Information Body of Knowledge

Traditional Records Management

Traditional Records Management Definition

Traditional Records Management is the professional field dedicated to specific pieces of physical information that rise to the importance of requiring ongoing maintenance, whether it be evidentiary or specific business importance. These pieces of information are termed Physical "Records" and cannot be modified or changed. Traditional Records Managers are responsible for the receipt, distribution, maintenance, control, protection, and disposition of Physical Records. Traditional Records Management is a subcategory of Records Management, alongside Electronic Records Management.

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Traditional Records Management Key Points

  1. Pertains only to physical Records.
  2. A subset of Records Management.
  3. Records Management is comprised of both Electronic and Traditional Records Management for electronic formats and paper formats respectively. The two have strong similarities but diverge because of the specificities of managing physical items as opposed to digital items.
  4. Traditional Records Management comprises the entire lifecycle of the Record (as opposed to any time it may spend not classified as a "Record").
  5. Traditional Records Management begins managing a piece of information upon Record declaration or Record creation.
  6. Traditional Records Management concludes managing a piece of information upon Record disposition (or destruction) or Record transfer to Archiving.

Traditional Records Management Overview

Many Records Managers are, in fact, Traditional Records Managers who focus on physical items and paper documents that have risen to the importance of being designated as a “Record”. Previously operating under the discipline of “Records Management” (see “Records Management”) Traditional Records Management began diverging from Electronic Records Management, with guidance around the specific management of physical items not being necessary to the Electronic Records Manager.

While many small and mid-sized organizations will not make such a distinction for their Records Managers, enough mid and large-sized organizations see this divergent thought to have different roles and practices. Traditional Records Managers are often thought of as maintaining File Rooms and Archives. To some degree,  the role of the Traditional Records Manager and that of the Archivist converge and share some practical guidance with one another.

Traditional Records Management should be guided by Records Management, and extend the policies and practices of Records Management as it pertains exclusively to physical Records.

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Information Coalition Resources on Traditional Records Management

Some resources are available only to Professional Members or Standard Members (free).

The Records Perspective – Aligning Information Governance and Records

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Join Todd Dietrich (BDO), John Krysa (ICRM), and Angela Watt (City of Spruce Grove) for an interactive discussion on how to align Records and Information Management with Information Governance. Using the kaleidoscope of experiences, they will discuss how both concepts are defined, and how to use that to get corporate buy-in to move the needle on your strategies. Bring your own ways of defining the scope because this will be a lively discussion where you a sure to learn different perspectives!

Update on ICRM Certifications and Specialty Designations

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Update on ICRM Certifications and Specialty Designations: What They Are and How to Pursue Them (John Krysa).

Records Disposition: Challenges & Opportunities – Painting A House (Andrew Keller)

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Disposition is a process that poses many challenges. Records are dispersed in many disparate systems and storage mechanisms. There is a lack of central control which makes the process complex and highly manual. The process to obtain appropriate reviews, approvals, exceptions, and sign-offs is either nonexistent or overly burdensome. In this session, we will highlight the opportunities for cost saving and risk reduction through a defensible disposition program.

Change Management: Transforming Chaos – Laurie Fischer

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Change permeates and envelopes us, and is the one constant in our lives. Think of all the workplace changes in just the past few years related to how we create, use, share, retain, protect and dispose of information. Our ever-increasing need to collaborate and communicate, to analyze and innovate, and to “be mobile” has led to sometimes massive change to existing IG-enabling technologies as well as new solutions that enable us to attain our objectives.

Since change is inevitable, then why is the lack of managing that change the primary reason IG projects fail? Some organizations simply equate a training plan to a change management plan, but change management is so much more than training!

In this session, we’ll investigate the winning formula for successful integration of change into the organization – whether it’s a change in information governance roles and responsibilities, process and procedures and / or technology. Incorporating key change management principles supports the successful adoption of change by applying a structured framework of methods, tools and processes. We’ll also share real-life examples of successful change management efforts, as well as epic failures.


  • Workplace trends that necessitate change
  • Ignoring change management leads to failure
  • Change management framework as a key to success

Nick Inglis – “The World Is Round: How To Meet The Challenges of the New World of Information”

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Taking pages from history, Inglis, President of the Information Coalition, shares the stories of Galileo Galilei and A&P Supermarkets to illustrate lessons for Records Management. Inglis shows that there are really only 6 ways to move forward with Records Management into the future and helps participants understand how to evaluate each of those methods for viability in their organization.

Format: Presentation & Discussion (featuring Alan Pelz-Sharpe, Sandra Serkes, Steve Weissman, and Nick Inglis)

The Information Governance Conference 2018