What is MoReq2010®?
MoReq2010® is the newest and most far reaching international functional specification published to date that defines how compliant records systems should operate and interoperate. While building on the foundational approaches of internationally recognised standards in records management, such as ISO 15489, ISO 23081, ISO 16175, and its predecessor MoReq2, MoReq2010® goes beyond any of these in its scope, definition and ambition.
MoReq2010® provides an easy to read narrative combined with precisely defined functional and non-functional requirements and a fully worked information model that caters to both the educational needs of the beginner, the professional needs of the seasoned records management practitioner, as well as the exacting blueprint required by the engineers, suppliers and test centres that are developing MoReq2010® compliant solutions and bringing them to market.
What makes MoReq2010® so new and different?
Here are just some of the many characteristics that are unique to MoReq2010®:
- There are no barriers to its adoption; it is both flexible and scalable. Different industry sectors and different types of application, including very large, very small and highly specialised business systems can all benefit by adopting the MoReq2010® standard.
- The forerunners to MoReq2010®, including those earlier international specifications listed above, focus almost entirely on traditional models of centralised records management as it is used in large, mainly clerical, organisations that usually purchase one or more EDRMS or ECM suites. By comparison MoReq2010® applies equally to records systems that:
- Follow the traditional approach of managing records centrally in their own repositories,
- Manage records in place in other business systems with which they integrate, or
- Are built into specialised business applications that then manage their own records directly.
- Rather than being a closed specification that defines only one type of solution, MoReq2010® provides an extensible and modular platform underpinned by a common set of core services that ensures that, in the future, it can be continually enhanced by the addition of new modules that:
- Specify requirements for emerging technologies – such as cloud computing;
- Embody national and jurisdictional requirements – such as the use of electronic signatures in Germany; and
- Take account of requirements for specific industry applications – such as the laboratory notebooks used in the pharmaceutical industry.
- Unlike any previous specification, MoReq2010® allows different records systems to share common core services such as classification so that these may be implemented centrally for an organisation across records systems, or even on an industry-wide basis across many organisations.
- MoReq2010® provides an XML schema for the export of records and related entities that ensures that an organisation’s records can be transferred from one records system to another in real time. This meets an important design goal of the specification that a record can be exported halfway through its retention period and imported into another records system that then completes the disposal process according to the record’s original classification and disposal schedule. The interoperability provided by MoReq2010® ensures that records scheduled for long term preservation are able to survive the obsolescence of the original records system in which they are created.
Because of the exceptional level of functionality defined by MoReq2010®, the DLM Forum has coined the term, “MoReq2010® Compliant Records System”, or MCRS, to describe only those advanced records systems that fully comply with the MoReq2010® specification.
Who developed MoReq2010®?
MoReq2010® was developed and published by the DLM Forum, a not-for-profit foundation, created and sponsored by the European Commission, that is dedicated to furthering international dialogue and establishing industry standards for information, records, archives and document lifecycle management.
What are records and why are they important?
Every organisation must manage records. Without records a business cannot operate in either a public or a private capacity. Records are those important documents and data sets that must be retained to ensure that the organisation:
- Fulfils its legal and regulatory obligations;
- Carries out its duties to its stakeholders, including its customers and its staff; and
- Properly conducts its day-to-day business.
The scope of an organisation’s records may encompass:
- Intellectual property, patents and trademarks;
- Contracts, deeds, agreements, judgements and adjudications;
- Employee, citizen and customer information such as personnel records for staff or medical records for patients;
- Financial information, invoices, purchase orders, bank statements and monetary transactions;
- Correspondence, reports and advice given and received;
- Memorandum, operating instructions, executive decisions, policies and procedures;
- Agendas, minutes, decisions, actions and outcomes of meetings;
- Registrations, appointments and announcements; and
- Any other necessary documents, communications and information received by the organisation, or generated by the organisation, in the course of conducting its business.
An organisation’s records may incorporate not just traditional paper documents, but also information in electronic formats, such as email, spreadsheets, audio-visual recordings, web pages and even tweets.
What is the role of a records system?
Today’s organisations use information systems to manage their records. An information system that is used to manage records, whether those records are physical or electronic, is called a records system. Experience shows that those organisations that do not use adequate records systems, suited to the fundamental requirements of records management, are most often found to be in breach of their legal or other responsibilities.
Because records are vital to every organisation’s operations, it is important that record systems are purchased and implemented by organisations with extreme diligence. Prior to their adoption, they must be shown to be secure and conform to the minimum level of functionality necessary to properly manage records for the business.
The functionality required of records systems includes, but is not limited to:
- Maintaining a link to the business function, activity and transaction that generated the record – a process known as classification;
- Aggregating records with other similar records into ordered sets – called aggregations – based on common characteristics;
- Ensuring that each record has a disposal schedule – that describes how long it is to be retained and whether at the end of its retention period it should be destroyed or transferred out of the records system;
- Having the ability to apply a disposal hold to the record, in response to a directive or court order, that prevents its destruction while the hold is in place;
- Leaving a residual record after a record has been destroyed to show that it was disposed of correctly in accordance with the appropriate authority and mandate;
- Capturing and keeping metadata about the record – such as its title and description, but also contextual metadata specific to the individual organisation or jurisdiction (such as EAN-13 barcodes, where these are used);
- Applying access controls to records that restrict who can see the records and who can modify their class, disposal schedule and other metadata;
- Keeping an event history for each record that describes each of the functions that has been performed on it and which user performed that function;
- Facilitating searching and reporting on the records under management; and
- Having the ability to export the contents of the records system to a commonly used and well known format, that enables another records system to read, understand, import and manage the records.
The MoReq2010® specification defines the necessary functional requirements, and also contains extensive non-functional requirements, for every type of records system needed by an organisation.