Records Management Terms

Active Records: Records which are accessed on a daily basis to support business processes.
Example: policies, reports, meeting minutes

Administrative Value: The usefulness of records to the originating office for the conduct of current business.
(Also referred to as Operational Value).

Archival/Historical Value: Records worthy of permanent preservation by an archival agency. Also called historical, permanent, or enduring value.

Block Numeric System: A file classification system organized into blocks reflecting the University's business functions. The University's Business Classification System contains 10 blocks:

C + x: "C" refers to the the year of the record's creation or acquisition, and "x" refers to the number of additional years the record is to be kept.
Example: a retention period indicated as "C + 3" means that a record is to be kept for three years after the year of creation or acquisition. In the case of files whose contents extend over several years (eg. student dockets),

Case Files: Records that pertain to a specific person, place, thing, event, or program.
Example: personnel files, student academic files

Certificate of Destruction: A certificate created to document the destruction of University records according to established policies and procedures.

Disposition: The final action to be taken on records at the end of their retention periods.
This could include destruction or transfer to the University Archives

Fiscal Value: Records have fiscal value if they document the way the University manages money.

Enterprise Content Management: the strategies, tools, processes and skills an organization needs to manage all its information assets (regardless of type) over their lifecycle.

Inactive Records: Records that are accessed infrequently but still have long term value.

Legal Value: Records have legal value if they are used to document the University's contractual obligations.
Example: Contracts, agreements, Insurance Policies

Life cycle: The life span of a record comprised of eight sequential stages; creation or receipt; classification; maintenance and use; disposition through destruction or transfer to an archives; description in archival finding aids; preservation; reference and use.

Metadata: Commonly known as "data about data" it is the data describing context, content and structure of records and their management through time.

Non Record: Materials collected for reference value only.
Example: reference manuals, sales catalogues, blank forms, published materials, personal papers, contents of peoples desks - staplers, padlocks, pens, blank paper, empty file folders

Office of Primary Responsibility (OPR): The University department or office which is responsible for retaining the University's "official" copy of a record.
Example: the Registrar's Office is the office of primary responsibility for student academic records; similarly, Human Resources is responsible for maintaining employment records for staff

Record: Recorded information, regardless of physical form or characteristics including: reports, correspondence, letters and Maps, Website content, E-mails, text messages, blogs, and even voice messages RFIDs and wikis, Photographs including slides, negatives, digital images, tapes, disks, microfiche, drawings, film, etc.


Example: policies and procedures, meeting minutes, proposals

Records management: The systematic control of all records as business assets, regardless of media format, from initial creation to final disposition (confidential shredding or transfer to University Archives).

Record Series: Groups of related records which are normally used and filed as a unit, to support business processes and activities.
Example: budgets, maintenance, procurement

Retention Schedule: A corporate document that sets out the periods for which the University's business records should be retained to meet its operational requirements, legal obligations and to protect personal information.

S/O: "Superceded or Obsolete" - the record in question shall be retained until its provisions are no longer in effect.
Example:revised policies/procedures a, updated busiiness plans

Semi-Active Records: Records which are not accessed regularly or often but which must be retained for administrative, legal or financial reasons. Semi-active records are efficiently stored in semi-active storage spaces such as in Records Management.

Transitory Records: Transitory records are records of temporary usefulness that are needed only for a limited period of time in order to complete a routine action or prepare an ongoing record. Transitory records are not incorporated in standard records control or filing systems.
Example: routine notices or memos regarding holidays or special events circulated to all staff, insignificant or inconsequential information items concerning routine matters, drafts of memos/letters

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 Content Revised: August 10, 2010

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