Managing the Document Life-cycle

Under data protection legislation all organisations and companies are obliged to hold and implement an up to Records Management Policy and Records Retention Schedule. This effectively means the following: 

  • That you have analysed the various levels of data (documents & media) within your organisation
  • That you have identified the various retention periods for each category of data
  • That you have developed and circulated an adequate and appropriate Retention Policy for your organisation/company
  • That you have developed a plan for implementing this policy. 

 The Life cycle of a document commences with the drafting, reviewing and initial publishing of a document. But then we need to protect and keep this document safely for a period of time and ensure that it is always available for easy retrieval. We also need to be clear on the retention period of all documents and ensure its destruction once the retention period has expired.  

This is not a problem when quantities are small but as the volume increases systems are required to ensure that content is managed in a cost effective and reliable way. 

Many enterprises and organisations understand the complexity and value of document management systems and indeed are frequently regulated to engage the services of an off-site facility to provide a comprehensive records management service for them.  This is where DSM can help with both understanding the life-cycle of documents and also with the implementation of each stage as required.  

Creation of documents is an integral part of many business processes. Medical files, purchase orders, legal briefs, invoices etc. are produced on a daily basis. Sometimes documents are kept in paper format and in many cases they are also scanned and maintained electronically. Either way detailed records of each document must be kept to facilitate easy/fast retrieval. Every organisation is responsible for complying with data protection legislation and and developing its own policies, procedures and retention periods for its data.  

 Therefore there are five distinct stages within a document life cycle. 

1.   Creation

2.   Approval

3.   Storage

4.   Archive

5.   Destruction 

While you the customer are responsible at all times for the creation and approval of document content DSM can share the burden with you when it comes to the management of these documents i.e. the storage/retrieval, archiving and destruction of these documents. While you retain complete ownership of your documents throughout all 5 stages of their life-cycle DSM will work in partnership with you to ensure that you have every assistance needed to achieve full compliance. In order to ensure that we are the best in class in the storage, archiving and destruction phases we are certified in both the ISO 9001:2015 Quality Standard and the ISO 27001:2013 information security standard. We welcome our customers to visit our facility, to audit our compliance both with legislation and with ISO standards and to provide us with valuable feedback on an on-going basis.