Last updated:

July 22, 2020

Changes to the Vendor Certification Program

The Certification Program has been of value over many years to vendors and agencies alike. Under this program, Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) certified commercial products against the requirements of VERS Version 2: PROS 99/007 Management of Electronic Records Standard. We now believe both agencies and vendors would benefit from a more flexible approach.

From 30 June 2020 we will begin the transition from our VERS Version 2 Standard to VERS Version 3 VEO creation, using the new PROS 19/05 Create, Capture and Control Standard and Specifications.

 

What does this mean for your current products?

The phase out of the VERS Certification Program will be managed to minimise impact on products already certified under the current program.

Please be assured that:

  • Products certified by PROV can continue to be purchased and used.
  • Digital records transferred to PROV as VEOs from existing VERS Version 2 certified products will continue to be accepted.

Key dates

1 July 2021 – Assessment for product certification against the requirements of VERS Version 2 (PROS 99/007) will cease.

1 July 2025 – Vendor self-certification of existing VERS Certified products against VERS Version 2 will cease.

 

Introducing two new initiatives

The activities previously carried out under the VERS Version 2 Certification Program will be managed under two new initiatives.

 

VEO Validation Program

From 1 July 2021, PROV will formally begin testing Version 3 VERS Encapsulated Objects (VEOs) generated out of vendor systems upon request.

PROV will test and validate the capability of commercial vendor systems to generate valid Version 3 VEOS in compliance with PROS 19/05 Specifications. 

From now on, the VERS products web page will be rebranded as a 'Commercial VEO creation products' page. On this new page we will continue to list all products certified under PROV 99/007 as well as products that create valid Version 3 VEOs under PROS 19/05.

 

System Self-Assessment

The PROV Recordkeeping Assessment Tool (RKAT) includes a module for self-assessment of systems against the requirements of the PROV recordkeeping standards and will be available for you to use via PROV’s website soon.

 

Vendors are encouraged to:

  • Begin reviewing the PROS 19/05 Standard and Specifications and Version 3 technical development package available on the PROV VEO creation products page.
  • Self-assess their products against the recordkeeping requirements in the RKAT module (forthcoming). 

 

VEO validation

Vendors that have created commercial products that are capable of generating Version 3 VEOs in accordance with the requirements of PROS 19/05 Standard and Specifications will be able to submit VEOs to PROV for validation testing.  

Please note that PROV is currently in the process of developing a formal VEO validation procedure.

In the interim you may begin developing V3 VEO creation products. However, PROV cannot formally validate your VEOs until we have developed the procedure.

Also before any validation testing can take place, you will first need to test and troubleshoot your VEOs.

See our technical development packages available on the PROV VEO creation products page for tools to test and troubleshoot your VEOs.

 

Upon validation, products will be listed in the Commercial VEO creation products page on the PROV website.

 

VERS Version 2 Vendor Assessment Step-by-step (available until 30 June 2021)

  1. STEP 1 - Product Development

    Developers should refer to PROS 99/007 Standard and Specifications to familiarise themselves with the requirements. These documents contain the technical information necessary to develop valid VEO creation products.

    Version 2 VEO creation technical code and tools can be found on the PROV VEO creation products page and can be used to develop commercial products at no cost.

    STEP 2 - Compliance Documentation

    Download the assessment Test Pack containing the information vendors will need to demonstrate compliance.

    The Test Pack consists of:

    • Specification 1 Statements (13 individual statements)

    • Specification 2 Statement

    • Specification 1 and 2 test scripts

    Note: Statements include Mandatory Requirements and Conditional Requirements. Mandatory Requirements must be present in order for a system to be compliant. Conditional Requirements need only be present where a specific condition is also met.

     

    Complete the Statements of Compliance for Specifications 1 and 2 and submit to PROV at assessment@prov.vic.gov.au

    The compliance process cannot proceed without PROV first receiving these Statements.

    STEP 3 - Contact PROV

    Contact PROV to arrange a date and time for Specification 1 and 2 testing.

    During VERS compliance testing vendors will be required to supply the following resources:

    • Programmer (a person who is able to make any necessary minor code changes identified during the testing)

    • Project Manager (a person with the authority to make decisions regarding compliance issues identified during the testing)

    • Testing environment (for example, laptop computer and software to demonstrate the product’s compliance with the VERS Standard).

    Specification 1 and 2 testing is normally held at PROV’s North Melbourne offices.

    Arrangements can be made to conduct testing at the vendor’s premises if required. The vendor is responsible for the following costs incurred by PROV staff (as applicable):

    • Travel

    • Accommodation

    • Meals

    Vendors should allow sufficient time for the testing to take place. Specifications 1 and 2 take up to one full day to complete.

     

    STEP 4 - Testing

    Prepare for Specification 1 and 2 testing. Set up a test system in accordance with the VERS technical specifications, including the ability to generate VEOs. During the test you will be asked to generate a VEO and a team from PROV will use testscripts to test the system. The testing will be done by the vendor with PROV staff observing and providing guidance.

    STEP 5 - Conduct Testing for Specifications 1 and 2

    If the tests results are satisfactory, compliance against Specifications 1 and 2 will be indicated on the Commercial VEO creation products page.

    STEP 6: Conduct Testing for Specifications 3, 4 and 5

    Testing for Specifications 3-5 requires vendors to submit VEOS to PROV for testing.

    STEP 7: Compliance Certification

    Once the tests have been successfully completed, the Keeper of Public Records will issue a Compliance Certification Statement for all Specifications. The product will be considered VERS Compliant and this will be clearly indicated on the Commercial VEO creation products page.

Self-Certification of VERS Version 2 products (available until 30 June 2025)

A new version of a VERS Version 2 Compliant product must be tested and re-certified by the vendor if changes have been made that may impact on that product continuing to meet the minimum compliance requirements of PROS 99/007 Standard for the Management of Electronic Records.

It is the responsibility of the vendor to ensure that new versions of products are VERS compliant.

 

How to self-certify a product?

Download and complete the PRO 47 Statement of Compliance form.

Submit form to assessment@prov.vic.gov.au

Please note:

  • By self-certifying a new product version by submitting a Statement of Compliance, the vendor is assuming full responsibility for that version continuing to meet the minimum requirements of PROS 99/007.
  • Products subsequently identified as not meeting VERS compliance requirements will be identified in PROV communications.
  • A Statement of Compliance should be signed by a person with appropriate responsibility for the product (for example, a product compliance manager or senior developer).
  • PROV reserves the right to make Statements of Compliance available for viewing on the VERS website.
  • PROV reserves the right to request an audit check of a VERS compliant product at any time.