Records Management Policy Statement
The Records Management Policy Statement sets out the framework to develop further policies and guidelines in order to improve the way that the University manages its information.
Records Management Policy Statement
The University recognises that the efficient management of its records is necessary, to support its core functions, to comply with its legal and regulatory obligations and to contribute to the effective overall management of the institution.
This document provides the policy framework through which this effective management can be achieved and audited. It covers:-
- Scope of the policy
- Relationship with existing policies
Scope of the policy
- This policy applies to all records created, received or maintained by staff of the institution in the course of carrying out their corporate functions. Records and documentation created in the course of research, whether internally or externally funded are also subject to contractual record-keeping requirements.
- Records are defined as all those documents, which facilitate the business carried out by the University and which are thereafter retained (for a set period) to provide evidence of its transactions or activities. These records may be created, received or maintained in hard copy or electronically.
- Records management is defined as a field of management responsible for the efficient and systematic control of the creation, receipt, maintenance, use and disposition of records, including process for capturing and maintaining evidence of and information about business activities and transactions in the form of records.
- A small percentage of the University’s records will be selected for permanent preservation as part of the institutions archives, for historical research and as an enduring record of the conduct of business.
The main objectives of this policy are:-
- To ensure that adequate records of business activities are being created and maintained, and that these records are authentic and reliable.
- To enable records to be arranged effectively to facilitate quick retrieval of information.
- To ensure that records required for legal, administrative and fiscal purposes are retained for as long as they are needed.
- To ensure that records no longer required are destroyed according to the agreed retention schedules and to the disposal policy.
- To identify and protect vital records essential for the operational existence of the University.
- To ensure that adequate storage accommodation is provided for the records and that these are kept safely and securely in an appropriate environment.
- To identify and preserve records of historic interest that need to be kept permanently.
- The University has a corporate responsibility to maintain its records and record keeping systems in accordance with the regulatory environment. The University Secretary and the Director of Learning and Corporate Support Services has overall responsibility for this policy.
- The University Records Manager is responsible for drawing up guidance for good records management practice and promoting compliance with this policy in such a way as to ensure the easy, appropriate and timely retrieval of information.
- Individual Schools and Departments must ensure that records for which they are responsible are accurate, and are maintained and disposed of in accordance with the University’s records management guidelines. All records within a School or Department should have an identified owner responsible for their management whilst in regular use.
- Wherever possible, members of staff should receive an introductory briefing on records management procedures.
Relationship with existing policies
This policy has been formulated within the context of the following University documents:
- Data Protection Handbook
- Information Security Policy
- Freedom of Information Policy
Compliance with this policy will in turn facilitate compliance not only with information related legislation (specifically Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Data Protection Act 1998) but also with any other legislation or regulations (including audit, equal opportunities and research ethics) affecting the institution.
This policy will be implemented through the creation of guidelines and procedures developed by the University Records Manager in consultation with appropriate members of staff and approved by the DPA/FoIA Steering Group. A Records Management Programme has already commenced with the undertaking of an Information Survey of all University records in order to develop policies and procedures. These guidelines and procedures will cover:
- Guidelines on creating, maintaining and disposing of records
- A functional classification scheme for records in all formats
- A retention schedule based on functions for records in all formats. A personal data retention policy will be incorporated into this overall policy.
- The establishment of a Records Centre to store semi and non-current paper records in a cost-effective manner
- Appraisal, management and preservation of historic records to be kept permanently
- Future implementation of an Electronic Document and Records Management System