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Essential skills profile

This profile contains a list of example tasks that illustrate how each of the 9 essential skills is generally performed by most workers in this occupation. The levels of complexity estimated for each task are ranked between 1 (basic) and 5 (advanced).

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Records Management and Filing Clerks(1253)

Records management clerks process, code, store and retrieve records and documents and apply retention and disposal schedules according to established policies and procedures. File clerks file papers, records, documents and other material according to subject matter or other filing system. Records and file clerks are employed throughout the private and public sectors. This unit group also includes health records technicians, who maintain systems for the collection, storage, retrieval and retention of health information. Health records technicians are employed by hospitals, clinics and other health care institutions.

Reading Help - Reading
Records Management and Filing Clerks
  • Scan files to locate misfiled documents. (1)
  • Read memos with information about new procedures or policies. (1)
  • Scan notes, letters, invoices and reports to determine where to file them. (1)
  • Review agenda for upcoming meetings to plan for items which will require their input. (2)
  • May refer to the Information or Privacy Act or other pieces of legislation to learn the required retention period for various documents. (3)
  • May refer to the Administrative Records Classification System (ARCS) or similar manuals which provide instructions on how to classify, file, retrieve and dispose of documents. (3)
Health Records Technicians
  • Scan patients' charts to ensure everything is in order, and to locate information which aids them in deciding how to process and file the chart. (2)
  • Read doctors' notes and letters requesting charts or telling them where to file different types of information. (2)
Document use Help - Document use Records Management and Filing Clerks
  • Read file and file box labels to organize files and groups of files. (1)
  • Use the phone book and internal office directories to look up a phone number or the spelling of a name. (1)
  • Read lists of codes, such as for governmental agencies. (1)
  • Read forms to identify their subject matter and decide how to classify and file them. (2)
  • Refer to the index of the records classification system manual. (2)
  • Read Records Retrieval Logs which record the requested file, by whom it was requested, when it was checked out and when it will be returned. (2)
Health Records Technicians
  • Read the labels on bags of inter-hospital mail. (1)
  • Read lists of patients admitted and discharged from the hospital each day. (1)
  • Complete Chart Request forms. (1)
  • Read a line graph schedule of the arrival and departure times of the inter-hospital transport system in order to have outgoing charts ready on time. (2)
  • Complete forms for sick leave, expense claims and supply orders. (2)
Writing Help - Writing
  • Write reminder notes to themselves and notes to others to clarify requests. (1)
  • Write lists of files created, indicating the file type, name and number. (1)
  • Complete various form letters. (1)
  • Write notes requesting more information when they are unsure of where to file a document. (1)
  • Keep an up-to-date record of files that have been removed by entering information in a Records Retrieval Log. (1)
  • Write down the substance of telephone requests. (1)
  • Write explanations and descriptions of the file system to orient new staff. (3)
Numeracy Help - Numeracy Scheduling, Budgeting & Accounting Math
  • Compare totals on invoices and purchase orders to ensure that they match. (1)
  • Schedule the most appropriate times for chart pickups in various locations, taking into account the deadlines of inter-hospital transport. (2)

Data Analysis Math

Records Management and Filing Clerks
  • Compare enrolment numbers or program participation to those in the last few years to see if there has been an increase or a decrease. (1)
Health records technicians
  • Calculate and record monthly averages for discharged, in-patients and deaths within hospitals. (2)

Numerical Estimation

Health records technicians
  • Estimate how much paper can fit into a box by judging the size of the box and the thickness of the paper. (1)
  • Estimate the time required to record and put away a number of documents. The estimate is affected by unforeseen factors such as incorrect labelling or interruptions from staff requesting other documents. (2)
Oral communication Help - Oral communication Records Management and Filing Clerks
  • Interact with clients to receive instructions and clarify requests. (1)
  • Exchange information with co-workers about locating files or the status of particular requests. (1)
  • Speak with couriers when sending or receiving packages. (1)
  • Speak with off-site storage companies when they need information about the retrieval of files. (1)
  • Discuss priorities and goals with supervisors. (2)
  • Co-ordinate work with other support staff within one's section, or with other departments. (2)
  • Conduct orientation sessions with, or make presentations to, new staff and administrators regarding the filing system used in their organization. (2)
Health Records Technicians
  • Speak to patients who call to ask about the status of their charts, e.g., whether an X-ray report has been received. (2)
Thinking Help - Thinking Problem Solving
  • May have to cope with a lost file. They attempt to locate it by checking probable locations and contacting individuals likely to have it. (1)
  • May be asked to find a file for individuals who are aware of the file's contents but do not know its classification number. They try to narrow down the scope of the file and then look in the most obvious places. (2)
  • May find that filing systems are used inconsistently by untrained staff and that files may be forwarded with incomplete listings. They might advocate staff training to overcome these problems. (3)
Decision Making
  • Decide when to ship boxes of files for off-site storage. (1)
  • Decide when supplies are needed and prepare a list for their supervisor. (1)
  • Decide how to arrange the file management area for easy access and efficiency. (1)
  • Decide where to file documents and how to classify or code files based on notes accompanying the documents and classification rules and policies. (2)
  • Decide what requests merit priority and how to classify and file reports. These decisions affect production and the ease of retrieval by records staff and other personnel. (3)
Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking information was not collected for this profile.

Job Task Planning and Organizing

Records management and filing clerks perform repetitive tasks. They organize and plan their own job tasks based on information provided by supervisors and co-workers. They set priorities based on the immediacy of requests for files and the importance of the requests. They may encounter frequent interruptions, resulting in reprioritizing of tasks. (2)

Significant Use of Memory
  • Remember the status of files and which ones have been sent to storage.
  • Remember specific deadlines for particular tasks which need to be done, such as assembling certain batches of files by a certain date.
  • Remember information about files such as their content, how they were classified, their current location and their numbers and classification codes.
Finding Information
  • Retrieve files from an established file system. (1)
  • Contact co-workers who produce files to get information about the contents and possible categories of files. (1)
  • Look up names, addresses and telephone numbers in the White Pages, Yellow Pages and internal telephone directories. (1)
  • May look up information in a software manual to figure out how to perform a certain function on the computer. (2)
  • May consult computerized databases to find information. They may have to try various descriptors in order to find the information they are seeking. (2)
Digital technology Help - Digital technology
  • They access file information on a computerized database of file topics, names and numbers. Some complete data entry by responding to prompts on the computer screen, with no requirement for the creation of new documents. (1)
  • They write memos about problems with file classification or retrieval. (2)
  • They use e-mail to communicate with co-workers and clients. (2)
Additional information Help - Additional information Other Essential Skills:

Working with Others

Records management and filing clerks generally work independently or alone filing, managing and retrieving files and records. They may work with a partner or helper or as a member of a Records Department team, exchanging information about files and discussing classification problems.

Continuous Learning

Records management and filing clerks have an ongoing need for on-the-job learning. They need to keep up-to-date with their organization's activities and the latest technical changes. They learn from co-workers, supervisors and users of documents. They may take courses in computer applications and file management.

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