Since 1995, PROV has led the Victorian state government in the development of standards and policies to create, manage and access digital records.
The “Keeping Electronic Documents Forever” report was delivered in 1996, outlining a leading edge approach to addressing the issue of how to retain and ensure ongoing access to digital records created today and in the future.
In 1998 the VERS Demonstrator System authenticated that it was possible and practical to capture, manage and access digital records using a VERS Encapsulated Object (VEO) format. Findings from this project were published in the VERS Final Report.
The VERS Standard, PROS 99/007 was developed in 2000 and consisted of the Management of Electronic Records Standard and three Specifications: System Requirements for Archiving Electronic Records; VERS Metadata Scheme; and VERS Standard Electronic Record Format.
The current version was released in July 2002. The Standard and original three Specifications were revised and two additional Specifications were added.
During this time at the Department of Infrastructure (DOI), the VERS@ DOI Pilot Implementation Project was demonstrating the capture of records at the point of creation, and the management and export of VEOs in a live environment.
The VERS Centre of Excellence was established in May 2002. Located at PROV, the Centre of Excellence was responsible for overseeing the development of a strategy for the initial rollout of VERS across the Victorian government. The Centre provided resources, advice, and guidance to Victorian government agencies as well as conducting further research into the long term preservation of electronic records and overseeing the construction of an electronic records repository at PROV (Digital Archive).
A revised VERS standard was issued in June 2015. Now known as PROS 15/03 Standard for the encapsulation of digital information, the revision is simpler and more flexible than the original, while retaining the basic preservation principles.