ISO 16175 - what you need to know

Principles and functional requirements for records in electronic office environments

ISO 16175 provides internationally agreed principles and functional requirements for software used to create and manage digital information in office environments.

The standard is divided into three parts.

  1. Overview and statement of principles - sets out the fundamental principles for the management of records in a digital environment.
  2. Guidelines and functional requirements for digital records management systems - sets out the functional requirements for software systems that are designed principally to manage records.
  3. Guidelines and functional requirements for records in business systems - sets out the functional requirements for the management of information held in business systems.

Use of the standard in the Australian Government

We endorse the use of this standard by Australian Government agencies. This helps to maximize consistency across agencies in software used to create and manage digital information and records. The standard assists agencies to:

  • review the information and records management functionality, or assess the compliance of an existing system
  • identify information and records management functionality to include in a design specification when building, upgrading or acquiring new systems.

The principles and functional requirements in the standard enable agencies to better manage their business information through:

  • supporting business needs by enabling greater effectiveness and efficiency of operations
  • ensuring greater accountability, transparency and enhanced service delivery
  • increasing general awareness of automated records management capabilities
  • providing a foundation for government agencies, the National Archives and the wider information management profession to engage with the software vendor community.

We encourage software vendors to self-assess their products against this standard.

Getting the most from ISO 16175

The functional requirements set out in the standard are based on the minimum requirements for records functionality defined in the Australian and international standard for records management , AS ISO 15489.

The standard does not include the specifications for the long term preservation of digital records. These requirements should be addressed separately within a digital preservation framework.

More detailed advice on understanding how to apply the standard is provided below:

Where to get the standard

A copy of the standard ISO 16175 can be purchased from SAI Global.

ISO 16175 was adapted from Principles and Functional Requirements for Records in Electronic Office Environments (also known as ICA-Req) which was jointly published by the International Council on Archives (ICA) and the Australasian Digital Recordkeeping Initiative.

The three modules of ICA-req are available for reference purposes.

Business Systems Assessment Framework

Based on Part 3 of ISO 16175 the Archives has produced the Business Systems Assessment Framework. The framework provides a streamlined, risk-based approach to the assessment of information management functionality in business systems.

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2019