Supporting sound records managing practices across the University
Records Services is part of the Information Management team within Digital Solutions. We provide solutions and practical advice to help the University develop and preserve teaching, learning and research of national and international significance.
Our services include:
- advice, tools and techniques for record-keeping best practices
- conduct searches and retrievals for information
- supply an effective and efficient records management system
- disposal programs for inactive records
- preserve and protect archival and vital records
The Lifecycle of Records
It is important that staff are creating and capturing sufficient information to provide evidence of their actions and decisions at the University.
Capturing records into the University's designated systems usually meets the obligations of the Public Records Act. With records not maintained in such systems, Griffith's practice is to save into HP Records Manager (RM8) – the University’s formal records management application. RM8 training is provided by Records Services to ensure that you can easily search, retrieve and capture records.
Examples of the University's designated business practices:
- Student records are captured in various ways: digitally into HP Records Manager, via specified group mailboxes, automatically through various business systems (example: SONIA) or by sending hardcopy records to Records Services for digitisation.
- Personnel records are captured in various ways: digitally into HP Records Manager, via specified group mailbox, automatically through various business systems (example PeopleSoft recruitment) or by sending hardcopy records to Records Services for digitisation.
- Committee records should be maintained in the designated SharePoint Committees sites.
The Knowledge and Information Management (KIM) community SharePoint site provides details on records management activities, including information on how to manage student, staff and other corporate records.
Easy access to the right information is crucial to the effective operation of the University.
Classification is the process of organising similar information into a hierarchical structure that's easy to navigate. At Griffith we use a Business Classification Scheme (BCS).
Our BCS generally groups topics and activities together under Function. For example:
- Griffith BCS has a Function (Teaching and Learning) —> activities under that function include Assessment, Clinics and Curriculum Management
Use and share
Requests from external parties
Requests from internal parties
The Information Management Community Site (SharePoint) provides information on:
- information storage
- information security, including data classification
- information privacy
- information assets
- retention and disposal
- classifying information
Identifying records of ongoing business value will:
- assist efficient and effective administration
- enable decision making and policy development based on current information
- allow organisations to be accountable—for management of resources, as well as legal and financial scrutiny
Records Services staff can appraise collections of records and coordinate the disposal or ongoing storage of records.
Records Services manages the onsite storage of both active and inactive records, as well as offsite storage with third-party providers. Records should not be sent to third-party providers without the involvement of Records Services.
Day-to-day operational records in hardcopy format would normally be retained in the business unit until they are no longer required and have met their retention requirements. Some long-term retention records (example: patient files) can be accommodated in the Records Services onsite storage areas.
Contracts and agreements
All contracts and agreements should be sent to Records Services for registration and capture into the records management system. The University is introducing a digital signature capability for its contracts and agreements.
Records that are crucial to the running of the University are called “vital records”, and some must be retained forever. We refer to these as the Griffith Archive.
These include vital records of:
- ‘evidential’ value – records pertaining to the history, structure and functions of the University
- ‘informational’ value – providing research material on persons, places and subjects
Appraisal is the process of identifying the value of records. Records Services staff are available to appraise collections of records and to coordinate disposal or ongoing storage.
In general, there are two layers of value:
Primary value: valuable for administrative, legal and fiscal purposes
Secondary value: the additional historical value to the University and wider society
These vital records are managed by the Griffith Archive in accordance with the Griffith Archive Collection policy.
Disposal of records
Regular authorised disposal of records will reduce the costs of storing and managing records no longer required by the University for business purposes.
Disposing of records refers to:
- physically destroying records
- the transfer of ownership of a record to another party (example: Queensland State Archives)
Records Services uses the two main retention and disposal authorities (documents issued under the Public Records Act by Queensland State Archives) which outline the minimum retention period for certain documents. Some records may be retained up to 70 years; others for six months).
How do I handle records due for destruction?
- if you believe you are holding records that are no longer required, please complete a Disposal Authorisation form
- once authorised, you may dispose of the records in accordance with the sensitivity of the records. Bins are available through Campus Life.
- The Disposal Authorisation is retained as a permanent retention record of the University.
Governing principles of destruction
The physical destruction of records is governed by the following principles:
- Destruction is authorised by the Manager, Information Management on behalf of the Vice Chancellor as CEO of Griffith University.
- Records pertaining to pending or actual litigation or investigation are not destroyed.
- Destruction of records is carried out in a manner that preserves the confidentiality of the records (e.g. locked confidential bins are used).
- All copies of records that are authorised for destruction, including security copies, preservation copies and backup copies, are also destroyed.
If you are not sure on the status of the records you no longer require, please contact Records Services for assistance.