Federal Records Management

Universal Electronic Records Management (ERM) Requirements

  Download the Universal Electronic Records Management Requirements, Version 3 Spreadsheet  

The Universal ERM Requirements identify high level business needs for managing electronic records. They are baseline ERM program requirements derived from existing statutes, standards, NARA regulations, policy, and guidance. They are a starting point for agencies to use when developing system requirements. Records management staff should work with acquisitions and IT personnel to tailor any final system requirements. The document contains a change log, abstract, list of lifecycle requirements, list of transfer format requirements, and a glossary. 

NARA first released the Universal Electronic Records Management Requirements, Version 1 in August 2017. Version 2 was released in April 2020. Version 3 was released in June 2023.

These requirements contain six sections based on the lifecycle of electronic records management:

1.    Capture
2.    Maintenance and Use
3.    Disposal
4.    Transfer
5.    Metadata
6.    Reporting

These requirements address born-digital and digitized analog records. The requirements are either “program” requirements, relating to the design and implementation of an agency’s ERM policies and procedures, or “system” requirements, providing technical guidance to vendors in creating ERM tools and specifications for agencies to consider when procuring them. Users of this document can filter on "program" or "system" requirements as needed. This could be helpful in finding a list of requirements a system needs to manage electronic records. 

The requirements are either mandatory (“Must Have”) or preferred (“Should Have”). These designations help vendors determine what functions their tools must perform, as opposed to those that are ideal. “Must Have” and “Should Have” requirements also help agencies prioritize procurement of these ERM tools according to their needs and financial priorities.

NARA will be supporting these requirements going forward and will be updating them to stay current with changes in technology, regulations, and guidance products.


Updated: June 23, 2023