility for records management
  • covers all of the agency's operations and includes all record formats (physical and digital, including emails and web-based records), agency locations and external providers
  • requires records management operational policies, procedures and systems to be compliant with legislation, standards and other agency requirements (i.e., information security).


Records management objectives and policy are endorsed by the chief executive officer or equivalent.


Records management objectives and policy are reviewed annually and updated where required.


Records management obligations are identified and acknowledged in other key agency policies such as the privacy policy, freedom of information policy, procurement policy, and information and communications technology policy.


An information management framework has been established that:

  • outlines the long-term vision and goals for managing the agency's information assets
  • recognises records management as a key component of information management
  • regularly identifies the agency's information needs and strategies to meet them.

Principle 2

Management and oversight

To ensure records management activities operate as intended and are aligned with the agency's records management objectives and policy, there needs to be appropriate management and oversight. Effective records management depends on the appropriate assignment of responsibility for records management within the agency, senior management support for records management and recognition that records management is a key organisational function.

Critical elements


The chief executive officer or equivalent is identified as having ultimate responsibility for records management in the agency.


Senior management support and champion the management of records within the agency by:

  • approving the records management policy
  • promoting sound records management at staff meetings, in discussions with agency staff and in corporate communications
  • adequately resourcing the records management function.
  • providing records management training, where required.


The management of records is identified as a key organisational requirement and priority by:

  • recognising the effective management of records as a key result area in organisational planning (i.e., within the corporate plan and business plans)
  • establishing key performance indicators for:
  • staff with records management responsibilities
  • senior agency staff overseeing records management functions.


The organisational structure facilitates good management of records by:

  • assigning responsibility for the oversight of records management to a senior executive officer
  • assigning responsibilities for the development of records management policy, processes and systems to an appropriately skilled and experienced staff member
  • including consideration of records and information management requirements in other agency-wide activities such as:
  • corporate governance
  • risk management
  • information technology.


All audits and reviews of agency functions and activities include an assessment of the agency's, and their external providers' compliance with its records management policy and procedures.


Senior and middle management performance agreements require them to ensure their staff comply with the agency's records management policy and procedures.


Records management responsibilities are included in all staff position descriptions.


Records management responsibilities are included in staff performance agreements.


Key performance indicators are established for records management and the records management function.

Principle 3

Strategic planning and resource allocation

For agencies to make the best use of their resources and to improve records management outcomes, they need to adopt a strategic approach. Strategic planning enables agencies to know what to do so they can plan to make it happen.

Such an approach also provides senior management with comprehensive information about the state of the agency's records management systems and controls, any weaknesses and risks associated with current practices, and what actions can be taken.

Without a strategic approach to the management of records:

  • there is a greater likelihood that an agency's records management operations will fail to respond adequately to changes in the regulatory and business environment that have records management implications
  • resources needed to adequately operate the records management function may not be received and the resources available may not be used effectively.

A strategic approach to records management involves:

  • gaining an understanding of the agency's business
  • identifying records management needs and risks
  • assessing the adequacy of the existing records management environment and practices
  • developing a strategic plan to ensure records management objectives and needs are addressed.


Critical elements


An understanding of the agency business has been obtained by:

  • identifying the legal, regulatory, business and political context of the agency
  • defining the business functions, activities and processes for which records must be created and managed
  • assessing the internal business environment of the agency, including the identification of business systems used to store and manage records, their records management functionality and relationships between systems.


Records management needs and requirements have been determined by:

  • identifying the legislative and other requirements that impact on records management in the agency
  • identifying relevant internal and external stakeholders and their records management requirements
  • assessing the agency's records management risks and identifying priorities. The priorities will be based on an evaluation of the likely impact of the agency not meeting its identified needs.


The systems used to keep records and the agency's records management policies and procedures have been assessed to determine whether they are adequate to ensure the identified records management needs and requirements are met.


An agency-wide strategy or plan has been developed. This will facilitate the achievement of the agency's records management objectives, to address any gaps and risks identified in the records management framework and to outline and support new records management initiatives.


The records management strategy or plan includes:

  • the agency's records management objectives
  • a broad outline of the agency's business context
  • details of the agency's major records management needs, requirements and risks
  • actions required to achieve its records management objectives, address deficiencies identified in the agency's records management framework and any poor records management outcomes identified
  • time lines for the implementation of actions
  • resource requirements, both physical and financial
  • monitoring and reporting mechanisms
  • assignment of responsibilities for:
  • establishing the agency records management framework
  • key records management functions (at a high level), including the creation, capture, classification, access, storage, security, maintenance, transfer, disposal and preservation of records
  • monitoring and reporting to senior management on records management activities, compliance with agency policies and procedures, and the performance of the records management function
  • establishing appropriate governance arrangements for major records management initiatives including a project steering committee, a project sponsor and a project manager.
  • prioritisation of actions and initiatives on the basis of risk and materiality.


