The Records Manager for an organization is the person responsible for the management of records in the organization. This role has evolved over time and takes many forms, with many related areas of knowledge required for professional competency.
Records Managers are found in all types of organizations, including business, government, and non-profit sectors. Generally, dedicated (i.e. full time) Records Managers are found in larger organizations.
The practice of
records managementevolved from the development of archivesin the United States government following World War II. With the explosion of paper records during that war, better systems of managementwere needed to retain and make the records available for current use. Records Managers became specialists that bridged the gap between file clerks and archivists. The profession expanded into the corporate world in the 1950s.
The Records Manager generally provides expertise in
records management, constituting knowledge areas of:
* Records Creation and Use
* Active and Inactive Records Systems
* Records Appraisal, Retention and Disposition
* Vital Records Identification and Protection
* Records and Information Management Technology
The Records Manager may also have subject matter expertise in:
Privacyand Data Protection
Information Technologyand Electronic Storage Systems
Records Managers are present in virtually every type of organization. The role can range from one of a file clerk to the Chief Information Officer of an organization. Records Managers may focus on operational responsibilities, design strategies and policies for maintaining and utilizing information, or combine elements of those jobs.
The health care industry has a very specialized view of Records Management. Health information management involves not only maintaining patient files, but also coding the files to reflect the diagnoses of the conditions suffered by patients. The
American Health Information Management Association[http://www.ahima.org AHIMA] is the professional organization in this space.
Records Managers in the pharmaceutical industry are responsible for maintaining laboratory research, clinical trials data, and manufacturing information.
Records Managers in law firms often have responsibility for managing conflicts, as well as managing client matter files.
In the (US of A) Records Managers in nuclear power plants specialize in compliance with the
Nuclear Regulatory Commissionrules regarding the handling of nuclear materials. [http://www.nirma.org/ NIRMA] is their local professional organization.
Education and Certification
Few universities offer formal records management education. Graduate-level programs are often specialties within Library Science and Archival Science programs. Graduate-level
Public Historyprograms generally offer coursework in archives and records management. Records Managers may have degrees in a wide variety of subjects in all disciplines.
Professional and trade organizations such as those listed below offer continuing education conferences, seminars, and workshops.
Governmental archives and records management departments such as the
National Archives and Records Administrationoffer educational programs of interest to government records managers.
A professional certification, the Certified Records Manager credential is offered by the [http://www.icrm.org Institute of Certified Records Managers] . Other organizations may offer certificates reflecting completion of a course of studies, attendance at a seminar, or passing a subject matter test.
* [http://www.ahima.org American Health Information Management Association (professional)]
* [http://www.aiim.org AIIM International (trade)]
* [http://www.arma.org ARMA International (professional)]
* [http://www.icrm.org Institute of Certified Records Managers (certifying)]
* [http://www.nirma.org/ Nuclear Information and Records Management Association (professional)]
* [http://www.prismintl.org/ PRISM International (trade)]
* [http://www.rmaa.com.au/ Records Management Association of Australasia (professional)]
* [http://www.rms-gb.org.uk/ Records Management Society (professional)]
* [http://www.irmt.org/ International Records Management Trust]
* [http://www.nara.gov National Archives and Records Administration]
* [http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk UK Public Records Office]
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