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Frequently Asked Questions


Website Help


1. What do I do if I lose my password?

If you loose your password, simply click ‘Forgot Password?’ on the Sign In page. Fill out the email address you use to access RIAMS and a new password will automatically be sent to you. once you have signed in, you can change your password in My Account.

2. Can I change my password?

Yes. Once you have signed in, go to My Account. Here you will be able to change your password to something more memorable.

3. I can't find what I'm looking for - what do I do?

You can use the search function to search by keywords and Unique Reference Numbers (URNs). There is also an advanced search option which allows you to add more specifics to your search. Primary and Secondary Contacts are able to search the archive which contains documents old versions of documents and documents completely removed from the system. For more information on the search function, please see 'Website Help', below. You are also welcome to contact us for help and advice by telephone, email or using the feedback form.

4. Are the subjects / topic areas complete?

RIAMS (originally EHMS) was designed to grow ‘organically’. This means that we developed content ‘upon request’ from our client base, building it around the information you want, rather than us imposing the information we think you need. This means there will be gaps which we will complete on demand. More recently we have started to review and programme content development, for example we are now mapping our content to align with the RDNA Competence Frameworks.

We drive the organic growth of the system by providing a ‘free’ content request facility, which encourages users to demand content to match their actual needs. All Local Authority licences allow users the facility to request additional content at no extra cost. if you would  like to request new content click here.

5. Is there a limit to the number of staff in our organisation who can have access to RIAMS?

This is set by the licence terms, for most public sector users this is unlimited. Subject to the licence terms, the Primary or Secondary Contact can upload new users.

6. With the exception of British Standards and Legislation all of the Knowledge Areas and Modules are divided into categories. What can I expect to find in them?

National Policy and Guidance: Designed to support the procedures and documents. It is comprised of guidance from government departments, national agencies and publications from a variety of third party sources.
Procedures: The core product of RIAMS and offer a step by step guide to various enforcement and management activities; they often include flow charts. Text on the white background is written by experienced professionals, peer reviewed by contemporaries and edited by RHE. This text is ‘fixed’ although it can be challenged and commented upon. Any challenge will trigger a review of the content which may or may not be changed, according to the outcome of the review.

The text in blue is written and edited by your organisations Primary or Secondary Contacts -  your colleagues who have permission to tailor RIAMS to your organisation.

The blue text areas are there for your local information to be added, customising each procedure to fit your local arrangements; see How do I add information into the procedure blue text areas? For more information.  Note, any information you add into the blue text areas is archived including any text that you might replace/overwrite.

Documents are designed to support the procedures (Letters, Forms, Public Information Leaflets, Notices and Miscellaneous documents). They are intended to be used as templates or prompts. Your organisations Primary and Secondary contact can upload its own documents, Grey out documents that are not relevant but would still like as references, and archive documents.

Notices this is a repository for you to store and access your own notices.

Local Policy and Information is designed to hold material such as Local Policies and Memoranda of Understandings but there is no limit placed upon what can be lodged in this section. It is an open space for your own use.

7. What can I view on RIAMS?

In addition to the modules that your organisation subscribes to, you can view the National Policy and Guidance sections of all other Knowledge Areas and Modules. Free previews of modules not currently subscribed to can be arranged. Additionally, by visiting the pre-login pages of RIAMS and clicking ‘whats inside’, you can see the extent of all of the modules in RIAMS.

British Standards are also available to you at considerable cost savings.

8. How do I make documents 'Favourites'?

Simply click on the * icon when viewing the document title, or expand the document using the downward arrow in the title and selecting ‘Add to Favourites’. To see all your Favourite documents, click on ‘My Favourite Documents’ under ‘My Account’.  There is no limit to the number of Favourite documents you can have.

9. How do I claim CPD?

Did you know that you can claim CPD simply by using RIAMS?
For every 5 hours of browsing on RIAMS you do, you will receive 1 hour of CPD. For the price, it is an extremely cost effective way to gain CPD across the year. Contact us if you would like to find out more or subscribe.

10. How long will my documents take to be uploaded or removed?

This happens in ‘real time’, so they should appear in your profile more or less immediately after you have clicked ‘save’, depending on server and Internet speeds.

11. How do I customise RIAMS? Adding and Removing Procedures, Documents and Links

This can be done by your colleagues who are permitted to customise RIAMS (Primary or Secondary Contacts). Documents you add, update or remove  are archived. To add a new document, go to the subject in RIAMS where you would like to add a document, click on ,create a new document, complete the details in the document upload from and click ‘save’. You can also upload a link, rather than a document.

