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About this step-by-step

This step-by-step information will guide you through the process of validating VERS 3 (V3) VEOs and applies to: 

  • agencies testing, procuring, developing, or implementing a new system that will be capable of generating V3 VEOs
  • vendors independently developing new products or a new version of a product that will be capable of generating V3 VEOs. 

V3 VEOs must meet the requirements of the PROS 19/05 Create, Capture and Control Standard and its specifications and guidelines. 

If you’re an agency currently undertaking a digital records transfer for the first time, or using a product not seen by PROV before to create V3 VEOs as part of a transfer, please refer to the VERS 3 VEO validation step-by-step for digital records transfers

Note: this guide can be printed using your browser’s print function.

  1. Step 1 - Initiation

    Once you have generated V3 VEOs in accordance with the requirements of the PROS 19/05 Create, Capture and Control Standard and associated specifications and guidelines, and manually tested them using the V3 Analysis tool available in the VERS 3 technical development package, they are now ready to be formally validated by PROV. 

    To commence, contact us at 

    We recommend creating test VEOs based on 

    • the anticipated system the product will likely be implemented within 
    • the type of records and associated metadata likely to be created and managed by the system. 

    Please note VEO design, creation and validation requires subject matter expertise in archival principles, recordkeeping, and information technology.


    Agency/Vendor actions: 

    • before submitting, ensure VEOs meet the technical and archival requirements outlined in the PROS 19/05 Create, Control and Capture Standard, associated specifications and guidelines. 
    • test the VEOs using the V3 Analysis tool. 
    • contact PROV to organise the testing.
    • submit test V3 VEOs for validation.  


    PROV actions:

    • PROV archivist assigned to validate VEOs. 
    • arrange delivery of test V3 VEOs for validation. 





    Step 2 - Testing

    The testing will be conducted by your assigned PROV archivist. The VEOs will be validated against the requirements set out in the PROS 19/05 Create, Capture and Control Standard and associated specifications and guidelines to ensure they are technically ‘valid’ and meet the archival requirements (see below). 

    The process of validating the V3 VEOs is an iterative process. Your PROV archivist will test your sample VEOs, guide you through the results and advise on resubmission if required.


    Technical Assessment

    To be technically ‘valid’ the VEOs must: 

    • fulfill the requirements of PROS 19/05 S2 Minimum Metadata Specification
    • fulfill the requirements of PROS 19/05 S3 Long Term Sustainable Formats Specification 
    • fulfill the requirements of PROS 19/05 S4 Constructing VEOs Specification
    • fulfill the requirements of PROS 19/05 S5 Adding Metadata Packages to VEOs Specification. 


    Archival Assessment

    To be archivally ‘valid’ the VEOs must meet the criteria outlined in the PROS 19/05 G Guide to Representing Records in VEOs. In summary, this means: 

    • the VEO provides an authentic representation of a record
    • the VEO accurately represents the way information was structured or organised by business users when the record was in active use
    • that records should be selected for VEO creation based on how they were organised, grouped, or viewed by business users when in active use
    • the grouping of records for VEO creation aligns with the PROV Archival Control Model series entity
    • that records are NOT identified and grouped for VEO creation by disposal status alone (Retention and Disposal Authority class)
    • records can be separated according to the public access status that will apply to them post transfer.


    Agency/Vendor actions:

    • be available for consultations regarding the design and creation of VEOs.


    PROV actions:

    • PROV archivist conducts the technical and archival validation of test VEOs.
    • advise test results and VEO revisions required. 




    Step 3 - Repair and resubmit

    This step applies if your VEO design needs to be amended to fully meet the criteria as outlined in Step 2. 

    Once your PROV archivist completes testing, they will contact you with feedback, questions, and any design suggestions. 

    After you have amended the VEOs according to the feedback and suggestions, resubmit them for testing (Step 2). 

    Please note VEO validation testing is an iterative process. It may take multiple rounds of testing and feedback to achieve a fully valid VEO.


    Agency/Vendor actions:

    • agency/vendor to amend VEO design as discussed in consultation with PROV.
    • submit revised test VEOs. 


    PROV actions:

    • PROV archivist to be available for consultation and arrange delivery of revised test VEOs. 


    Step 4 - Finalise

    Once your PROV archivist has determined that the test VEOs fulfill the technical and archival criteria, you will be notified that your VEOs have passed validation. 

    For agencies, you will now be technically ready to plan a transfer of permanent digital records, congratulations!

    Please see the Step-by-Step for Digital Records Transfers and the transfer edition of the Step-by-Step for VERS 3 VEO Validation for further information and requirements. 

    Agencies should note that when you undertake your first Digital Records Transfer, PROV will require a small batch of test VEOs to be submitted to ensure no unforeseen errors have arisen and ensure they meet the additional requirements for digital archive acceptance.

    For vendors working independently, your validated V3 VEO creation products will be included in our web listing of VERS 3 commercial VEO creation products alongside the met criteria.

    If an agency subsequently uses the product to generate VEOs for a digital transfer, the listing will be updated to notify the product is capable of creating VEOs that are accepted into the PROV Digital Archive. 


    Agency/Vendor actions:

    • vendor can now advertise their product as being capable of generating valid V3 VEOs. 
    • agency can now generate technically and archivally valid VEOs from their new system. 
    • agency can plan a digital records transfer of permanent records


    PROV actions:

    • PROV archivist notifies Agency/Vendor that VEOs have passed validation.
    • PROV to update VERS 3 commercial VEO creation products page with product details and criteria met. 





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