VERS toolkit rejigged

VERS toolkit rejigged

By Siobhan Chapman

Victorian Electronic Records Strategy's online toolkit, which has been live since February 2002, has undergone a facelift and restructure as two more departments get involved.

The Victorian Electronic Records Strategy, or VERS, has added new content to its portal and restructured the Web site to reflect the most common paths through the online toolkit and improve accessibility. VERS was developed by the State's archives authority, Public Record Office Victoria, as a standard for long-term preservation of the state's electronic records.

Kathy Sinclair, policy and training manager at VERS Centre of Excellence, the Public Record Office Victoria, told Image & Data Manager VERS has raised significant interest from other Government agencies and businesses.

"A number of Victorian government departments and businesses are preparing business cases to move towards VERS," Ms Sinclair said.

"VERS has now got two more Victorian government departments," she added. Both the Department of Primary Industries and the Department of Justice are using VERS compliance aspects in projects which should be completed by the end of the year.

VERS has also had some interest from an American organisation – The Collaborative Electronics Notebook Systems Association (CENSA) – which is looking to endorse VERS as a standard. CENSA's members comprise scientific and pharmaceutical companies, including Proctor and Gamble.

It was this interest which prompted the Public Record Office to update the toolkit. The online toolkit was originally designed to assist records managers and information managers in the digital age.

"We feel that now VERS is less of a theory and more of a practice, the toolkit needed to be less theoretical and have more of a practical focus," Ms Sinclair said.

Also, with the original frameset design, users couldn't send through direct links for information. Sinclair said this function was added during the redesign.

The updated portal features: a step by step guide to assist those implementing VERS in their organisation; a discussion forum for visitors to discuss common problems; an extensive e-library with extra reading material; and a toolbox with a wide selection of downloadable, customisable forms, documents and references for use.

The toolkit recently received an Arts Portfolio Leadership Award by the Hon Mary Delahunty, Victoria's Minister for the Arts. 

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