National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Model Plan Guidance to Element 1

Model Plan Guidance to Element 1

As a result of changes to the Keeper’s Model Plan, this guidance is currently being reviewed. We hope to have this completed by the end of 2021. In the meantime, if you have any queries about the guidance, please contact the Assessment team.

Senior management responsibility

Identify person at senior level who has overall strategic responsibility for records management
This is a compulsory element under the terms of the Public Records (Scotland) Act: Section 1(2)(a)(i)

In line with the Keeper of the Records of Scotland's obligations (the Keeper) under the Public Records (Scotland) Act 2011 (the Act) the following guidance is issued regarding the identification of a senior person to have overall strategic responsibility within the organisation:

It is required by the Act that an authority's records management plan (RMP), submitted for agreement with the Keeper, has the support of that authority's senior management team. It is therefore essential that the authority identifies a senior post-holder to take overall responsibility for records management. That person is unlikely to have a day-to-day role in implementing the RMP, although they are not prohibited from doing so.

Current best practice guidance, such as the JISC InfoNet Records Management InfoKit, advises senior management to:

  • Recognise records management as an important corporate responsibility and give it the appropriate level of priority and authority
  • Assign overall line management responsibility for records management to a senior member of the management team

The Keeper in agreeing an authority’s RMP will need to be assured that overall strategic responsibility for records management is held at a senior level and that, if all information functions are not part of the same command, there are close working relationships between them. The Keeper will therefore require evidence to be submitted confirming the name and job title of the senior responsible officer with overall responsibility for the RMP that has been submitted for agreement. Evidence could be a covering

letter signed by this designated senior officer. In this letter the responsible person named should indicate that they endorse the authority’s record management policy (see element 3).


Evidence of compliance could take the form of a covering letter or, perhaps more properly, the signature of the senior accountable officer on the records management policy (Element 3). The identification of an individual is specifically mentioned in the Act (1 2(a)i) and a name must be supplied. Neither a job title (i.e. 'CEO') nor a collective body (i.e. 'XXX City Council') is acceptable under the terms of the Act.

Statements relating to the responsibility of senior staff

National Archives of Scotland Staff Responsibility (235 KB PDF)

London Museums Hub Statement (221 KB PDF)

Complete Guidance Documents

See Guidance to Element 1 (571 KB PDF)

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Return to Model Plan

Return to Model Plan or read the complete guidance to Model Plan.


1. See Guidance to Element 1 (571 KB PDF)

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