Start Here – Performing Records Management

If you are new to Records Management it may seem like a daunting task, but it’s really not that difficult, you just have to relax, breathe and then follow these simple steps to get you going in the right direction:

  1. Get a copy of the PVAMU-Record-Retention-Schedule.
  2. Do an inventory of the records that you have in your office by pulling samples of all documents.
  3. Go through the Retention Schedule and try to identify those records and see who the owns them or rather who is responsible for keeping them.
  4. Once you identify those records, make a note of the retention periods.
  5. Make sure all of the records that belong to a particular Record Series are being filed together. Go through your entire office and make sure that there are no documents floating around that should have been filed.
  6. Now that everything has been filed correctly, it will make performing disposition/destruction easier.

As a side note, as you go through the process of identifying the records you are responsible for, you will come across copies of records that you don’t own and are not even sure why you have a copy of them. Your first instinct will probably be to trash them but i would do the following:

  • Contact the person or department that should be responsible for those records and let them know what you have and make sure that they do have those records in their possession. If they don’t then they should consider collecting them from you so that they will be in compliance with records management in their department.
  • Review your office/business procedures to make sure you address the proper collecting and storing records, especially the ones that you are responsible for.

To make Records Management work, we have to become more aware of what records we have and why we are storing them. Establishing communication within the department and with other departments on how we process documents/paperwork will go a long way towards us all being more accountable and easier to stay compliant with university policies and procedures and becoming more efficient.