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The Victorian Electronic Records Strategy (VERS) addresses the need for a cost-effective, long-term approach to the preservation of digital records. The VERS standard specifies aspects of the strategy.

The VERS standard comes in two versions: Version 2; and Version 3.

Version 3 is significantly more flexible and simpler than Version 2. Unfortunately, PROV will not be able to accept Version 3 transfers until PROV’s Digital Archive is redeveloped. Funding was received in the 2015 State budget to redevelop the Digital Archive, but the new Digital Archive is not expected be available until around 2018.

You should:

  • Use VERS Version 2 if you wish to transfer digital records to PROV before the new Digital Archive is available (which is expected to be around 2018). PROV has committed to maintaining the capability to transfer records conforming to Version 2 of the standard, so the resources spent implementing Version 2 will not be wasted.
  • Use VERS Version 3 if the transfer to PROV is not expected until after the new Digital Archive is available. You may also use Version 3 for internal purposes. You should contact the Government Services team at PROV ( if you wish to use VERS Version 3.

VERS Version 3 was developed and released in advance of the deployment of the new Digital Archive to allow users to become familiar with the new version, to give the opportunity to test the new version, and to support the development of the new Digital Archive. If you have any comments about Version 3, please contact the Government Services team at PROV.

Version 2

The structure and technical requirements of Version 2 of the VERS standard are formally specified in the Standard for the Management of Electronic Records (PROS 99/007) and its five Specifications.

The relationship between the VERS Standard, the Specifications that support this Standard, and the Introduction and Advices that explain VERS is shown below.

Link to VERS Standard 99/007 Link to Introduction to VERS Link to VERS Specification1 Link to VERS Specification2 Link to VERS Specification3 Link to VERS Specification4 Link to VERS Specification5 Link to VERS Advice 10 Link to VERS Advice 11 Link to VERS Advice 12 Link to VERS Advice 13 Link to VERS Advice 14

Please refer to the Standards and Policy page for an outline of PROV’s document categories, and their purposes.

The Standard, Specifications, and Advices

  • VERS Standard 99/007: Management of Electronic Records pdf (768 KB)
  • Advice 9: Introduction to VERS pdf (930 KB)
  • Specification 1: System Requirements for Preserving Electronic Records pdf (606 KB)
  • Specification 2: VERS Metadata Scheme pdf (821 KB)
  • Specification 3: VERS Standard Electronic Record Format pdf (621 KB)
  • Specification 4: VERS Long Term Preservation Formats pdf (362 KB)
  • Specification 5: Export of Electronic Records to PROV pdf (375 KB)
  • Advice 10 on Specification 1 (System Requirements for Preserving Electronic Records) pdf (901 KB)
  • Advice 11 on Specification 2 (VERS Metadata Scheme) pdf (978 KB)
  • Advice 12 on Specification 3 (VERS Standard Electronic Record Format) pdf (1057 KB)
  • Advice 13 on Specification 4 (VERS Long Term Preservation Formats) pdf (361 KB)
  • Advice 14 on Specification 5 (Export of Electronic Records to PROV) pdf (792 KB)
  • Errata to the VERS Standard Version 2 pdf (520 KB)
    This document contains minor changes and clarifications to all sections of the VERS Standard Version 2 including the Specifications and the Advice.

Technical Support


Version 3

The structure and technical requirements for creating Version 3 VERS archival objects are formally specified in the Standard for the Encapsulation of Digital Information (PROS 15/03) and its three Specifications. 

The relationship between the VERS Standard and the Specifications that support this Standard is shown below.

Picture of the relationship between the standard and the three supporting specifications

Please refer to the Standards and Policy page for an outline of PROV’s document categories, and their purposes.

The Standard, Specifications, and Advices

  • PROS 15/03: Standard for the encapsulation of digital information Pdf: PROS1503v1.0 (511KB)
  • PROS 15/03 Specification 1: Constructing VERS Encapsulated Objects Pdf: PROS1503S1v1.0 (744 KB)
  • PROS 15/03 Specification 2: Adding metadata to VEOs Pdf: PROS1503S2v1.0 (692 KB)
  • PROS 15/03 Specification 3: Long term preservation formats Pdf: PROS1503S3v1.0 (474 KB)

Technical Support

  • XML schemas for the Content, History and Signature files within a Version 3 VEO: neoVEOSchemas (3KB zip file). This file also includes several files used when validating a Version 3 VEO by the VEOCheck tool.
  • Templates for the standard metadata: neoVEOTemplates (7KB zip file). This file also includes the standard README.txt file.
  • neoVEO toolkit (3679KB zip file). The toolkit has been developed to assist developers in adding VERS capabilities to their products. It consists of three components. The first constructs Version 3 VEOs, including the digital signatures, the second resigns existing Version 3 VEOs, and the third validates Version 3 VEOs and generates HTML pages that allow the content of the Version 3 VEO to be examined. The toolkit can be incorporated in your product, or used as model code for the development of your own code. It is written in Java 1.7. The toolkit is available at no cost, ‘as is,’ with no warranties under a CC-BY license. Use of the toolkit in a product does not mean that the product will gain certification as VERS compliant. Any comments or questions about the Toolkit should be directed to Andrew Waugh (
  • Example VEOs (5874KB zip file). This zip file contains a set of Version 3 VEOs illustrating the various features of the standard. It also contains the configuration files that can be used by the neoVEO toolkit to generate the example VEOs.


Information about the development of the revised VERS standard can be found on the project page here.


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