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8. Details of Individual Metadata Elements

8.10 Approved By




Identifying Attributes




Approved By

Defined by

Government of Canada Records Management Metadata Standard - contentAuthority

Element URI

[To be actioned by Treasury Board of Canada, Secretariat before publication]

Definitional Attributes


The name of the individual or entity that approved the content.


To document accountability for the content of the record.


"An authentic record is one that can be proven a) to be what it purports to be…" ISO International Standard 15489-1, s. 7.2.2

"A reliable record is one whose contents can be trusted as a full and accurate representation of the transactions, activities or facts to which they attest and can be depended upon in the course of subsequent transactions or activities." ISO International Standard 15489-1, s. 7.2.3

Value Domain

Enumerated and/or non-enumerated strings of text representing the names of individuals or entities.

Datatype Name



Applicable at record level only.


Optional at record level.

Relational Attributes

Encoding Scheme

If using an enumerated list, entity values must be assigned from:

  • Institution-specific schemes for individuals' names or unit names (e.g. PeopleSoft, SAP, directories, etc.)




Approved Date

Conditions of Application - Record


Text, based on encoding scheme, or free text.


Pre Record Declared Locked

Post Record Declared Locked





Conditions of Application - File







Comments and Guidance

a) Explanation of Definition/Usage

This element is intended to document accountability for the content of a record by identifying the person or entity that has approved the content. The nature of this element dictates that the Creator of the record is often not the person/entity granting approval.

It is important that this element be completed for those records that require official approval in order to document accountability. These include (but are not limited to) policies, standards, submissions, main estimates, annual reports, etc.

Multiple approvals may be necessary for a single record; hence, the element is repeatable.

b) Best Practices

It is normal for approval to be given at a date much later than the Record Date. In these cases, each institution will require business rules and processes for updating the profile.

Recommended best practice is to format the value for an individual's name using surname, first name.

Once a value is input, it is not modifiable in order to preserve the audit trail of who approved the record.

c) Obligation

This element is deemed optional because it is not a core records management function and is not specifically required by ISO standards.

d) Default Values/Auto-populate

This element cannot be auto-populated nor defaulted since the value for this element will depend on the situation, but given the small number of documents that require official approval, supplying a value will be unmanageable.

e) Linkages

This element is intrinsically linked to Approved Date.

f) Examples

  1. "Branch Management Committee" - The BMC approves a deliverable for distribution throughout an institution. In this case, the BMC as an entity is the Approved By

  2. "Smith, John" - A record is declared and submitted to John Smith for approval. Six months later, approval is granted to the Creator by John. The Creator contacts their records management representative and requests an update to the profile to complete the Approved By element. The records management representative updates the element with John's name.

  3. "Smith, John", "Jones, Sarah" - A record is submitted to John Smith for approval and is accepted. The Approved By element is updated with John's name. The record is then submitted to Sarah Jones for further approval. Upon acceptance, the profile is updated with a second Approved By element which contains Sarah's name. This can repeat until all appropriate approvals have been received.

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