Shropshire Registration Service have chosen Stopford as the successful supplier of RAFTS for Registration for the County. Located in the West Midlands, Shropshire Council has been the unitary local authority for the County since 2009 with three main planning areas: North, Centre and South.
The County’s register office, located in Shrewsbury, has a team of six who oversee the day-to-day running and management of the register index – looking after the production, processing and printing of certificates. The register office were seeking an alternative to the unsupported RSS system to catalogue and manage index data.
With such a large index of birth, death and marriage certificates, Shropshire Register Office were looking for a digital solution to their growing collection.
“We wanted a system which would provide a digitisation platform with a search and edit facility, and also a front end certificate ordering system,” Karen Burton, Shropshire Registration & Coroners Service Manager, said.
“Our goal was to reduce both the amount of time and staff it takes to search for, and produce certificates in an effort to minimise costs but maximise the flexibility of the service.”
The solution to Shropshire register office’s problem was to implement Stopford’s RAFTS for Registration certificate management system. Working as a replacement for the now unsupported RSS system, RAFTS (Record Assets Files Tracking System) allows for the complete management of register and index data including the ability for advanced search, register scanning, editing and printing of certificates. Stopford were chosen by Shropshire Register Office following demonstrations of RAFTS to staff at the register office, which provided ample opportunity to discuss the system’s specifications and ensure service specifications were met.
“We felt the RAFTS system offered an affordable, flexible and well tested product,” Karen said.
“It already offered the full realm of features which we had identified as essential when starting to look at what products were available.”
Using RAFTS, registration staff will be able to perform certificate scanning and image manipulation to correct dark spots or crop out unwanted areas. Notes can be written for colleagues next to particular documents whilst birth and death certificates can be linked to help improve fraud awareness.
Karen expects a reduction in production costs once the RAFTS for Registration system is live.
“Once the system is implemented we anticipate that both customers and staff will have access to a very quick search facility to locate entries, with customers being able to search, order and pay for their certificates easily at any time of the day or night,” Karen said.
“Using RAFTS we will have a comprehensive audit trail available for both orders and images and anticipate our production costs to reduce considerably.”
With a go live date in place, soon up to 40 employees, including Shropshire Council Customer Service Advisors and other registration service staff, will be using RAFTS to search and manage up to an anticipated one million index entries on the system.