American National Standards and the RIM Industry: A Primer

By Barnes, Nancy Dupre PhD | Information Management, November/December 2008 | Go to article overview

American National Standards and the RIM Industry: A Primer


Barnes, Nancy Dupre PhD, Information Management


Standards are important to the records and information management (RIM) industry, and American National Standards should play an increasingly prominent role in the industry's ongoing quest for quality.

The U.S. celebration of "World Standards Day," which has been observed around the world for decades, was held in Washington, D.C., October 23. The annual U.S. event, co-chaired by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), was organized to spotlight the relevance of standards to the worldwide economy and their importance in regards to safetyrelated issues.

The records and information management (RIM) industry is one sector of the global economy that continues to depend upon the availability of reliable and robust standards. American National Standards (as designated by ANSI) illuminate the path to an increasingly productive future for all members of the RIM community.

By virtue of its membership in ANSI, ARMA International, an association and global authority on managing records and information, recognizes the benefits of voluntary standards development and utilization. As stated in the current ARMA International policies and procedures manual, American National Standards and other best-practices publications help promote "RIM operational excellence." Some of the ways in which this occurs include:

* Ensuring procedural consistency in the management of records and information throughout the enterprise and RIM industry

* Enhancing interoperability between RIM-related systems and establishing criteria for the selection of products specific to a particular need

* Advancing the professionalism of the RIM discipline

* Promoting efficiency and cost savings in RIM operations

Organizations That Develop RIMRelated American National Standards

ARMA International has been ANSI-accredited as a standards-developing organization (SDO) since 1986 and offers a variety of American National Standards and technical reports. Current American National Standards and technical reports published by ARMA International include:

* ANSI/ARMA 5-2003, Vital Records Programs: Identifying, Managing, and Recovering Business Critical Records

* ANSI/ ARMA 9-2004, Requirements for Managing Electronic Messages as Records

* ANSI/ARMA 12-2005, Establishing Alphabetic, Numeric, Subject Filing Systems

* ANSI/ARMA 8-2005, Retention Management for Records and Information

* ANSI/ARMA 16-2007, The Digital Records Conversion Process: Program Planning, Requirements, Procedures

* ANSI/ARMA TR01-2002 Records Center Operations, 2nd ed.

* ANSI/ARMA TR02-2007 Procedures and Issues for Managing Electronic Messages as Records

ARMA International also partnered with AHM to produce an ANSIregistered technical report entitled ANSI/AIIM/ARMA TR48-2006, Revised Framework for Integration of Electronic Document Management Systems and Electronic Records Management Systems.

There are many RIM-related organizations that produce and sell American National Standards. AIIM, the American Society for Testing and Materials, the National Archives and Records Administration, the National Information Standards Organization, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the National Fire Protection Association are some of the organizations that, as ANSI members and ANSIaccredited SDOs, produce American National Standards and/or technical reports for use within the RIM industry. Each organization's individual website may be consulted for further information regarding standards availability and pricing.

Global Standards Development

The Geneva-based International Organization for Standardization (ISO) partners with ANSI, as well as other regional SDOs from around the globe. ANSI has created processes whereby ISO standards may be adopted by U.S.-based SDOs and, alternatively, American National Standards may be submitted for consideration by ISO. …

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