Last updated:

August 7, 2020

What are VEOs?

Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) requires permanent value digital records to be converted into a long-term format called a VERS Encapsulated Object (VEO) for transfer to PROV for long term preservation.

PROV recommends that temporary value digital records with long retention periods are converted to VEOs for long-term storage and preservation.

VEOS contain:

  • Digital records in an approved long-term preservation format
  • Contextual information (metadata) about the records.

Graphic representation of a VEO

VEOs are signed using digital signature technology (known as a ‘certificate’) to ensure integrity.

Victorian Government agencies are not required to purchase a certificate from a service provider. PROV can issue certificates in PFX format directly to agencies for signing VEOs.

Contact us for further information about obtaining VEO certificates.

 

Types of VEOs

 PROV currently supports two types of VEOs: 

  • Version 2 VEOs (created under the requirements of PROS 99/007 Management of Electronic Records Standard and its Specifications)
  • Version 3 VEOs (created under the requirements of PROS 19/05 Create, Capture and Control Standard and its Specifications). These VEOs are more flexible than Version 2 VEOs as they allow for multi-level, hierarchical folder structures.

 

Converting digital records into VEOs step-by-step

  1. STEP 1 - Determine if the records should be converted into VEOs

    Before you start converting digital records into VEOs, you should first determine if VEO conversion is an appropriate course of action.

     

    Agency action:

    • Use this Digital Records Preservation Pathway to determine when digital records should be converted into VEOs.
    To view full-size, click on image (recommended browser: Chrome)

     

    • Familiarise yourself with the breadth of work and resources required to undertake digital transfer projects.

     

    PROV actions:

    • Provide advice as required.

     

    Resources:

    Digital records transfer step-by-step

     

    STEP 2 - Determine which type of VEOs to generate

    PROV will accept records transferred as either Version 2 VEOs or Version 3 VEOs. There are a few options available to create VEOs:

     

    PROV recommends Version 3 VEOs where possible as these types of VEOs have less stringent metadata requirements and they support records with multi-level, hierarchical folder structures.

    You should only invest in a commercial VEO creation product if your agency:

    • Has sufficient funding and resources to implement and maintain a commercial product.
    • Has large numbers of permanent value digital records to convert into VEOs and transfer to PROV.
    • Does not have technical staff available to assist with manual VEO creation using free PROV VEO creation software.

     

    Agency actions:

    • Determine which VEO creation option is most suitable for your agency (factoring available budget, records retention requirements, systems used to manage records and resourcing for records management and technology services).
    • Determine if you have resources available to undertake other associated digital transfer work (for example, record series identification and description).

     

    PROV actions:

    • Provide advice on VEO creation options for your agency
    • Provide general advice about digital records transfer process

     

    Resources:

    Digital records transfer step-by-step
    PROV VEO creation products (contains technical development packages)
    Commercial VEO creation products
    PROS 99/007 Standard, Specification and Advices
    PROS 19/05 Create, Capture and Control Standard
    PROS 19/05 S2 Minimum Metadata Requirements Specification
    PROS 19/05 S3 Long Term Sustainable Formats Specification

    The following specifications are for software developers building systems and tools to construct VEOs:
    PROS 19/05 S4 Constructing VEOs Specification
    PROS 19/05 S5 Adding Metadata Packages to VEOs Specification

     

     

    Important:

    PROV recently announced that PROS 99/007 Management of Electronic Records Standard is superseded and has been replaced by the PROS 19/05 Create, Capture and Control Standard.

    Please note that PROV will continue to:

    • Accept digital record transfers in VERS Version 2 VEO format.
    • Test current vendor products against the PROS 99/007 requirements up until 30 June 2021. (After this time, PROV will only test vendor VEO creation validity for VERS Version 3 VEOs against PROS 19/05 requirements). 

    Vendors may continue to self-certify versions of their current products against PROS 99/007 up until 30 June 2025.

    STEP 3 - Implement chosen VEO creation option

    Once you have determined the appropriate VEO creation option for your agency, you should then begin the implementation process.

    If you intend to implement a commercial VEO creation product, work with your vendor to ensure the product is implemented according to your agency’s needs.

    If you intend to create VEOs manually using free PROV VEO creation products, consult available PROS 19/05 documentation, technical code and guides (forthcoming) to learn about how the products work and the technical requirements. This work may require consultation with technical specialists in your agency and PROV staff.

     

    Agency actions:

    • Work with the vendor to install and implement your VEO creation product; or
    • Consult available PROV documentation to learn about how to create VEOs manually (this work may require consulting with technical specialists in your agency).
    • Identify permanent value records eligible for transfer to PROV to package as VEOs.

     

    PROV actions:

    • Provide advice about PROV VEO creation products.
    • Provide advice about availability of commercial products.

     

    Resources:

    Digital records transfer step-by-step
    PROV VEO creation products (contains technical development packages)
    Commercial VEO creation products
    PROS 99/007 Standard, Specification and Advices
    PROS 19/05 Create, Capture and Control Standard
    PROS 19/05 S2 Minimum Metadata Requirements Specification
    PROS 19/05 S3 Long Term Sustainable Formats Specification

    The following specifications are for software developers building systems and tools to construct VEOs:
    PROS 19/05 S4 Constructing VEOs Specification
    PROS 19/05 S5 Adding Metadata Packages to VEOs Specification

     

    STEP 4 - Test VEO creation ability

    Once you have implemented your chosen VEO creation approach, you should create a batch of VEOs for PROV to test to ensure they are valid. 

    Please note:

    • PROV will preference testing work that supports active records transfer projects. Agencies should commit to transferring their permanent value digital records to PROV as part of their VEO creation work.
    • For testing, it is preferable to use VEOs containing open access records that do not contain sensitive or confidential information.
    • Agencies/vendors should test and troubleshoot the VEOs first, before submitting them to PROV for testing. There are tools in our technical development packages (available on our PROV VEO creation products page) that can help you do testing and troubleshooting. 

     

    Agency actions:

    • Export digital records as VEOs using a commercial VEO creation product, test and troubleshoot them, then deliver to PROV via email, online file transfer or portable hard drive, or;
    • Convert digital records into VEOs manually using PROV VEO creation products.
    • Test and troubleshoot VEOs using tools in technical development packages.
    • Deliver test VEOs to PROV via email, online file transfer or portable hard drive
    • Resubmit test VEOs according to PROV feedback (as required).

     

    PROV actions:

    • Test VEOs to ensure they are valid.
    • Provide technical feedback to agencies (as required).

     

    Resources:

    Digital records transfer step-by-step
    PROV VEO creation products (contains technical development packages)
    Commercial VEO creation products
    PROS 99/007 Standard, Specification and Advices
    PROS 19/05 Create, Capture and Control Standard
    PROS 19/05 S2 Minimum Metadata Requirements Specification
    PROS 19/05 S3 Long Term Sustainable Formats Specification

    The following specifications are for software developers building systems and tools to construct VEOs:
    PROS 19/05 S4 Constructing VEOs Specification
    PROS 19/05 S5 Adding Metadata Packages to VEOs Specification