British Red Cross – Electronic Records and Document Management

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How to deliver a fully compliant information governance and records management solution with SharePoint

Automated Intelligence supports the British Red Cross move to a cost effective and fully compliant information governance and records management solution through Microsoft SharePoint.

Overview

The British Red Cross has to be compliant in a number of areas including the management of personal records for staff, volunteers, beneficiaries and donors (DPA). Manual processes were historically adopted to be compliant. An electronic document and records management system was required for the automated management of documents and records from creation to destruction. The Charity acquired 1,500 AI.COMPLIANCE EXTENDER licences to provide extra functionality to provide a fully compliant and cost effective solution for information governance and records management through SharePoint.

Background

The British Red Cross is volunteer-led humanitarian organisation that helps people in crisis, enabling vulnerable people at home and overseas to prepare for and respond to emergencies in their own communities. They have to be compliant in a number of areas including the management of personal records for staff, volunteers, beneficiaries and donors (DPA). An accurate, secure and confidential record of personalised care, treatment and support should be easily accessed for each person who uses the service. The records need to be retained for the correct length of time and securely destroyed based on relevant retention schedules. Records need to be authentic and reliable, if needed to be provided as evidence of certain actions been undertaken. Legislation also obligates the British Red Cross to manage and retain certain financial and legal information for a required period of time. There is an obligation to produce fundraising gift aid certificates to the HMRC. Potential financial penalties could be incurred if there is a failure to do so.

Challenge

The British Red Cross have a number of network shared drives with no single process to manage digital content. To be compliant and follow information governance best practices, manual means such as printing off documents are used to manage records. This is time consuming and difficult to audit. An electronic document and records management system is essential for the automated management of documents and records from creation to destruction. Researching the market, the British Red Cross came up with three major issues with traditional content management systems including the financial cost of licenses, annual maintenance fees and the complexity to maintain such systems. The British Red Cross required a more cost effective records management and collaborative working tool to continue to meet compliance requirements for its organisation and improve knowledge management.

The Solution

Solutions from Automated Intelligence enables the British Red Cross to migrate and consolidate all existing relevant data to a complete and compliant information governance and records management solution through SharePoint 2010. AI.COMPLIANCE EXTENDER extends and leverages the capability of SharePoint 2010 to meet regulatory control and support best practice records management and information governance. Using AI ANALYTICS, a free to use tool, Automated Intelligence analysed and profiled unstructured data from the British Red Cross to identify and quantify cost savings and efficiencies. The results of this supported the business case to move to SharePoint 2010. AI COMPLIANCE EXTENDER was installed in the British Red Cross SharePoint test environment to show the enhancements in areas of Records, MetaData and Site Management. This provided the opportunity to test and evaluate the features and to ascertain that it was a sustainable solution where users can work on their documents and digital content can be managed effectively. In the test environment, the solution was deployed quickly and easily as a set of feature extensions which do not overlap with SharePoint features. It offered an automated process of managing records for the correct period of time before deleting them out of the system when they are no longer required. The successful proof of concept has resulted in the agreement of the rollout of AI.COMPLIANCE EXTENDER to it’s IT users. Using AI.COMPLIANCE EXTENDER, the records management element is invisible to the end user and there are also added features designed to benefit the end user. The functionality can be switched on and off very easily, avoiding the need to irreparably customise the environment. Some of the additional functionality that the British Red Cross will continue to benefit from includes:

  • Managed classification schema extends the Records Management capability available in SharePoint 2010 and allows the creation and management of controlled groupings and rules assigned to those groupings
  • Record Submission feature replaces the functionality of the ‘Declare Record’ button in SharePoint, so that rather than declaring documents as records in the team site, documents are submitted to the Records Centre instead. Having the record managed in the records center rather than the many team sites creates a centralised record structure
  • Metadata values can be inherited and cascaded throughout SharePoint sites helping user adoption of SharePoint because it saves users from having to manually enter metadata when creating and adding content. It also helps to ensure consistency of metadata values
  • External Items provides the ability to register external items which cannot be stored in SharePoint. This might include registering the location of physical records such as signed copies of minutes or externally held electronic content such as a PDF of legislation held on an external website. Users can then search for and manage the retention on such items.
  • The Clipboard feature allows users to cut, copy and paste documents, records, classes and folders in a SharePoint library without losing metadata.
  • Records Centre restriction ensures the Record Centre and its content of records cannot be deleted.
  • This is an information management feature to allow the Records Manager to mark certain records as vital. This allows such records to be made more visible via a flag.
  • Retention stubs ensure that after records are disposed of following the information policy and retention period a stub or marker is left behind providing information that the record was once there.
  • Protective/supplemental markings allow the application of an additional/alternative layer of security to the SharePoint security model, enabling access to protectively marked content to be restricted to validated users
  • Site Management Extensions enables additional functionality to Site Templates which allows permission details to be deployed via Site Templates and propagation of template changes to live instances of that Site Template
  • Content can be securely imported and exported to/from SharePoint 2010 site and library structure

Results

The move from network drives to SharePoint 2010 and AI.COMPLIANCE EXTENDER ultimately ensures the British Red Cross will have a fully compliant information governance and records management solution make it a fully compliant system that meets internationally recognised standards at a cost effective price. Improved Information Management and Records Management capability will prove beneficial to both the user and the business, especially in the medium to long-term. Benefits include:

  • The British Red Cross can demonstrate a fully compliant record set and associated processes resulting in the successful registration to the Care Quality commission for its ambulance and event first aid services
  • Increased efficiencies for example over 750 documents in a folder were exported out and imported in to the correct folder with the correct document information in less than 10 minutes. Manual migration would have taken 10 minutes per document.
  • Users have a single managed and seamlessly integrated source for all corporate content

Mark Thompson, Records Manager for The British Red Cross comments

“The British Red Cross is combining AI.COMPLIANCE EXTENDER with the records center in SharePoint 2010 to meet compliance regulations and manage digital content. The additional functionality it provides enables us to have a fully compliant system at a cost effective price, compared with a traditional EDRMS. It is relatively easy to set up the automated process of managing records for the correct period of time before deleting them out of the system when they are no longer required. Records management functions are centrally managed, the user does not see it but it is ultimately in the best interests of the business and user that records are managed efficiently and redundant information removed from the system judiciously rather than arbitrarily. The overall effect of improved Information Management and Records Management capability will prove beneficial to both the user and the business, especially in the medium to long-term.”