The strategy is consistent with national and international standards, where appropriate, such as:

  • AS ISO 15489-1:2001 & AS ISO 15489.2:2002—Information and documentation—Records management
  • AS ISO 23081-1:2006—Information and documentation—Records management processes—Metadata for records
  • ISO 30300:2011, ISO 30301:2011 & ISO 30302:2015—Information and documentation—Management systems for records
  • ISO/TR 18128:2014—Information and documentation—Risk assessment for records processes and systems
  • ISO 5963:1985—Documentation—Methods for examining documents, determining their subjects, and selecting indexing terms
  • ISO/TR 26122:2008—Information and documentation—Work process analysis for records


The strategy is endorsed by the agency's chief executive officer or equivalent.


The strategy is regularly reviewed and updated, where required.


Relevant actions and initiatives are incorporated into the business plans of the agency's major functional and operational groups.


For each major records management initiative (project):

  • a business case is prepared prior to commencing the project. (The business case outlines the need the initiative will address, an assessment of the options available to meet the need and an outline of the preferred option including the costs, benefits, issues, constraints and risks associated with that option.)
  • a project plan is prepared. (The plan includes project objectives, details of stakeholders and their needs, resource requirements, project time lines and responsibilities and how the achievement of the project objectives will be assessed.)

Principle 4

Operational procedures, practices and systems

Once agencies have established their records management objectives and policy, they need to develop comprehensive procedures and practices covering their core business and administrative processes to assist staff in managing records.

An agency's operational records management procedures and practices should:

  • be consistent with records management standards and advice issued by PROV
  • cover the core records management processes, including records held by external parties (i.e., outsourced activities)
  • align with the agency's records management objectives and policy.

Compliance with the agency's records management policy is dependent on staff applying the procedures and practices established and on the capabilities of systems used to record business information.

Increasingly government business is being conducted using electronic systems. In this environment, it is important to have adequate and up-to-date procedures and practices dealing with the management of digital records and electronic systems with records management functionality.


Critical elements




Operational records management procedures and practices are established that:

  • refer to records management requirements outlined in legislation, regulations and standards issued by PROV and other professional bodies
  • align with the agency's records management objectives and policy
  • cover key records management functions such as the creation, capture, classification, access, storage, security, maintenance, transfer, disposal and preservation of records
  • include all record formats (physical and digital, including emails and websites)
  • apply to all of the agency's operations
  • identify which systems are to be used to capture and manage the agency's records
  • outline and assign responsibility for compliance with the procedures and practices.


Capture of records


Operational procedures exist to assist staff to decide what information to capture into the agency's records management system/s, when the information is to be captured and how the information is captured. The procedures should cover:

  • management of physical records
  • management of digital records (e.g., emails, documents—Word, Powerpoint, Excel, Project)
  • management of source records
  • management of converted records
  • website pages and transactions
  • records of communications such as meeting notes and phone conversations
  • records generated by the agency's core business systems.


Vocabulary controls such as thesaurus, standard document and file titling are being used to aid record capture and retrieval.


Procedures have been established to ensure that records held by staff leaving the agency, such as emails and physical records, are appropriately managed.




Formal rules are in place to assist staff to assign appropriate metadata when records are created. This includes rules built into system design.


Metadata is assigned to the records when they are placed in any of the agency's systems that keep records.


For digital records, the metadata is compliant with the Victorian Electronic Records Strategy (VERS) Standard, as determined by a formal assessment that PROV conducts.


A person/s with appropriate skills is responsible for determining the agency's metadata requirements and for maintaining its metadata schema.




One or more comprehensive and current records classification schemes for grouping and retrieving records has been established.


Each classification scheme is based on an up-to-date analysis of major activities undertaken by the agency.


Procedures or business rules have been established that outline how records are to be classified.


Each classification scheme is linked to the agency's:

  • Retention and Disposal Authorities (RDA)
  • security and access regimes for the records system/s.


Access to records and security


Where access to agency records needs to be restricted for security, privacy, commercial or other reasons, this need is identified and documented.


Policies or business rules governing system security and user access permissions are in place.


Appropriate levels of access to agency records for staff, the public and others dealing with the agency have been determined.


