College and university records administrators are increasingly under the gun to meet regulatory and compliance mandates pertaining to document retention and security. This would be no big deal if they just had to track and control a couple of documents (and if these documents were all pretty much the same) but of course, this is hardly the case.
“Institutions of higher education generate millions of documents and are producing these at record speed,” says Linda Ding, education strategist for Laserfiche. “And these documents are very diverse. You can only imagine how complex it is to track and ensure that all the documents generated follow compliance requirements.”
Being out of compliance can have serious implications. For example, holding information too long past the legal retention requirements can court problems in the guise of an e-discovery request. But hanging onto too little information may cause issues when auditors stop by.
How to avoid regulatory missteps? Utilizing technology in the form of an ECM/electronic document management system, thereby automating the entire process is essential, says Ding. Implementing an appropriate records management system, one that takes two important certifications into account, is also crucial.
Many organizations start by using DoD 5015.2 – STD Electronic Records Management Software Applications Design Criteria Standard from the U.S. Department of Defense.
“This is the gold standard when it comes to electronic document management,” Ding explains. “It provides the guidelines and recommendations of procedures in terms of how you set up your policies, and how you design, implement and administer electronic document management.”
The other certification to consider is VERS (Victorian Electronic Records Strategy). Endorsed by the State Government of Victoria, Australia, VERS is accepted and used by archival institutions worldwide.
“There are important differences between the two certifications,” says Ding. “DoD is focused on providing guidelines for retention; VERS is more focused on the security and integrity of records so that the content won’t be tampered with during the time it’s being retained in the system.”
Laserfiche Records Management Edition is certified to meet the stringent standards established by both DoD 5015.2 and VERS, providing the university and records management administrators with the assurance that their most valuable asset—information—is properly retained and securely protected.” At the same time, says Ding, the Laserfiche tool enables records management staff to become more productive and efficient.
“Records management is the foundation for building effective content management and business processes management throughout the university,” says Ding. “It makes sense to provide records managers with all the tools technology offers because what they do impacts the entire organization.”