Government of Canada Records Management Metadata Standard - eventType
[To be actioned by Treasury Board of Canada, Secretariat before publication]
An action taken on a record or file during its life cycle.
To log individual actions that have been taken on a record or file for audit and evidentiary requirements.
"Techniques to ensure capture of records may include…d) systems which profile or template the actions undertaken in doing business, which…
4) identify who has accessed a record,
5) identify when such access took place, and
6) provide evidence of the transactions that have been undertaken on the record." ISO International Standard 15489-1, s. 9.3
"Tracking of the movement and use of records within a records system is required to:
a) identify outstanding action required,
b) enable retrieval of a record,
c) prevent loss of records,
d) monitor usage for systems maintenance and security, and maintain an auditable trail of records transitions (i.e. capture or registration, classification, indexing, storage, access and use, migration and disposition), and
e) maintain capacity to identify the operational origins of individual records where systems have been amalgamated or migrated." ISO International Standard 15489-1, s. 9.8.1
"Records systems should contain complete and accurate representations of all transactions that occur in relation to a particular record…they may be recorded as audit trails which should be kept at least as long as the document to which they relate is retained." ISO International Standard 15489-1, s. 8.3.2
"An authentic record is one that can be proven … c) to have been created or sent at the time purported." ISO International Standard 15489-1, s. 7.2.2
"[Systems] should provide and maintain audit trails or other methods to demonstrate that records were effectively protected from unauthorized use, alteration or destruction." ISO International Standard 15489-1, s. 8.3.6
"Systems should provide audit trails or other methods to track completed disposition actions." ISO International Standard 15489-1, s. 8.3.7
"The movement of records should be documented to ensure that items can always be located when required... The system should track the issue, transfer between persons, and return of records to their 'home' location or storage, as well as their disposition or transfer to any other authorized external organization including an archives authority" ISO International Standard 15489-1, s. 9.8.3
"Any authorized annotation, addition or deletion to a record should be explicitly indicated and traceable." ISO International Standard 15489-1, s. 7.2.4
"A record of disposition actions, once they have been carried out, should be maintained." ISO International Standard 15489-1, s. 9.10
"All records management processes performed upon a record, or on a group or aggregation of records, should be documented. In order to preserve records and guarantee their authenticity, reliability, usability and integrity over time, it is necessary to create metadata that facilitates the triggering or documentation of these records management processes. These metadata should include information about the management processes that have been or will be applied to each record….Metadata about records management processes can be applied throughout the record's existence…. Additionally, any changes in the record content, context and structure caused by management activities should be documented.
Business processes that access records should also be documented in the metadata throughout the record's life. Such business processes include associating records with actions, action triggers and other records.
All metadata about the record and those accruing in its management and use also form a record: the metadata record that also has to be managed. It is essential to keep this metadata record at least for as long as the record exists. In the case of disposition of records, either by transfer of custody or ownership, or by destruction, some metadata about them may still be needed to account for their existence, management and disposition." ISO Technical Specification 23081-1, s. 5.3.2
Enumerated strings of text representing event types.
Applicable at record level and file level.
Mandatory at record level; mandatory at file level.
Agent Individual Identifier; Agent Individual Name; Event Date/Time; Event Description
Conditions of Application - Record
Text, based on encoding scheme.
Pre Record Declared Locked
Post Record Declared Locked
Conditions of Application - File
Text, based on encoding scheme.
Comments and Guidance
a) Explanation of Definition/Usage
Event Type is one of the most important elements in terms of documenting, for evidentiary requirements, actions taken on a record, file or metadata record itself. It is one of the elements that constitute a management and event history log. In that regard, it is used for multiple purposes:
These actions occur over the life cycle of the record or file.
Please note that actions taken on a record or file may coincide with business events or functions, but the purpose here is not to track business events such as "date approved" but instead to track specific actions regarding a record or file (e.g. actions such as edited, transferred, destroyed, etc.)
Event Type may also enable searching for records or files affected by certain events.
This element will be repeated in the log file for each action that is taken, but since only one action can take place at one single point in time, it is deemed as "Not repeatable".
b) Best Practices
Recommended best practice is to select a value from a controlled vocabulary. There are many possible values for this element. Currently there is no GC-wide list of possible terms; hence, institutions can create their own institution-specific schemes. In order to guide the creation of such schemes, the following lists possible values based on life cycle events.
1. Collection, Creation, Receipt and Capture Events
2. Organization Events
3. Use and Dissemination Events
4. Maintenance, Protection and Preservation Events
5. Disposition Events
The following table summaries the information presented above.
Access Rights Assigned
Initial security access rights to the record or file were created.
Access Rights Changed
Security access rights to the record or file were changed.
Record was transferred outside the care and control of the Government of Canada
Record or file will be presented to an individual for processing at a date in the future.
Record was filed in the EDRMS as a new record and not as a new version of an existing record.
Record was checked-in to the EDRMS either replacing the original or as a new version of the original. File was checked-in.
Record was checked-out and original locked thus temporarily preventing others from modifying the copy in the EDRMS. Or a copy of the record was checked-out and others may modify the original record still in the EDRMS. File was checked-out.
Container was closed.
Container was opened.
Record or file was obliterated beyond any possible reconstitution.
Disposition Authority Assigned
Initial disposition authority of the file was assigned.
Disposition Authority Changed
Disposition authority of the file was changed.
The content of the record was changed.
Encryption Status Changed
Encryption status of the record was changed.
Essential Status Changed
Essential status of the record or file was changed.
File Code Assigned
Initial file code was assigned to the record.
File Code Changed
File code of the record was changed.
Records were filed into the EDRMS in bulk.
Actual physical location of records and files were compared to location specified in the EDRMS.
Relationships between constituent parts of a record were created.
Relationships between constituent parts of a record were deleted.
Record or file was moved to another location.
Record was made read only.
Record was emailed.
Record was transferred from one format or application to another (for preservation purposes).
A new version of the record was created.
Placed In Box
Record or file was boxed for storage.
Record was printed for personal use or distribution.
Profile describing the record or file was initially created.
Profile of the record or file was changed.
Record was formally published, e.g. on a website.
Removed From Box
Record or file was removed from storage box.
Suspension on disposition of the record or file was removed.
Retention Period Assigned
Initial retention period of the record or file was assigned.
Retention Period Changed
Retention period of the record or file was changed (lengthened or shortened) resulting from a change in the operational or legal requirements of the institution.
Disposition of the record or file was frozen until further notice (pending the closure of an on-going audit, investigation, commission of inquiry, ATIP request, etc.)
Care and control of a record or file was transferred to Library and Archives Canada as a result of applying the proper Records Disposition Authority at the expiry of the retention period of the record or file.
Record was displayed for reading but no other action was taken.
Since this element is used for audit purposes, the value cannot be modified.
This element is mandatory for evidentiary purposes to identify what action was taken on a record or file, including the metadata record itself (i.e. the record profile).
d) Default Values/Auto-populate
This element is used as a log entry only and is not part of a record or file profile; therefore, all values for this element will be auto-populated by the EDRMS.
This element is linked to Agent Individual Identifier and Agent Individual Name. Through those two elements it is also linked to other information about the agent who performed the action on the record, file or metadata record. It is also linked to Event Date/Time and Event Description. Event Type along with the others mentioned constitute a management and event history log.
It should be noted that although many elements are linked to Event Type, there is no reciprocal relationship. Event Type is used to log changes to the status of many elements but does not itself impact the value of those other elements.