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Core Concept Fundamentals
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The frameworks and tools listed below represent the foundational best practices established by ARMA International to guide professionals with the most comprehensive approach to managing and governing records and information.  These resources have evolved, and will continue to evolve, along with the profession and represent one of the most valuable and sought after benefits available to ARMA members.


The Principles

The Generally Accepted Recordkeeping Principles® (Principles) constitute a generally accepted global standard that identifies the critical hallmarks and a high-level framework of good practices for information governance – defined by ARMA International as a “strategic, cross-disciplinary framework composed of standards, processes, roles, and metrics that hold organizations and individuals accountable for the proper handling of information assets. Information governance helps organizations achieve business objectives, facilitates compliance with external requirements, and minimizes risk posed by sub-standard information-handling practices. Note: Information management is an essential building block of an information governance program.”

Developed and published by ARMA International, the Principles are grounded in practical experience and based on extensive consideration and analysis of legal doctrine and information theory. They are meant to provide organizations, of all sizes, sectors, industry types, and geographic boundaries, with both a standard of conduct for governing information and guidelines by which to judge that conduct.

For a one-page summary of ARMA's Principles, click here.


Information Governance Body of Knowledge (IGBOK)

The Information Governance Body of Knowledge (IGBOK) is now available in our bookstore! Developed through a collaboration of ARMA volunteers and leading information management and information governance experts, IGBOK is the first comprehensive reference of IM and IG best practices, giving more authority to both professions, their professionals, and our industry.


The Information Governance Maturity Model

The Information Governance Maturity Model (Maturity Model) is based on the Generally Accepted Recordkeeping Principles® (Principles), as well as the extant standards, best practices, and legal/regulatory requirements that surround information governance and describes for each Principle the characteristics of effective information governance at five distinct levels of development.

For a full explanation of the Principles, the full text of the Maturity Model, and how to use them as guidance for developing, evaluating, and improving an information governance program, please consult Implementing the Generally Accepted Recordkeeping Principles (ARMA International TR 30-2017), which is available for purchase in the ARMA International bookstore. For ARMA International professional members, it is a FREE PDF download.

Glossary of Records and Information Management Terms, 5th Ed. (ARMA International TR 22-2016) - PDF

With an expanded scope that encompasses more than 100 new entries from key information governance (IG) disciplines, this PDF version of the fifth edition of the glossary now defines more than 1,000 terms from disciplines that intersect with records and information management (RIM), including security, privacy, audit, legal, information technology, archives, and business management. From the definitions of records management and information management, to the question of "What is IG?" the glossary covers it all.

Records and Information Management Core Competencies, 2nd Ed. (PDF)

Records and information management (RIM) professionals at all stages of their career can use Records and Information Management Core Competencies, 2nd Ed. to identify their proficiency in each of six defined domains: Business Functions, RIM/Information Governance Practices, Risk Management, Communications and Marketing, Information Technology, and Leadership.

Job Descriptions for Records and Information Management

Based on Records and Information Management Core Competencies, this publication is a guide for creating effective records and information management (RIM) job descriptions at four different levels – from entry to executive.




Not an ARMA International professional member? Learn more about this and other benefits of membership by visiting or contacting our membership team at for personal assistance.

Check out
additional Principles Education to learn more about the Principles and how to apply them within your organization for operational excellence and competitive advantage.

Your information management program impacts your company’s effectiveness. Find out how your program stacks up against the Generally Accepted Recordkeeping Principles with the Next Level Information Governance Assessment. 
Click here for more information.

The Principles Citation and Copyright Information

If you have questions regarding the Principles, please contact Nick Inglis.