To remove a document, go to the expanded document view, click on Edit, then select ‘Archive’

For legal purposes, all RIAMS documents are archived and Primary and Secondary contacts have the facility to recall old versions of documents, procedures and local policy and information.

12. How do I upload information into the blue text areas within procedures? (Blue text areas are used to customise procedures with information particular to your organisation)

Only your organisations Primary and Secondary Contacts are able to add information into the grey boxes.

To upload information into the boxes, go to the procedure you want to upload local procedures into. Click the blue triangle to expand, then click on ‘edit’ in the expanded document view. You will then be able to edit the fields of the document (Responsibility of) and (Local Procedures) by clicking on these and amending the text inside the editor. When you are finished, click save. All content you have removed will be archived for future reference.

13. What does 'Grey Out' a document mean?

Only Primary and Secondary Contacts within your organisation can grey-out a document. This function can be utilised for a variety of reasons. It may be that it is not relevant to your organisation (you may have uploaded your own procedure that sits along-side the grey-ed out one for example). You can see the reason for the grey-out in the expanded document view and you are still able to view the content in the procedure if you wish, benefiting from its latest updates.

You can grey out a document by selecting ‘Grey Out’ from the expanded document view. Similarly, click on ‘Remove Grey Out’ to return the colour back to the document.

14. What does 'Hide' a document mean?

Only Primary and Secondary Contacts within your organisation can hide a document. This function can be utilised for a variety of reasons. It may be that it is not relevant to your organisation (you may have uploaded your own procedure or document and wanting to remove an RHE template from your view). Only Primary and Secondary contacts will be able to see ‘hidden’ documents in their profile, regular users will not be able to see them at all.

You can hide a document by selecting ‘Hide’ from the expanded document view. Similarly, click on ‘Unhide’  to return the document back into users’ view.

15. What is a URN?

A URN is the alpha-numeric code in the title of a document, e.g. EPP60. These only apply to documents which RHE maintains.

16. Can I request a new document?

Yes, fill in the ‘Request New Content’ form under ‘My Account’. The RIAMS editorial team will evaluate the request and get back to you with a response at the earliest opportunity.

17. How much time does implementation take? Is it really more cost effective than us maintaining our own procedures?

Some of our clients spread implementation amongst their team members, rather than making just one or two people responsible. We know of some clients making it an action as part of staff annual PRP appraisals.

RIAMS is recognised as a productivity tool by completing the bulk of the work to produce and maintain procedures and documents; this saves time and money. Clients already using the system on average will spend a couple of hours every few months reviewing or adding to their personalised content on RIAMS. Generally the local information you add changes much less frequently than the content we are responsible for.

18. "…our procedure on 'x' is better…"

If there is something not right with our procedures, please tell us. We always welcome and act upon feedback from our clients and visitors to the site.
RIAMS procedures are probably unmatched in their scope and revision cycles and we believe, as a package RIAMS offers the best there is in the UK. However there will always be instances where a local procedure will be just right for you. You can add your procedures online to get the best of both worlds. Your Primary or Secondary Contact will be able to do this.

19. If I notice an error in a document on RIAMS what do I do?

Use the feedback form to let us know. When conveying the information please be sure to include the full title of the document and the Unique Reference Number (URN). This is the alphanumeric code that is at the end of most titles in the lists of documents e.g. EPP27.

Alternatively, you can email or telephone if you feel that it would be more appropriate.

If you find an error in a document that is local to your organisation, please contact your Primary or Secondary contact. their details can be found in the bottom right hand corner of the home page.

20. Can't we get this for free on Google?

NO! The core product is procedures and documents and these are not available on the Internet.

Some National Policy and Guidance we hold is freely available on the Internet and RIAMS provides this as part of each Knowledge Area and Module at minimal cost, with the benefit of being collated and reviewed on a regular basis. RIAMS delivers content that is not available anywhere else online and we work with over 50 publishers to deliver focused datasets to support you.

RIAMS has been compared (by local authorities and a national charity) against Google and a well known online Index System and RIAMS was found to be easier to use and delivered better results.

21. Is there a formal process for providing feedback if I am happy or unhappy about any aspect of RIAMS?

There is a feedback form on the website which every user of RIAMS is invited to use. We also hold User Group Meetings and visit our clients. The Primary Contact from every client organisation is invited and they decide who from their organisation will attend. Comments and queries can be directed through the chosen attendee.

