National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Model Plan Guidance to Element 2

Model Plan Guidance to Element 2

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.

Records manager responsibility

Identify individual within the organisation, answerable to senior management, to have operational responsibility for records management within the organisation

This is a compulsory element under the terms of the Public Records (Scotland) Act 2011: Section 1(2)(a)(ii)

The following guidance is issued in line with the Keeper of the Records of Scotland's (The Keeper) obligations under the Public Records (Scotland) Act 2011 (the Act) regarding the identification of an individual within the organisation, answerable to senior management, to have operational responsibility for records management within the organisation:

The Keeper in agreeing an authority's RMP will wish to be assured that proper provision has been established for the day-to-day management of the authority's records. The Keeper will therefore require evidence to be submitted confirming the name and job title of the person or persons responsible for the day-to-day operation of the activities described in the authority's RMP. The Keeper will expect an authority to name an individual rather than simply a job title.

It is vital that an authority's records management plan (RMP) submitted for agreement with the Keeper confirms that an individual (or individuals)* has been appointed to have overall day-to-day responsibility for the implementation of the authority's RMP.

All staff members who create records should be made aware of the organisations records management programme. However, in this element the Keeper requires the name of the individual who has the operation of the records management programme as a specific objective in their work plan; the records manager or equivalent. The Keeper's Model Plan says 'This person should be the National Records of Scotland's initial point of contact for records management issues' and this may be the easiest way for an authority to identify the correct person to list in this element.

Current best practice guidance, such as the National Archives, Complying with the Records Management Code: Evaluation Workbook and Methodology, advises authorities to appoint:

• A designated member of staff of appropriate seniority to have lead responsibility for records management within the authority. This lead role should be formally acknowledged and made known throughout the authority. [Footnote 1]


Evidence of compliance may take the form of covering letter carrying the senior accountable officer's signature and identifying the person responsible for implementing the RMP. This person would be the Keeper's first point of contact for day-to-day records management issues. The identification of an individual is specifically mentioned in the Act (1 2(a)ii) and a name must be supplied. Neither a job title (i.e. 'Records Manager') nor a collective body (i.e. 'Finance Department') is acceptable under the terms of the Act.

Sample Document relating to Records Manager Responsibility

See Guidance to Element 2 (571 KB PDF)

Complete Guidance Document

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Return to Model Plan

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

* In some cases an authority may have more than one records manager, for example in a job-share situation. In these circumstances references in this guidance to 'The individual’ can be taken to read 'the individuals'.


1. Complying with the Records Management Code: Evaluation Workbook and Methodology:

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