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, which ARMA International defines 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. The framework helps organizations achieve business objectives, facilitates compliance with external requirements, and minimizes risk posed by substandard information handling practices. Note: Records and information management (RIM) 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 with both a standard of conduct for governing information and guidelines by which to judge that conduct.

Because the Principles describe and address fundamental attributes of information governance, they apply to organizations of all sizes, sectors, and industry types. And, because the Principles are independent of local law and custom, multi-national organizations can use them to establish consistent practices across geographic boundaries.

Thoughtful consideration of the Principles, combined with a reasonable approach when applying them, will yield sound results for any organization: a responsive, effective, and legally compliant information governance program and information systems. (See information about the Information Governance Maturity Model below.)

See the full text of the Generally Accepted Recordkeeping Principles® here.

Note: A French translation of these Principles will be posted here as soon as available.

The Information Governance Maturity Model

The Information Governance Maturity Model (Maturity Model) – which 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 – is meant to be deployed as a quality improvement tool.

The Maturity Model describes for each Principle the characteristics of effective information governance at five distinct levels of development: substandard, in development, essential, proactive, transformational. 

Learn more here.

Other Resources

Implementing the Generally Accepted Recordkeeping Principles (ARMA International TR 30-2017)

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.

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.

The Principles Education

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

NextLevel Information Governance Assessment

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 Diane Carlisle.

© 2018, ARMA International