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1. Introduction

This guide sets out the minimum metadata to assign when creating, managing and disposing of information and records. This guide is to help organisations develop a trusted minimum set of metadata to meet the requirements of the Information and records management standard(the Standard).

2. Managing minimum requirements for metadata

Organisations must manage metadata associated with information and records. They must do this to meet minimum compliance requirements 2.3, 3.2 and 3.3 of the Standard. These minimum requirements are listed in the checklist below.

2.1 Creating and managing information and records

The required metadata listed in the checklist below corresponds to specific elements or combinations of elements in the AS/NZS 5478 standard.

Minimum data to assign when creating and managing information and records

  • Unique identifier

  • Name

  • Date created

  • Business activity documented

  • Creator (person or system)

  • Name and version of the software application used to create a digital record

  • Any later actions carried out on, such as accessing, modifying or disposing

  • Identification of the persons or systems carrying out those later actions

  • Dates those actions were carried out

The organisation may need to assign further metadata to:

  • Ensure that the record is full and accurate

  • Establish a complete context

  • Prove authenticity

For further information, read the best practice guidance in the Implementation guide (16/G8), including the Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 5478: 2015 Recordkeeping Metadata Property Reference Set (RMPRS).

2.2 Disposing of information and records

The metadata described below is the minimum required when disposing of records. This metadata must be generated or captured during the disposal process, and retained for as long as required to account for the disposal of records. Also see the minimum compliance requirements 3.1 and 3.4 of the Standard.

Minimum metadata to assign when disposing of records

  • Unique identifier

  • Name

  • Date created

  • Business activity documented

  • Creator (person or system)

  • Date of disposal

  • Authority governing the disposal

  • Person or role carrying out the disposal action

3. Protecting the assigned metadata

To protect the assigned metadata, choose one of these three options:

  • Keep the metadata with the organisation’s information and records system.

  • Document the metadata in a separate disposal register.

  • Add the metadata to existing indexes or finding aids.

An organisation must protect metadata to meet its internal reporting requirements and external accountability obligations.

4. Timeframe for keeping disposal decision information

When an organisation disposes of information and records and associated metadata, that organisation must keep records documenting the disposal decision for 10 years. See class 8.1.3 of General disposal authority 6 (PDF 683KB).