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RRTC presently has over 30,000 certificates, with maps, stored in four four-drawer file cabinets in Stu’s basement. I had them earlier, when they numbered just over 20,000, and Mike Wickiser, when he was registrar, stored them until he transferred them to Stu.

Most of these certificates are old and will never be used again. Of the 30,000 , only 12,000 are active courses.

Storage is not a problem as long as the registrar has the house room to put the cabinets. However, when the files need to be moved it is a pretty huge job to do it. Mike, Stu and I all live within 100 miles of each other, and it was simply a matter of loading up a truck and driving to the next guy’s house. Actually packing and shipping would be a real pain.

I have a feeling that perhaps we may be hanging on to things longer than we need to. Requests for certificates are rare. Is there a way we could do some housecleaning without seriously damaging our need to provide information?

I explored this with Stu in an email and he sent the following:

I'd object to tossing them on the following grounds:

I have enough drawer space to get me through 2012 before another file

Most of the requests I receive are for courses older than 10 years. These are the expired ones, after all. I believe the certificate is needed for renewal. Once renewal is no longer possible, the certs won't be needed. I seem to recall an Ohio certifier asking for a course map
from the 1980's recently.

Lastly, the paper files represent a good deal of information. The penalty for destroying it is far greater than for retaining it.

As long as Stu doesn’t mind, what’s the problem?

I’m just throwing this out for what it may be worth. Are there any opinions about this?

Stu says he'll be away much of the next three weeks and not to expect much from him in the way of a reply to this.
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I've only been VC West for 3 years, so my collection of certs is far smaller, but I'm wondering the same thing.

It would seem we're halfway to eliminating the need for physical copies by scanning the maps. I believe there was some discussion at the USATF Annual Meeting 2 years ago re: scanning the cert as well, but Stu felt that would create an unreasonable workload.
If space is an issue (and it appears that it is not for now), would it make sense to first divest ourselves of any certificates more than 20 years old, as the certifications and any renewals of those certifications have now expired, and, in 2012, then get rid of any certificates more than ten years old, as the certifications of those courses now cannot be renewed?

I have copies of all the documents submitted for every course I've certified since I became certifier in 1988, but probably don't refer to many more than a dozen in a year. Still, if we are to be a resource to the running community, it might make sense to maintain old certificates because even though the certification isn't valid many courses do not change and an old course map might be a good starting point for a race director looking for a course.
I believe as Jay has stated in his second paragraph, not the first paragraph, which Gene agrees with. Big Grin

Jay says he references maybe a dozen a year. That means 12 groups are grateful that someone has their old paperwork. Kudos to Jay!

Now, the other side of the coin: As a new certifier, I will have all paperwork in hard copy and digitally. I also have access to all the old paperwork for Colorado, and may have access to NV and ID. If each certifier keeps all paperwork (hard copy or digitally), then passes it along when they are no longer the certifier, is there a need to have an additional repository of the aggregate? I don't think so.

The caveat comes when someone says "not all the old certifiers made their paperwork available to their replacement". In that case, Stu's stash is important, IF we want to be the resource for old courses. Do we?

While old courses that are not eligble for renewal need to be re-measured if they will now be used for a new race, having the old maps would make the job of re-creating a route easier. Do we want to be a resource, or just have people design the route without the old course map?

I think that we should keep the old paperwork, but for all new digital files, as long as there is redundant backup and more than one person has access to the files, there is no need to buy a new file cabinet. Besides, that may reduce Stu's fire insurance premium, if he doesn't keep adding to his fuel.

I assume that more certifiers will be able to use the PDF cert form, then that can be sent to Stu. He can print the map if he needs to scan it, then just keep the digital file. Backup drives, and Internet backup, are cheap, so there would be no need to keep hard copies. Do we want to encourage moving in that direction? I think that since digital storage is now so cheap, we should move to digital as fast as each certifier is comfortable with. No point in adding to a collection of papers, when digital storage is so easy.

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