Records management is the discipline of managing records throughout their “lifecycle” from the point of creation or capture through to their eventual disposition. Disposition is either disposal by destruction or by transfer to an archive for permanent preservation. This ensures that, regardless of the media in which they exist, the right records are accurate, reliable, available and not retained for longer than is necessary. A record is any form of information created, received and/or maintained by Queen Mary during the conduct of its business. Records can be created and stored in any format or media and are used to provide historical or legal evidence of the activities and transactions taking place and the decisions made within the institution. Also see the ISO's definitions [DOC 14KB].
Apart from the regulatory and legislative drivers, managing information has a number of business benefits which assist Queen Mary to function more efficiently. Records management facilitates sharing of information, reduces costs, reduces duplication, supports decision-making and saves staff time.
There are many advantages to good records management throughout their lifecycle:
So we keep records for the administrative, legal, financial, informational and/or historic value they hold.
All staff are responsible for ensuring:
See the Dos and Don'ts page for more information.
A retention policy is not just about retention but also about disposition of records after a specified period of time. The Records Retention Policy consists of two parts: the Records Retention Policy [PDF 235KB] document setting out principles and responsibilities, and the Records Retention Schedule. The Retention Schedule sets out the lengths of time records across Queen Mary are to be retained. At the end of this retention period they should normally be destroyed unless they have been identified for permanent preservation. Retention periods apply regardless of the medium and records in storage must be inventoried.
Queen Mary has a detailed set of Records Management Procedures [PDF 370KB].
In addition, the Information Classification Policy is relevant as it includes guidance on the storage, handling and disposal of information, and about how to classify it according to sensitivity/risk.
More and more information these days is created and retained in digital formats. The principles of managing this type of information are the same as for physical assets but the practice can be somewhat different. Therefore some specific guidance has been created.
See the Managing electronic information page for more details.
Some records have a permanent legal, administrative, historic or research value. Queen Mary aims to preserve records designated as such in The Archives which is based in the Library. Certain items from the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry will be preserved by the Barts Health NHS Trust archives.
For more information contact the Records and Information Compliance Manager.