Standards for Records

In the wake of recent failures in corporate governance, two new ISO standards should help organizations to disclose corporate information quickly and effectively. Increased pressure by industry regulators requires companies to provide such information because irregularities in financial management, ethical dealings, disclosure, and transparency of decisions have unfortunately become common.

According to ISO, these new standards for records distil the expertise of experts drawn from 27 countries on five continents:

ISO 30300:2011, Information and documentation – Management systems for records – Fundamentals and vocabulary
ISO 30301:2011, Information and documentation – Management systems for records – Requirements

These standards were developed to be compatible with, and complementary to, other management system standards, such as ISO 9001 (quality management), ISO 14001 (environmental management), and ISO 27001 (information security management).

ISO 30300 is the umbrella standard and includes the fundamentals and vocabulary common to the whole series, while ISO 30301 specifies the requirements for a management system for records (MSR).

The new 30300 series offers the methodology for a systematic approach to the creation and management of records, aligned with organizational objectives and strategies. Managing records using an management system supports cost-effective operational processes, such as storage, information retrieval, information re-use, litigation, and due diligence.

Global factors drive organizations, both profit and non-profit, commercial and government, large and small, to reduce their costs and increase their responsiveness to the external environment by implementing an MSR. These factors include:

  • Intensified commercial competition
  • Technological change leading to e-commerce and e-government
  • Speed of communications and dissemination of information through the Internet
  • Increasing complexity of the regulatory environment
  • Increased expectations of citizens that organizations should operate in an accountable, transparent, and socially responsible manner
  • Heightened risk from the external environment including security threats and natural disasters

Creation of records is integral to any organization’s activities, processes, and systems. An MSR enables business efficiency, accountability, risk management, and business continuity. It empowers organizations to capitalize on the value of their information resources as business, commercial, and knowledge assets. At the same time, an MSR contributes to the preservation of organizational memory, in response to the challenges of the global and digital environment.

These new records standards are targeted for governments, education, and the manufacturing industry (especially pharmaceuticals and mining). Companies involved in social responsibility programs, as well as, sectors with a strong need to demonstrate compliance, such as nuclear energy and telecommunications, are particularly expected to benefit from implementation of these standards.

Development of these new standards incorporates the experience gained in the implementation of ISO 15489, Information and documentation – Records management, published some 10 years ago.

You can order ISO 30300:2011 and ISO 30301:2011 at the ANSI eStandards Store.