Essential Records (ER) Course

Notice: The Essential Records webinar is not currently being offered through CoSA. Please contact your state archives to see if they have scheduled this course as an online or in-person presentation in the near future.

Below is information about the course and a link to access the self-directed training module.

Essential Records Self-Directed Training Module

CoSA no longer offers a certificate of completion for the self-directed training module. If you need proof of completion, please contact CoSA Executive Director Barbara Teague about receiving a letter of recognition. Access the course now!

Please note, the course Pre-Test and Post-Test are no longer working within the self-directed training module. You can access both tests via the links below:


Essential Records Course Materials


What is covered in this course?

Module 1: Identify Essential Records

  • Distinguish between nonessential and essential records
  • Identify essential records by examining critical business needs and functions

Module 2: Protect Essential Records

  • Identify and evaluate hazards and risks
  • Determine and evaluate preparedness and mitigation strategies

Module 3: Access Essential Records

  • Ensure access to essential records

Module 4: Incorporate Essential Records into COOP Plans

  • The essential records template

Who should take this course?

State, local, territorial, and tribal government employees who are responsible for creating and maintaining records of any kind and in any format, both paper and electronic:

  • City and county clerks
  • Recorders
  • Administrators
  • COOP and emergency preparedness personnel
  • Information technology staff

How does this course fit into IPER training for emergency preparedness?

The Essential Records course is one of the two main IPER courses. We recommend taking both courses, starting with Essential Records and then the Records Emergency Preparedness and Response course. In addition, CoSA has developed an Introduction to Records and Information Management as a suggested prerequisite for the two main IPER courses for anyone who had not had any formal training inrecords management principles and practices.


The development of the IPER Essential Records course was supported by Cooperative Agreement Number 2007-GT-T7-K022, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency, National Preparedness Directorate. Points of view or opinions in this program are those of the author(s) and do not represent the position or policies of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

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