Depending on the size of your organization, training records can grow out of control if not managed properly. There are many benefits to developing an effective training management system including, controlling the growth of records, improving efficiency, ensuring regulatory compliance and fostering professionalism. In order to maintain an effective training records system, Here are a few steps to follow:
Develop a plan. When you develop a plan, make sure you are able to answer the following questions.Why were the training records created? who will have access to them? What information will be discarded? Where will training records be kept? Other important questions when developing a plan may include how will records be maintained? and Where will training records be kept? Most non-profit organizations are heavily regulated therefore including a retrieval system as part of you plan will be the key to the success of managing your system.
Arrangement. The system that you develop should be effective enough so that you are able to retrieve information quickly. Most organizations arrange records using an alphabetic system. Files can also be developed using a number of different systems including chronological, numerical and geographical.
Inventory. This step will help you in weeding out any unnecessary paperwork. Training departments often keep copies of test scores, attendance sheets, evaluations, need assessments, compliance trainings, and attendance records. Decide which records should be kept with your current files.
Old Records. Now you can begin organizing your training records. This is a great time to also get rid of any extra clutter that you may have accumulated over the years. Develop a system to retire old records and determine how long you would need to keep your most current records active. Generally 1 year should be enough however if you are heavily audited, compliance records may need go back a little further so you may want to keep more information on-site for additional years.
Retention Plan. Now that you have developed a plan, know the type arrangement that you will be using, and you have created your inventory, The next step will be to develop a retention plan. This step should involve developing a timeline on keeping old records. This may vary according to your State and your organization’s policy. Here in the state of New York, the records are eligible for destruction after 7 years but this may also depend on the type of records that you have. Also, check with your organization on the procedure of discarding information. some organizations may shred documentation either on site or use a shredding company.
Re-organize. Once you have completed developing a retention plan, you can now prepare and organize all documentation.
Maintain. This will become easier once you have put a system into place. make sure that you file all material on a regular basis. find a time of day when you have the least interruptions. This may be the beginning of the day, the end of the day, or right after you have completed a training.
Do you have any additional suggestions on organizing your files? I love to hear from you.