22. We have joint / collaborative working in our region - how can RIAMS support this?

RIAMS as a platform facilitates rapid and cost effective sharing and collaboration and we have a number of reference sites in England and Wales to which you can refer.

If you have specialist regional groups, e.g. Food Safety, RIAMS can be used to facilitate the group and to share that information within the group or to a wider audience. RIAMS does not assume IPR or copyright control of such information, which remains under the full control of the group.

You can also check out our Private Sector Housing and Private Water Supply Forums where you can ask our experts questions and share best practice.

23. How does RIAMS fit in with our back office databases such as APP/FLARE (CIVICA)/Uniform (IDOX) and M3 (Northgate)?

Each client is supplied with a unique profile of procedures and documents, so the back office system can link to your uniquely customised resources on RIAMS. Similarly, you can paste links into RIAMS to external sites and reference sources making it a versatile and flexible resource. You can also link to other Modules/Knowledge Areas in RIAMS.

RIAMS documents (letters, forms, public information leaflets, template notices) are formatted for easy importing into back office systems; they can be edited prior to importing them. You can also mix RIAMS and your own documents on RIAMS to develop your unique letter datasets for each area of service.

Note: All material produced by us, in house is designed to meet good standards of accessibility through the choice of font (Arial 12), layout (i.e. left aligned, no italics or underlining, no large blocks of capital letters) and the use of plain language.

24. Can we link a standard document on your system to our own website?

Subject to copyright, yes. Usually we allow this but please check with us first.

25. How do I know that the material I am looking at is up to date?

The procedures on RIAMS are subject to a cycle of regular reviews in addition to the direct responses that occur following changes in legislation and guidance. A similar process is applied to our document templates. In addition, a system of monitoring ensures regular update of the material. Obviously, all of this takes time to implement and whilst we do our utmost to respond quickly, RIAMS staff cannot take responsibility for any decision you make or refrain from making as a result of accessing this website. Please see our disclaimer.

Documents are also marked to show their status e.g. new, current, under review etc. In addition, significant changes that have occurred within documents will be posted on the news feed on the RIAMS website. This will increase confidence regarding the status of documents, however the personal responsibility of the user and the disclaimer will still apply.

26. How does the editorial process work?

RHE employs a Chief Editor who co-ordinates the development and review of all documents on the system. The Chief Editor sets the publication standards for authors, sets and maintains the quality standards for all documents on the system and is responsible for the strategic planning and operation of RIAMS. RHE actively engages with government agencies and departments to stay ahead of the curve in relation to new and emerging changes to legislation and guidance documents.

Once the need for new content has been identified in response to legislation, guidance or through a client request, an author is commissioned to write the new document. Every document we produce for RIAMS goes through a critical review process to ensure it meets the following criteria. It must be:

  • Factual,
  • Up-to-date,
  • Practical and
  • Accurate

Depending on the complexity of the piece, it can be peer reviewed up to four times through different specialist contributors to ensure the above criteria is met. We also liaise with clients (particularly clients who requested a particular topic) to confirm that the new document is fit for purpose. Each stage is moderated by the Chief Editor. When the Chief Editor is finally satisfied, the document is sent to the Content Administrator who checks the text for spelling, grammar, comprehension and formatting before uploading the new document to RIAMS. Research has been undertaken by RHE concerning how information is received and it is important to us that everything about the document from the language, to the font and the spacing on the page, helps the reader absorb the information given in the text. Documents produced by RHE also comply with DDA guidelines for partially sighted readers, although we do not alter the formatting or text on third party content.
Quality content takes time to produce. From the commissioning of a new procedure through to its upload on RIAMS can take up to 6 months. It very much depends on the subject matter, but we strive to ensure completeness and consistency to give you the confidence you should expect from the system.

Once online, we keep procedures updated through a cyclical review process as well as in response to changes in legislation. Client feedback will also trigger a review. In fact, every time we receive feedback the document in question will be reassessed by appropriate authors and where justified, corrected or improved in line with client comments. This type of collaboration is actively encouraged and always welcome. If you have a comment to make please use the feedback form once signed in.

27. What legislation is provided by RIAMS and is it up to date and revised?

Legislation is presented as a list of sub categories which link to: www.legislation.gov.uk and EU-LEX. Legislation is accessible for all users.

