Records Management Blog | Practical Records Management

Document Scanning gets a Black Eye in the UK

Posted by Michael Thomas on Fri, Mar 19, 2010 @ 10:23 AM

According to an article published today on Kable, a UK based service provider that helps public officials to make informed decisions about technology, an ineffective document scanning strategy has caused a major snafu in processing Student Loans across the UK.

Document Scanning gets black eye in UK

The National Audit Office (NAO) says that the new scanning system at the Student Loans Company (SLC), designed to store and transmit electronic copies of documents to processing teams, did not work.

It had not been properly tested and the firm's contingency plan was "seriously flawed", according to the report published on 19 March 2010


While it may be about a situation that has occurred on the other side of the Atlantic, this News highlights the importance of ensuring that Document Imaging and Document Scanning projects are being done correctly. Whether you’re scanning student loans, imaging mortgage files, or converting paper Medical Charts, if you’re going to scan these files yourself you need to make sure that you have implemented and tested your process from start to finish. End-To-End testing of Document Imaging Processes is a vital step that we’ve seen many companies fail to recognize.



“The question must be asked how the Company, given its failure in 2009, will deal with twice as many applications in 2010, when it becomes responsible for applications from both first and second year students. The Department and the Company must give the highest priority to achieving a radical improvement in the service and, in so doing, to restoring the confidence of applicants and stakeholders. They will have to manage substantial risks.”


Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office, 19 March 2010

(From The NAO Report) 


This story also further highlights the value of using a Document Scanning Service. Companies that specialize in Document Imaging and offer the service of Scanning Paper to digital formats have a wealth of experience in focusing on process controls to ensure that your information is processed correctly. This can help to reduce the risk of lost or misfiled documents and improve the overall quality of your document imaging endeavors.

Whether you’re imaging yourself or outsourcing your document scanning, cases such as this one serve to further highlight where your focus should be – on the value of the information. It’s not good enough to just capture a good quality image. You must ensure that documents are scanned clearly AND that they’re indexed and processed appropriately so that the value of the content can be put to use.

Tags: Records Management, Document Scanning, Document Imaging