I want to sentence common records like you

While the GRDSv8 is out for consultation^, we are going to bring you weekly blogs about all the proposed changes. The first in the series is about the new section ‘Common Classes’.

Remember back when we released the GRDS Renewal Discussion Paper^ in 2014, one of the issues raised was that finding the correct record class for an activity can be confusing because some activities only appear once in the GRDS and are not repeated under each function, even though they may relate to more than one function?

Ask and you shall receive, as they say – your feedback has led to the introduction of ‘Common Classes’ in the GRDS.

What’s been done?

The new ‘Common Classes’ section proposed in version 8 aims to reduce duplication and allow you to sentence these records under any function.

We analysed the GRDS and identified 19 activities that will fit under ‘Common Classes’:

Common classes

You will find that many of these activities have jumped ship from Strategic Management, but we have also taken them from other functions, making those functions a bit more lean. We haven’t put the GRDS on a diet, we have just moved things around!

What do you think?

As this is something new for the GRDS, we would really like your feedback.

Are there any activities missing from ‘Common Classes’ that you think should be included?

Do the scope notes make sense to you? Is it clear what is meant by common classes or does it cause confusion?

Should we introduce a similar section into sector schedules? (since the GRDS Renewal discussion paper, we have already approved a core business schedule that has this new feature – Agriculture QDAN719 v1).

Are we missing any ‘see’ references? Are we missing any exclusions?

It’s not just the approach we’d like your feedback on – do you think the retention periods are too short, just right or too long?

Let us know your thoughts, in the comments below or via any of the usual channels. We’re keen to hear them – by Friday 26th February 2016 please.

Remember, you can contact us at any time via email, telephone, blog, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Flickr.

Elizabeth Harvey

Appraisal Archivist

Featured image: Portable pig pen, regional research station, Hermitage, November 1955 – Digital ID: 1810

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

4 thoughts on “I want to sentence common records like you

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  1. As most of our BCS (File Plan) is related to topics based on functions and activities, the overall preference is to not have the Common Classes section. Most staff prefer references within the established sections. Given this GRDS is to become fixed numbering then this change should be considered carefully. QSA are not really likely to have feedback on this new design until people are working with it on a daily basis. It gave me a headache at first, so I would have to say I am not a fan and think it would cause confusion, especially when training new staff in archiving and appraisal roles. Please don’t put it into other agency schedules until you have more user experience. However, when looking at the GRDS electronically or when loaded into an EDRMS, one tends to search for topics or keywords, so it makes the argument against this change moot.
    The retention periods are fine.

    1. Thanks for your feedback Angie. After consultation we received support from agencies to introduce the common classes section in the GRDS. This is something new that we need to try and see how it works. You never know what the GRDS might look like in the future.

      1. Interesting. I wonder how many of the agencies who proposed this idea are actually using the GRDS in their EDRMS? We have done this for over 20 years now. This meant that every time the GRDS was reviewed we had to load in the new one and re-appraise and convert non-deleted records from the retired schedule. While the Executive Summary provided some assistance, many files were still required to be changed. Even if this schedule is to be fixed numbering, we still have to do the conversion. The last review took over 12 months to complete because of the time required to re-appraise. During this process, we usually work with a hard copy version, as it is too confusing to do all of this on-screen. If so many topics are all placed in the Common Classes, I fear this will take even longer until we get used to this quite significant change. Can you please confirm that an Executive Summary will also be provided?

      2. Hi Angie, yes the executive summary and detailed summary of changes will be provided. With the introduction of unique numbering you will only need to convert the full schedule once and going forward only amend or add new functions, activities or record classes.

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