28. Can case law be added to RIAMS?

RIAMS was never intended to replace Legal Encyclopedias as it documents processes rather than detailing points of law. However, case law may be taken into account during the development of content by the authors as well as best practice. Users are strongly recommended to refer to legal advice (as is good practice) when deciding on enforcement action.

29. Does this supersede other Local Authority online resources?

Many Local Authorities use RIAMS to replace other information sources. RIAMS can be used to either replace or enhance the use of other resources you may use.

30. How do I find out about changes that are occurring on RIAMS concerning reviews and updates of procedures and other documents?

New content, amended document,  system updates and the addition of new features,  will be reported via our categorised news feed.  It is kept regularly up to date, you can see what is changing in the system. Additionally, documents that are under review, new or recently amended will be depicted with text in the procedure until it is clicked on.

All procedures on RIAMS are subject to reviews on a cyclical basis – this is in addition to responses to changes in legislation and guidance; you can check the date of the last change made to a procedure by looking at the date at the top right hand corner of the page.

31. What other benefits does RIAMS have?

Clients are able to:

  • Upload their own documents into the Standard Documents, Notices and Local Policy and Information sections of the website.
  • Add and remove users and change passwords.
  • Create a favourites list.
  • Have the ability to ‘grey out’ or ‘hide’ procedures or documents you do not wish to use.
  • Collect CPD points for using EHMS.
  • See recently viewed documents

With an enhanced search facility and a similar look and feel, the site has been designed based on your feedback and is designed to meet the current and feature needs of the regulatory services market.

32. How can I become involved as a Specialist Contributor to RIAMS?

We have a panel of authors and sub-editors who are paid to work with us under contract, to assist in the maintenance and development of RIAMS content. If you are interested in working with us, please get in touch by returning the ‘Work for Us’ form. Alternatively, if you would prefer to speak to someone, please call 01239 711 793.

Website Help

33. Navigation & Breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs and Navigation screenshot The hub of navigating to documents on RIAMS is through the Knowledge Areas menu, located on the left-hand side of all pages once you are logged in.

Clicking a knowledge area will show a drop-down list of related modules.

To show categories beneath each module, click on the module. This will then display a list of categories in the centre area of the screen. This process is recursive for all further sub-categories of that particular category.

In order to help navigation elsewhere, breadcrumbs have been added above the category list. The breadcrumb will show your trail through the website to help you track back to a previous category or page.

You can get more information about the current category by clicking 'About' located above the category list.

34. Hints & Tips on Searching

If you want to speed up the retrieval of a document, or if you are unable to find a document through the Knowledge Area menu, a search facility is in place to help, located in the top right of every page. The search function will search for the URN and title of all documents (including your own client-specifc documents), procedures and guidance notes. It will also search the content in procedures and guidance notes, retrieving other relevant documents that may be of interest to you.

The default setting is to search through all documents on the system that you are subscribed to. There are various methods of narrowing your search down to improve the scope, detailed below. To access these, click "Advanced Search".

1. Enter a search term.

Screenshot - Search - Choose Knowledge Area 2. Choose a Knowledge Area: RIAMS will search through all Knowledge Areas by default. Selecting a knowledge area from the menu will narrow your search to only that area. You can further restrict your search to a particular module or category within that knowledge area.
Screenshot - Search - Choose Publisher 3. Choose a publisher: RIAMS wil search for all publishers by default. Selecting a publisher from the menu will narrow your search to documents from only that publisher.
Screenshot - Search - Choose File Type 4. Choose a file type: RIAMS will search for all types of file by default. Selecting a file type from the menu will narrow your search to documents with that file type. The "XML File" option is used to find procedures and guidance notes.
Screenshot - Search - Choose Publish Date 5. Choose a file publication date: RIAMS will search for all documents published on any date by default. Selecting a date range using the calendar will narrow your search to documents that are published between those dates.

If only a 'from' date is entered, RIAMS will only find all documents published on or after that date. If only a 'to' date is entered, RIAMS will only find all documents published on or before that date.

Screenshot - Search - Choose Document Type 6. Choose a document type: RIAMS will search for all document types by default. Selecting one or more document types will narrow your search to the selected document type(s).

Selecting no types will search for all types of document.

Screenshot - Search - Choose Document Status 7. Choose a document status: RIAMS will search for documents with any status by default. Selecting one or more options from this list will narrow your search to documents with the selected status.

Leaving the document status fields empty will search for documents with any status.