good morning vince
currently we are hard copy based so all our notes are written.
All inspectors are provided with note books for in – field notes. Those books are numbered and filed when completed and ultimately are processed in accordance with our records retention by-law which ultimately will have them destroyed after 7 years.
Those notes are the property of the city so we make staff aware that they should only be putting pertinent information relative to the inspection that they are undertaking and not any personal observations outside of the inspection >>>” owner was a ???” because ultimately any notes made in the books are can be requested under MFIPPA.
From the note books staff then transfer their notes from their books to file notes which can be a direct transfer or it can be a highlight of the inspection – our belief is that that the notebook notes are allt he issues that you have identified for the inspection – some could be observations on an issue that requires further investigation or forwarding to another agency either intra or outside our organization. All notes are filed in our buildng file.
We are currently migrating to electronic format in many aspects of our operation with a final goal to go electronic both in the field with tablets but also in note taking which has at best a one to two year window for implimentation.
Your question if very valid to the extent that judging by the responses we all seem to have a different methodology of note taking which is not necessarily bad. However, when you compare it to our friends in Police they have a much more defined purpose in note taking which does not necessarily differ from department to department.
I am hoping from your forum there are some commonalities that surface by which we can move forward to develope a list of essential note taking components that all departments can adopt which will serve us well either in a written format but even in the electronic format.