What You Need to Manage Your Records
As a professional shredding company we pay attention to record retention in order to help our clients shred at the appropriate time. A records and information policy, or RIM policy, is essential for any business. Even small businesses should understand how they store, manage, and secure documents and data. A RIM policy ensures everyone is on the same page with regarding compliance — reducing the chance of lost information, lost time, or breached data.
Basic RIM Policy Template
The details of any RIM policy will vary according to business needs and procedures. A bank is going to have a more comprehensive and strict records-management policy than a local florist, for example. But any policy about records management should include some basic RIM policy template items.
- Define the data and records kept by the organization, including what information is housed and why.
- Create detailed documentation about how data and documents are housed, where they are housed, and who will have access.
- Include information about how long records will be kept before they are archived or destroyed.
- Define the manner by which documents or data will be destroyed; when necessary, breakout different types of records. Documents without sensitive information may be tossed in garbage bins, for example, while payroll records must be shredded.Many businesses have instituted an All Shred policy in order to keep things simple and ensure that all information compliance is followed.
Don’t forget to include a procedure in any RIM policy that discusses how the organization will respond if the policy fails and there is a data breach.
Finding More Help for RIM Policies
A number of organizations are dedicated to helping businesses manage information better. ARMA International, which has assisted organizations worldwide since 1955; they offer templates and articles about records retention and management. One ARMA article discusses the Maturity Model of information management, which makes all stakeholders of information accountable for management. The Maturity Model lets organizations assess risks and gaps with regarding to RIM policies and helps businesses create priorities and accountabilities for data management.
What RIM policy template does your business follow?