Legal Admissibility – Are Scanned Documents Legal?

A question that comes up often is, are scanned documents legal? Electronic copies will be accepted as best evidence throughout the United Kingdom provided they are of sufficient quality to allow readability of all of the information. Basic scanning on a photocopier or home scanner may not meet those requirements.

BIP 10008 previously known as PD 0008 is a code of practice for legal admissibility and evidential weight of information stored electronically. If this code of practice is followed then it ensures electronic document meet the legal admissibility requirements for use in court.

More and more businesses are turning to electronic documents which is why the acceptance of electronic documents is so widespread. Government bodies such as HMRC treat electronic records the same as paper records, and consistently scan their information and work from the electronic image.

The only additional requirement of electronic records is that they are easily accessible for inspection for the duration of their retention period. This means that during that period if a newer IT system is installed electronic archives must be converted so they remain accessible. If records are stored in propriety systems this could cause potential problems for forwards compatibility.

Point in fact was the quite recent cyber – attack on the NHS, some of the issues were caused as a result of the use of proprietary and outdated systems which did not allow forward compatibility.

What Services Do UK Document Management Offer?

We have been providing scanning services to businesses in sectors ranging from healthcare to legal for many years. Our scanning services can be tailored to the unique needs of every business no matter the size. Examples of what we can offer are below.

•   Accredited to ISO9001:2015, our processes include quality checks at all stages ensuring the highest quality images.

•   We adhere to the code of practice contained in BIP 10008 / PD 0008 for legal admissibility of information stored on electronic document management systems.

•   Our use of PDF images allows maximum compatibility without the need for any costly proprietary systems. Meaning documents are easily accessible reducing the chance of legal or compliance issues.

•   PDF images are both forward and backward compatible.

•   Hard copies are retained for a minimum of 3 months after scanning as standard rather than the 30 day period offered by other providers. Allows customers the time they need to ensure the electronic documents meet their requirements.

•   Hard copies are only destroyed once written permission is received from a customer’s authorised signatory. Once authorisation has been received the hard copies are securely shredded and recycled.

•   Certificates of destruction can be provided to ensure full traceability.

For more information contact us now on 01625 574 499 or 0800 049 9744