Physical and system restrictions have been implemented to control access by staff and others to agency systems and records, based on the predetermined access levels.


Processes exist to prevent the deliberate destruction and/or theft of records and accidental damage caused by fire, flood, and vermin.


User access restrictions and other security controls are regularly reviewed to ensure they remain appropriate.


Mechanisms are in place to report breaches of security and inappropriate access to agency information to senior management for action.


Movement of and use of records


The location and movement of physical and digital records are tracked and traceable.


The use of records subject to security restrictions is tracked and traceable.


Business rules and auditable processes are in place for the migration of records to near-line, offline and off-site storage.


Procedures for copying, conversion and migration of records (and their associated metadata) are implemented and monitored.


Storage of records


The storage of records is regularly assessed. When records are no longer needed for administrative purposes they are transferred to off-site storage or to PROV.


Sentenced temporary and unsentenced records are stored either onsite at the agency or at an approved commercial storage facility, in accordance with PROV's record management standards.


Records appraised as permanent are stored onsite at the agency, in accordance with PROV's records management standards, or transferred to PROV.


Comprehensive and up-to-date disaster preparedness and recovery strategies and procedures for all systems that store records have been established.


Computer and other records management systems are regularly tested to determine whether they can recover appropriately from system malfunctions.


Agency records are in a format that ensures their preservation and accessibility for as long as they are required, in accordance with the agency's RDAs and the requirements of the Public Records Act 1973.


Disposal of records


A current RDA, authorised by PROV, is in place to cover the agency's business functions.


Public records are disposed of in accordance with the relevant RDA and records management standards issued under the Public Records Act 1973. Ephemeral material created, acquired or collected by public officers during the course of their duties is destroyed in line with normal administrative practice (NAP).


The disposal of records is planned and undertaken on a regular basis, e.g., annually.


Responsibility for authorising the disposal of records has been assigned to an appropriate member of staff and the required approvals are obtained prior to the destruction of records.


Procedures are in place to ensure:

  • records identified for destruction have no further business need
  • there is no reasonable risk of the information being recovered after records are destroyed
  • the destruction of records is supervised by an agency staff member or by an authorised agent if destruction has been contracted out
  • the level of control over the destruction of records is commensurate with the sensitivity of the information being destroyed.


Destruction of all records must be documented, which applies equally to physical and digital records. PROS 10/13 Guideline 3 requires a register to be maintained of all records destroyed noting the title and unique identifier of the record, the relevant RDA and class, the date of destruction and the individual authorising the destruction. If a contractor performs the destruction then a destruction certificate must also be issued and kept on file.


Transfer of records to PROV


Procedures are in place to identify permanent records under the Disposal Authority PROS 10/13. Permanent records that are more than 25 years old and are no longer required by the agency for administrative use should be transferred to PROV for state archives.


A program has been established to transfer permanent records to PROV on a regular basis as required by the Public Records Act 1973.


The transfer of permanent records to PROV is in accordance with PROS 10/13 Specification 3: Transfer of State Archives to PROV


Email records


To manage email records procedures have been established and implemented that:

  • outline the employee's responsibility for managing business-related emails
  • explain in what circumstances emails are to be captured as a record (emails that have business and archival value should be captured)
  • list the agency locations and systems that may be used to capture emails
  • list locations that are not approved for storing business emails such as personal or shared drives and email folders
  • require relevant emails to be captured as a record, as soon as possible after staff create or receive them
  • provide guidance to staff on titling emails, to assist them with the subsequent retrieval and ongoing management of emails.


Web-based records


Procedures have been established and implemented to ensure web-based information recorded on public websites, private networks, extranets and intranets are created and captured as records and managed.


The records management procedures for web-based records:

  • include a requirement to create, capture and manage metadata
  • stipulate that web-based records are to be kept as long as specified in the agency's approved RDA
  • require that documentation evidencing website management be captured as a record.


Records management systems and systems that keep records


Systems which keep records are VERS-compliant, or a strategy has been written for the establishment of a VERS-compliant system.

Such a system will enable the agency to more effectively and efficiently manage digital records and transfer permanent digital records to PROV.


There are established processes and procedures to ensure all systems that keep records are adequately maintained.


There are established standard operating procedures and mechanisms for its systems that keep records and they provide for:

  • the reporting of all system failures such as database corruption
  • specific actions to be taken when a system fails, including recovery and re-execution of all processes underway
  • major changes to systems to be comprehensively documented.


There are standard processes for the copying, conversion or migration of records in the event of structural change (such as the restructure of government agencies and creation of new business units), system change, upgrade or decommissioning.


