Expanding the GRDS?

After GRDS version 7 was released, we started receiving feedback from agencies asking for the GRDS to be expanded^ to include more functions/activities that are common across government. In doing this we could move the GRDS away from being a schedule covering just administrative records and move towards a schedule covering both administrative and core business records that are common across all areas of government.

If we were to blur the lines between administrative and core business records would this cause any problems for your agency? At the end of the day we want to be able to give the widest disposal coverage of records possible – is expanding the GRDS the best way to achieve this?

Some of the benefits of expanding the GRDS were highlighted as:

  • Removing the duplication of records in the GRDS and sector/agency specific schedules
  • Shorter and more specific sector/agency schedules
  • Removing the confusion for end users on which schedule to use
  • Less time and effort from agencies to develop sector/agency specific schedules.

Expansion options

Some possible areas for expansion could be:

  • Research – What kind of research is your agency doing? Do you have records that you can’t sentence because there isn’t coverage for research?
  • Regulatory – Accreditation, Licensing, Registration, Authorisation (Granted rights).
  • Enforcement – Inspections, Investigations, Monitoring and Surveillance, Declarations. Or do we need to expand ‘Legal Services’?
  • Incident and emergency responses – We know that many of you have to deal with incidents and emergency situations as part of your business.  For example, when there is a natural disaster, your agency may be responsible for a particular response.  Do you think we should include emergency management into the GRDS or is this a bigger issue that needs its own sector schedule?
  • Performance management (of your agency)
  • Project management (methodology & registers)
  • Registered Training Organisations (RTOs)

It may be better to cover some of these areas in a specific functional or sector-wide schedule. This is where we need your help in identifying the functions/activities that you would like to see included in an expanded GRDS.

Are there any other functions or activities that we haven’t mentioned here that you think should be included in the GRDS?  Let us know what would work for you.

Glossary of terms

Also, would a glossary help those users that are not records managers to understand the terms that are used in the GRDS? The ACT, Tasmania, WA, NSW and Victoria have a glossary in their similar schedules.  Or, would you prefer us to have a glossary on our website with a link to it in the GRDS?

There’s more to talk about…!

Have you read our blogs on the 5 challenges of the GRDS renewal discussion paper?  If you haven’t already, take a look and leave your comments.

Before the discussion paper closes for comment on 27 February 2015, we will be arranging discussion sessions (dates & venues to come).  Also keep an eye out for more blogs as we keep the conversation going.

Remember, you can contact us at any time via email, telephone, blog, Twitter or Facebook on any issues relating to the GRDS Renewal discussion paper^. 

Elizabeth Harvey

Appraisal Archivist

Featured image: Expansion  CC0 2.0


^Please note: the GRDS Renewal project has finished. The new version of the GRDS was released on 1 September 2016.

4 thoughts on “Expanding the GRDS?

Add yours

  1. Hi Elizabeth

    The expansion to include other functions traditionally referred to as Core business would be welcome.

    Within the University Sector Schedule we have Functions/Activities which may be common to other agencies under the following:

    – managing art, museum specimens, artefacts etc. I imagine many government organisation may have art of museum collections or artefacts that they administer (eg: Queensland Police Museum). Our entries cover access, acquisition, cataloging, conservation, disposal, exhibitions and loans.

    Activity: Community programs > agency running of activities that benefit the broader community
    Activity: Fundraising
    Activity: Liaison > Liaison with entities other than government (which is covered by GRDS Function 6.0)
    Activity: Sponsorship requests
    Activity: Visits (which covers the gap in the GRDS ref 6.8 which only seems to cover off visits by certain dignatories

    Activity: Trust Fund Management
    Not sure if other agencies are gifted monies which needs to be managed via a trust fund?

    Not sure if other agencies run their own food outlets. Universities do have University-run food outlets, so this class covers off licensing, incidents (food related), monitoring (temperature logs) and other food provision records.

    Activity: Staff exchange programs
    Not sure of other agencies have these types of programs?

    Activity: Honouring and naming: of buildings, erection of plaques, etc
    Activity: Authorisations to conduct an environmentally relevant activity (ERA) in accordance with the Environmental Protection Act 1994
    Activity: Traffic and parking > controlling traffic and parking on agency-owned or controlled grounds

    Activity: Biotechnology compliance and accreditation under the Gene Technology Act 2001; biosafety inspections and incident reporting
    Activity: Commercialisation of products derived from research
    Consultancy: Provision of fee-based professional and testing services to external bodies
    Activity: Ethical Clearances: gaining ethical clearance in relation to research and research training activities
    Intellectual Property: registration of patents etc
    Activity: Research data management

    Activity: Annual submissions, for annual or regular submissions to Commonwealth Government (excludes annual reports to Qld parliament)
    Activity: Risk Management: Our Sector schedule has a number of entries related to public liability claims for adults and minors which do not necessarily seem to be covered by the GRDS but I would have thought should be moreso than using ref 9.2.2
    Activity: Agency owned companies and shares: I am not sure if other agencies end up owning companies or share in companies?

    To expand the PUBLICATIONS section of the current GRDS 11.1 Corporate style to include more than just public style manuals to include classes related to the development, misuse cases and protection of the agencies identity, include domain name and business name registrations, use of corporate seal (if they are still used elsewhere like they are in Universities)

    Any consideration of the above would be welcome.


    Gabrielle Ingram

    1. Hi Gabrielle,
      Thanks for your great feedback on expanding the GRDS. Some of your suggestions we have already thought about, such as Collections Management, but there are a couple that we hadn’t thought of, like staff exchange programs. Your feedback also gives us some questions to ask other agencies – if they do have food services, for example. If you think of any other activities, please let us know!


  2. I’m from TMR, and we use the GRDS and our own core functions schedule. There may be some functions that can be added to the GRDS not sure what they are but I realy can’t see how our Transport & Main Roads functions could be included when they are so exclusive to what we do as an agency. I’m sure we are not the only agency that requires its own schedule for it’s functions because they do specific work that requires them to have their own. I’m all for simplifying but then we have to live in the real world. Sometimes we have to be practical and pragmatic about these things.

    1. Hi Geoff,

      Thanks for you feedback from a user point of view. We know that there are some common activities across government that could be included in the GRDS but are also some very specific activities that are carried out by specific agencies. These will most likely remain in agency specific schedules such as TMR. As part of our future planning we are thinking about how both the GRDS and agency schedules can work together to reduce duplication and make them easier to implement. Thanks Elizabeth.

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