The impact of the de-professionalisation of record keeping and the failure of accountability.

Is really a tradeoff between the cost and quality of records.

There’s an interesting trend in records.

We’re de-professionalising record keeping.

Record keeping duties have been given to non-professionals – “business users.”

What hasn’t moved though, is accountability.

Records managers still have accountability for the quality of organisational records.

Their ability to ensure quality though generally boils down to the ability to “ask nicely again”.

So the quality of records we’re producing is deteriorating, while at the same time the compliance statements are being signed, and the bill for the records team is going down.

What’s really happening is that we’re – 

  1. Moving the cost of records from a records team to business users (non-professionals).
  2. Accepting a deterioration in the quality of our organisational records.
  3. Making large portions of the cost of records invisible.

The reasons are understandable, if record keeping is always done by professionals, the number of record keepers required scales linearly with the size of the organisation.

I have to wonder though, if the long term costs will be more expensive than the perceived gains.

Are we making a trade off? Or just making it harder to understand the costs we’re incurring, and making the value that we’re providing look like it came at no cost?

1 thought on “The impact of the de-professionalisation of record keeping and the failure of accountability.”

  1. Could not agree here more with pretty much all that is said here by you Karl and the others that have commented on this. Having worked in the industry for just on 50 years I believe we are at a seminal moment in a professional sense and in an industry sense. RIMPA recognises this here as well in the fact that PWC has produced something in the way of changes That maybe required .In the changes (out for comment at the moment) one option is to include training at the VET level in a business management course. Taken by itself there either seems to be an acknowledgement by PWC perspective at least, that the industry is deprofessionalising and in another option for consideration is that RM/IMbecome part of the Library and Information Services Industry insofar as training is concerned. Any body who wishes to chat to me about mine or where another persons view of the digital world in a RM/IM Sense is most welcome to call me 0421657337 and note, I am not in my own business but I am just someone who strongly believes in the field I have worked in and the public benefit and good governance which includes the integrity of the legal system which relies on our work


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