Where external providers manage agency information under contractual arrangements, the contract:

  • recognises the agency's legal ownership of records held by the external party, and the information they contain
  • enables the agency to have full and timely access to relevant records held
  • requires the external party to comply with the agency's records management standards, policies, procedures and guidelines for as long as they hold the records.

Principle 5

Staff with records management responsibilities

For the records management function to be effective it needs staff with appropriate qualifications, skills and experience. To be assured they have capable staff, agencies need to:

  • identify their staff requirements (i.e., the number of staff and the skills, knowledge and capability)
  • periodically assess staff performance and provide appropriate feedback through a formalised performance assessment process, that can identify staff training and development needs
  • compare the overall capabilities of records management staff with the identified requirements to determine the need for new staff and to identify any skill deficiencies
  • develop a human resource management plan for records management staff.

The records management function or unit should also:

  • provide the records management training and development activities outlined in the human resources management plan
  • regularly monitor these activities to ensure they remain effective and relevant.


Critical elements


The human resource requirements for the records management function, in terms of staff numbers and skills, knowledge and capability, are regularly assessed.


The competency and capability of staff with records management responsibility is periodically assessed and the information used to provide staff with feedback on their performance and to identify training and development activities to address any performance issues.


The human resource requirements for the records management function is compared to the resources available to identify the need for more staff or specific skills.


A human resource management plan has been developed, that:

  • includes strategies to recruit additional staff with records management capability where required and to train and develop staff to address capability deficiencies
  • identifies and plans for the provision of records management advice and specialist assistance to other areas within the agency as required. For example, records management advice when implementing a new business system.


A training program for records management has been established for:

  • staff with records management responsibilities
  • all staff
  • new starters.


Training in records management, as required, is provided to:

  • staff with records management responsibilities
  • all staff
  • new starters.


Training programs are regularly monitored for attendance, effectiveness and relevance and changes are made to the programs where appropriate.


Staff with records management responsibilities are encouraged to maintain their record management skills and knowledge through membership of professional bodies, regular contact with PROV and participation in relevant industry events and forums.


Agency operations outside the metropolitan area are provided with training in organisational-wide records management requirements.

Principle 6


Sound records management requires all staff to comply with an agency's records management policies and procedures. To do this, staff must be aware of the policies and procedures and understand the importance of sound records management.

Effective communication can promote the importance of good records management within agencies and help agency staff (including contractors) to:

  • understand their responsibility for records management
  • obtain a working knowledge of the agency's records management policies and procedures.

Critical elements


The importance of records management is promoted and staff informed of their responsibilities in relation to records management:

  • in training programs
  • on the agency's intranet
  • in displays of information on good records management practice.


Records management policies and procedures are:

  • communicated to all staff and contractors
  • available on the intranet for access by staff.


The records management training program is promoted to all staff, including consultants, contractors and volunteers.


Information on records management issues impacting on the agency is distributed to appropriate staff.


Staff exit procedures are used to identify areas where agency records are not managed in accordance with the agency's policies and procedures.

Principle 7

Monitoring and reporting

Establishing records management policies and procedures to guide staff is essential to sound records management. However, without appropriate monitoring and reporting processes, agencies cannot be sure that their policies and procedures are being complied with and their objectives being met.

Regular monitoring and reporting to senior management on records management activities is an essential element of an agency's governance arrangements. These processes:

  • provide assurance to management that the agency's records management objectives and policies are being achieved
  • provide feedback to management on how records management initiatives are tracking against budgets and time lines
  • bring any events that may adversely impact on the agency to the attention of management so that corrective action can be taken where required.

Monitoring mechanisms normally include:

  • a compliance program that monitors the agency's adherence to its records management policies and procedures and PROV's records management standards, and assesses the agency's performance in achieving its records management objectives
  • information on the operation and performance of the records management function and the agency's records management systems
  • information on the progress made in delivering the strategies outlined in the records management plan or strategy.

It is important for agencies outsourcing significant parts of their business to external parties, to establish mechanisms to ensure records held by these parties are adequately managed and are accessible by the agency. This can be achieved by:

  • clearly outlining, in the service agreements entered into with contractors, the contractor's responsibility for the creation, capture, maintenance and management of agency records
  • monitoring the external parties' performance against requirements included in the service agreements established by agencies.

Critical elements


Records management compliance reviews


There is a records management compliance program that regularly monitors and assesses:

  • compliance with records management policies and procedures
  • compliance with PROV's records management standards and the IM3
  • the delivery of its records management plans and initiatives.


