Functional appraisal of records is an idea which has been around for a long time but it is only relatively recently that it has actually been implemented in various organisations and countries. The aim is to ensure that archives capture the right records but avoid the huge workloads and backlogs of the past by identifying these records before they arrive in the archives, so that only archival records arrive there. This can be done by appraising functions instead of appraising documents, because records exist to document functions, so if a function is archival, then the records which support it will also be archival. Retention schedules can then be developed based on those functions, and classification schemes based on the schedules so that there is a seamless system governing the records from creation to final disposition.
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