Guidelines for transferring RMIT records to an APROSS
Intent and objectives
These guidelines provide instructions to staff in preparing records for transfer to an Approved Public Record Office Storage Supplier (APROSS). RMIT Archives will not take any responsibility for records transferred to an APROSS that are not processed according to these guidelines.
What is APROSS?
APROSS refers to - Approved Public Record Office Storage Supplier.
APROSS is a Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) program for the storage of records that the University Archivist has approved for eventual destruction, or records awaiting further appraisal.
APROSS facilities provide a range of storage services for public offices that cannot maintain their own extensive in-house storage and retrieval program. These facilities represent a selected few as the PROV has inspected these commercial storage sites and has approved them under the APROSS scheme and found that they comply with strict records storage and security requirements.
What types of records can be transferred to an APROSS?
Records that are appraised as temporary value in a disposal schedule issued by the Public Record Office Victoria and records not yet appraised as permanent or temporary value.
Determining records eligibility for transfer to an APROSS
To ensure that your records are eligible for transfer to an APROSS it is necessary to determine the value of such records.
Records appraisal is the task of analysing and evaluating records in order to decide whether such records can be destroyed, or retained, and equally important, the duration for which they must be retained.
If you are ever in a position where you must decide the fate of your records then please contact the RMIT Archives.
Records questionnaire form
A key tool used in deciding the value of records is the ‘records questionnaire form’ (see attached). This four-page questionnaire is used to collect basic information about your records. This information is vital in deciding the value of records.
While this form should be completed by those who best understand the records please do not hesitate to contact the RMIT Archives for assistance in the completion of this form.
The ‘Records Questionnaire Form’, and appraisal in general, is to be completed prior to any processing of records for it determines the outcome for such records. This will facilitate ongoing management of inactive records regardless as to whether or not they are deemed eligible for transfer to an APROSS.
Upon receiving a completed ‘records questionnaire form’, and determining that the records are eligible for transfer to the APROSS, the RMIT Archives will then issue an accession (consignment) number. There may be some instances, however, where several accession numbers are issued due to different record groups being transferred to an APROSS.
The accession number is used to identify your records. It is a unique identifier for your records and appears like this, eg. 2001/1/1. In this case, 2001 signifies the year of transfer, 1 identifies this transfer as the first for 2001, and the third digit (1) identifies the box number.
In all instances, only the accession number is to appear on boxes. Do not label the boxes with any other information other than this number.
Always place the accession number below the finger hole, as shown in this illustration:
The first two digits of the accession number remain constant for every box to be transferred but the third digit must be changed to reflect the box number. For example, the first box will read 2001/1/1, the second 2001/1/2, the third 2001/1/3, and so on, as indicated in this illustration:
Archive boxes (see illustations) are flat and have to be folded into shape. They do not require taping to hold them together unless they are damaged.
The most common archive box is the A1 standard box (180mm width x 400mm deep x 250mm height) that is used for folios and files; see attachment for illustration of this, and other, boxes.
Please contact the RMIT Archives in regards to the supply of boxes because some boxes will not be accepted for transfer into an APROSS. We can supply you with the appropriate boxes. Depending on the quantity of boxes, supply is at no cost.
Always ensure records are placed in boxes in the order in which they were originally maintained. For example, if files were maintained in alphabetical order according to title then place such files in the box according to that order. If financial records were maintained according to batch number then maintain that arrangement within the boxes.
Items must be placed in boxes from front to back. The front of the box is the side in which the lid closes, as shown in this illustration:
Boxes should not be completely full. Leave approximately 5 to 10 centimetres so that files, folios, cards, etc., can be removed and replaced without damage.
Always place files and volumes into boxes with their front covers facing the front of the box and with their spines down. This ensures that all records are packed in a uniform manner, thereby aiding retrieval, as well as their protection.
A list of records proposed for transfer to the APROSS must be completed to facilitate ongoing management of records, particularly access to such records.
The type of listing will depend on the instructions provided by the RMIT Archives but some general points about contents listing are as follows:
All lists must be completed using either Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel. This facilitates delivery by means of electronically sending the listing to the RMIT Archives via e-mail. A hard copy, however, must also be sent.
If the situation requires hand-written listings prior to using the respective software application, or such applications are not available to you, then by all means please use the contents listing form prepared by the RMIT Archives (see attached).
The contents listing must include the box number, in which the records are to be found, and a description of the records. It is at this point that listings will vary as a result of the type of records. For example, if policy files were to be listed then a file number would need to be included in the first column (if applicable) and file title in the second column. If committee agendas and minutes were to be listed then only the date of each agenda and minute would need to be listed under the name of the committee.
The key to completing a contents listing that will facilitate the ongoing maintenance of records is to perceive how such records would be retrieved in the future by someone who has little knowledge of what the records document.
Upon receiving the completed contents listing, bar-coding each box will then be performed by staff of RMIT Archives.
Delivery of records
The relocation of records to the APROSS can take place upon the completion of bar-coding boxes.
The cost to transfer records to the APROSS is to be reconciled by your area. Depending on the amount of boxes within the relocation, either a courier or records removalist will be required.[Next: Supporting documents and information]