Thank you to everyone who responded to the recent survey seeking feedback on the quality and usability of PROV’s Recordkeeping Standards, Specifications and guidance products, how they can be improved and how compliance with them can be increased.
The results show respondents believe the documents are generally comprehensive, of a high quality and that they are well used within the respondent agencies. Concerns expressed were regarding their currency, gap areas and their usability.
The main usability issues identified relate to the volume of requirements, format of documents, lack of a searchable database, difficulty in finding and relating requirements across multiple documents and a lack of “pathways in” and “stepping stones”. Suggestions given for improving quality and usability and increasing compliance in agencies included making it easier to search, relate and “get into” the documents, assisting agencies to progressively comply through developing a stepped approach based on different environments and scenarios, developing more tools, templates and case studies, requiring annual attestations and focusing on influencing executive level staff.
To address some of these concerns, PROV has a program of improvement activities underway in 2016/17. This program includes:
• development of the new PROV website including:
o a Document Library for easier access to the different documents
o an A-Z of Records Management Topics pulling together requirements and processes and guidance on specific topics and for different sectors
o Step-by-Step Guides for common processes
o revised and extended FAQs
o and new Case Studies.
• development of new guidelines including:
o a database transfer guideline
o a guideline on determining appropriate disposal instruments
o a guideline on developing retention and disposal authorities
o and templates / checklists for digitisation projects.
• planning for the progressive development and publication of pathways into the Standards and Specifications for different situations and scenarios
• planning for the development of a Records Management Assessment Tool for agency use.
The intention is to repeat this survey periodically to check that progress is being made and that agency concerns and needs are being addressed. Agency feedback throughout will be essential to the currency and relevance of the products developed.