What is a "verbal communication"?

Verbal communication can mean a telephone conversation, a voice mail message or series of voice mails, a formal meeting, or even an informal chat with a coworker in the hallway.

What kind of verbal communications might be a record?

Any oral communication where an Agency decision or commitment is made, and that is not otherwise documented, needs to be captured and placed in your recordkeeping system. For example:

  • A meeting or conference call where a decision is made, if formal meeting minutes or notes are not taken.
  • A telephone call giving guidance to a member of the regulated community.
  • A voice mail message committing to take action.
  • A telephone call responding to a member of the public about FAA policy.
What types of communications are included?
  • Face-to-face meetings
  • Conference calls (including audio or video)
  • Telephone calls (including cell phones, walkie-talkies, CB radios or Voice over IP (VoIP))
  • Voice mail messages (including telephone or computer)
What is the best way to capture conversations that are records?

Write a memo to the file. Be sure to include:

  • Date and time of the communication
  • Type of communication (e.g., voice mail, telephone call)
  • Participants
  • Subject
  • Details on any decisions or commitments
Does this mean that I have to write a transcript of every conversation?

No, not all verbal communications are records. Only write a memo to the file for verbal communications if they are:

  • needed to document your activities as a federal employee, contractor, or other FAA agent, and
  • not otherwise captured in your recordkeeping system.
How can I get additional guidance?

If you have policy questions about verbal communication records, contact your Program Office, Region, or Center Records Officer. You can find additional guidance in the following publications: