Information Body of Knowledge

Electronic Records Management

Electronic Records Management Definition

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

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Electronic Records Management Key Points

  1. Pertains only to electronic Records (not physical/traditional Records).
  2. Electronic Records Management is a sub-discipline 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. Electronic Records Management comprises the entire lifecycle of the Record (but not the full lifecycle of it as a piece of information).
  5. Electronic Records Management begins managing a piece of information upon Record declaration or Record creation.
  6. Electronic Records Management concludes managing a piece of information upon Record disposition or Record transfer to Archiving.

Electronic Records Management Overview

The use of the term Electronic Records Management (ERM) is inconsistent and confusing across the information profession. It has been characterized as the management of records that are in electronic format. ERM has also been used to describe the system(s) that handle electronic records. Finally, ERM has been delineated as the electronic or automated process of managing records, regardless of format. No matter the definition, Electronic Records Management is a sub-discipline of Records Management, which is a sub-discipline of Information Management.

For our purposes, Electronic Records Management is the management of records in the electronic format. Management of electronic records start when a record is declared or created/captured and continues through the record lifecycle to either disposition or archiving. Please note that the record lifecycle should not be confused with the information lifecycle as it is a subset of the information lifecycle as a whole.

Electronic Records Management often differs in specific execution from Traditional Records Management. Electronic Records Management must take direction from Records Management for consistency in retention periods and classification between Electronic Records and Traditional Records, while other processes such as disposition vary greatly.

See Records Management, Retention Management, and Traditional Records Management for further analysis. See Foundational Concept - Records Management: Traditional Records Management, Electronic Records Management, & Retention Management to understand their interrelatedness.

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Information Coalition Resources on Electronic 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).

Defensible Disposition: A Cohesive Strategy (MacDonald / Hunter, In Conjunction with the Law Firm IG Symposium)

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Defensible disposition is a critical component to managing costs and risk, and a key element of law firm IG procedures. Disposition initiatives have historically been challenging for law firms to undertake. However, many firms have had to take a more active step forward to execute their retention programs. This session will discuss the various considerations and strategy for implementing and executing a disposition program, including pitfalls, opportunities and regulatory and client considerations and how to demonstrate ROI.

Keddar Thakkar – An Information Governance Plane Ride

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The larger the plane, the more pilots you’ll need to steer the ship. Likewise, with an Information Governance program, everyone will need their role defined well to work together towards the betterment of the organization.

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

What You Need to Know About PDF – Duff Johnson, PDF Association

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PDF is a foundational technology in the modern world of digital documents. PDF documents are everywhere, in almost every corner of every industry.

This session informs attendees about the information governance-related features of PDF, including the essential attributes of the format, standardization, governmental and industry adoption, and how PDF meets characteristic IG needs and use-cases such as metadata, authenticity, privacy, security and more.


  • PDF is unmatched in its ability to function as the electronic document of record.
  • PDF is accepted, growing… and there’s no alternative on the horizon.
  • PDF includes features and capabilities that bear on some of the most vexing problems affecting IG, but few know of or implement these things.

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