Performance monitoring


Sufficient and appropriate information is gathered on records management activities to facilitate monitoring of performance against agreed and defined service levels and key performance indicators.


The operation of its information systems that keep records are regularly monitored, and:

  • the level and appropriateness of their use recorded
  • any procedures undertaken to address exceptions such as security or access breaches and lost documents are documented.


Records management tools such as the classification scheme and RDAs are regularly reviewed and updated as a consequence of changing business circumstances and requirements.


Mechanisms have been established to regularly assess and evaluate staff access to records.


Internal audits undertaken include periodic reviews of the agency's records management systems, procedures and practices.


Compliance with email and web-based records management policy and procedures is regularly monitored.




Reports are provided to agency senior management on:

  • records management activities
  • internal records management compliance reviews
  • changes to existing systems and implementation of new systems which are used to manage records
  • the delivery of records management strategies.


Appropriate and timely corrective action is taken on report findings generated from records management monitoring and reporting activities, and a record of that action is maintained.


Mechanisms are in place to ensure that findings and recommendations from internal audit and other reviews relating to records management are addressed.



Right, opportunity, means of finding, using, or retrieving information.


Group of people and facilities with an arrangement of responsibilities, authorities and relationships.


The process of evaluating which records may be disposed of in accordance with the organisations relevant Retention and Disposal Authorities.


The placement and description of an object, e.g., a document into a system that keeps records (also referred to as a repository).


Systematic identification and arrangement of business activities and/or records into categories according to logically structured conventions, methods, and procedural rules represented in a classification system/scheme.


Process of changing records from one medium to another or from one format to another.


Responsibility for the care of records and archives, usually based on their physical possession. However, the custodian of a record is not necessarily its legal owner and as such, may not have the authority to make decisions about the record.


Any manifestation in the environment, including symbolic representations, that, in combination, may form the basis of information.


Process of eliminating or deleting records, beyond any possible reconstruction.


A range of processes associated with implementing records retention, destruction or transfer decisions that are documented in Retention and Disposal Authorities.


Recorded information or object that can be treated as a unit.


Data in a context to which meaning has been attributed.

Information management

Describes the measures required for the effective creation, collection, storage, access, use and disposal of information to support agency business processes. The core of these measures is the management of the definition, ownership, security, quality and accessibility of information. These measures are addressed at appropriate stages in the agency's strategic planning lifecycle and applied at appropriate stages in the lifecycle of the information itself.

Information management framework

Comprises policies, procedures and systems to enable the strategic management of information. Information, including records, is a business asset. Records are important both for their content and as evidence of communications, decisions and actions.


Data describing the context, content and structure of records and their management through time, e.g., creator, date of creation, record name, record format, accessed by, date deleted, etc.


Act of moving records from one system to another, while maintaining the records' authenticity, integrity, reliability and usability.

Normal administrative practice

Normal administrative practice covers the destruction of ephemeral material of a facilitative nature (such as working papers, drafts and extra copies of documents) created, acquired or collected by public officers as part of their duties.

Permanent records

Records identified as worth preserving permanently as part of the Victorian Government's archives.


Processes and operations involved in ensuring the technical and intellectual survival of authentic records through time.


Information created, received, and maintained as evidence and information by an organisation or person, in pursuance of legal obligations or in the transaction of business. This is usually the responsibility of a designated person or persons within an agency.

Records management

The field of management responsible for the control of the creation, receipt, maintenance, use and disposal of records, including processes for capturing and maintaining evidence of and information about business activities in the form of records.

Retention and Disposal Authority

A document that provides a mechanism for the disposal of public records in accordance with the Public Records Act 1973. A Retention and Disposal Authority identifies records which are worth preserving, prevents the premature destruction of records and authorises the destruction of those records not required permanently.


The process, using a Retention and Disposal Authority, to identify a record as either of temporary or permanent value.

Source records

Source records are original records that will be converted into another format

Temporary records

Records with no archival value that can be sentenced for destruction.


Creating, capturing and maintaining information about the movement and use of records.


Change of custody, ownership and/or responsibility for records or movement of records from one location or entity to another.

Unsentenced records

Records which have not been appraised as permanent or temporary records.

Web-based records

Includes records arising from online resources such as public websites, virtual private networks (VPNs) and intranets.

List of acronyms used


AS ISO Australian Standard, International Standards Organisation


Public Record Office Standard


Public Record Office Victoria


Retention and Disposal Authority


Victorian Electronic Records Strategy