Classification

What is records classification?

Classification is the “systematic identification and arrangement of business activities and/or records into categories according to logically structured conventions, methods and procedural rules represented in a classification system” (AS/ISO 15489, 2017).

What are the benefits of classification?

The National Archives of Australia (nd) indicates that classification creates a logical, uniform approach or "common language" that people can use to name, organise, retrieve and share content.

Classifying records also supports:

  • Linking records to a business context
  • Applying disposal, access and security decisions

Enterprise Classification Scheme (ECS)

About the ECS

The Enterprise Classification Scheme (ECS) is a classification tool presented in a hierarchical structure, which outlines the 'functions' and 'activities' the University performs. It was developed by Records & Information in partnership with the wider University community.

The purpose of the ECS is to:

  • Provide a common terminology to enable the consistent classification of records and information across the University
  • Deliver a more stable framework than using organisational structures, which are often subject to change
  • Support searching, retrieval, sentencing and disposal of records

Access the ECS

The ECS is the basis of the University Records Retention and Disposal Authority (RDA). You can refer to the RDA database to see the ECS functions and activities of the University.

Alternatively, you can download the ECS as a folder structure (.zip file).

Using the ECS

The ECS is used to structure records held in Content Manager - the University's enterprise recordkeeping system. It has also been used for organising shared drives or email inboxes.

Note: Records & Information encourage business units to move away from shared drives to Records Managed SharePoint (RMSP) sites. A shared drive is not designed to be a recordkeeping system. They do not have important records management features such as auditing trails, version control, context management and disposal, which RMSP sites feature.

Further information

For classification advice and/or assistance in implementing the ECS, please contact Records & Information: records-info@unimlb.edu.au.

References

National Archives of Australia, n.d. Classifying information, viewed 11 October 2021, https://www.naa.gov.au/information-management/describe-information/classifying-information.

Standards Australia 2017, Information and documentation - Records management, Part 1: Concepts and principles, AS ISO 15489.1:2017, Standards Australia, Sydney