Records management is the process by which the University manages all the elements of records whether externally or internally generated and in any format or media type, from their inception/receipt, all the way through to their disposal. Good records management:
- ensures that you can find the information you need at the time you need it;
- provides evidence of your work;
- supports decision-making;
- ensures that you are complying with legislation such as the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
Benefits of effective records management practice
- Saves time - It is currently estimated that 20 - 60% of staff time is spent looking for information. Good records management will enable information to be retrieved quickly and reliably, thus reducing this time considerably.
- Saves space - Destroying information that is no longer required liberates space in the University which can be used as teaching space or office space.
- Reduces administration costs, both in staff time and storage.
- Removes doubts over authenticity of documents and reduces risk of legal liability to the University.
- Enables timely responses and cost efficiency to information requests made to the University.
- Removes duplicates.
- Ensures that documents important to the University's history are retained permanently.
How can I implement records management?
All staff can help implement good records management by:
- ensuring you create and maintain a full and accurate record of your activities;
- following agreed filing procedures in your office;
- listing your files as they are created and keeping the list up to date;
- regularly reviewing and disposing of your files according to the records retention schedule (under review, so in the interim contact the Information Governance team);
- keeping files neat and tidy and not letting filing backlogs build-up;
- ensuring files are not open for over three years and opening new files when existing ones become too large to use;
- being aware that the public may request to see virtually all of your records under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the Environmental Information Regulations and the General Data Protection Regulations.
Additional guidance is available from the Information Governance Team.