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Records and Information Management Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) The Purpose of this Policy is to establish a framework for the creation and management of authentic, reliable and useable Records and information that support business functions and activities of the University and that comply with legislative requirements and relevant standards.


(2) The University relies upon an effective Records and information management system to enable business to be conducted in an efficient and accountable manner. Efficiently managed Records and information is a key University asset, providing administrative transparency, consistency and accountability, as well as enhancing the institution’s identity by the collection and preservation of its corporate memory.

(3) Student Records form part of the Records and information management system. The University needs to keep accurate Records of important student information in order to manage their progress from admission and enrolment, through completion of courses, to graduation and beyond. Other University Records and information include Corporate, Vital Records, Archives and Legacy Records.

(4) This Policy provides details of how the Records and information management system will be managed and assigns responsibilities, in order to meet operational, compliance, accountability and community expectations and requirements in accordance with the State Records Act 1998 and the NSW Standard on Records Management.

(5) This Policy has the following objectives:

  1. to specify the requirements for a University-wide Records and information system which manages Records and information from their design to their destruction or permanent retention; and
  2. to ensure that the University’s Records and information system complies with legislative requirements.


(6) This Policy applies to all Staff members of Macquarie University and its controlled entities (except Macquarie University Hospital) involved in creating Records and information during the conduct of University Activities, including  officers, employees and contractors of the University and the appointees to conjoint, adjunct, emeritus, honorary, clinical and visiting academic positions of the University.

(7) This Policy applies to Records and information in all formats, including both digital and physical Records, created, received and used in the conduct of University Activities. The Records and information include, but are not limited to, student files, staff files, correspondence, business email, administrative files, financial Records, research management and minutes of meetings of University committees or boards.

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Section 2 - Policy

Records and Information Management Framework

(8) The University is committed to making and keeping full and accurate Records of its business transactions and University Activities.

(9) The University will promote, maintain and review a University-wide Records and Information Management program that complies with relevant standards and legislative requirements.

(10) The Records and Information Management Framework is based on:

  1. Identifying records;
  2. Access for and security of records;
  3. Retention and Disposal of records; and
  4. Monitoring and evaluation of the records management program.

Identify Records

(11) Requirements for Identifying Records include:

  1. determining and documenting what Records and information are to be created, according to the needs and structure of the University and classify them in accordance with relevant legislation;
  2. identifying and documenting Vital Records; and
  3. identifying and documenting Archives.

Recordkeeping Functionality Requirements for Systems

(12) Recordkeeping Functionality Requirements for Systems include:

  1. specifying when and where Records and information are captured into Records and Information Management systems;
  2. specifying how to organise Records and information to support their requirements for use; and
  3. tracking the movement and use of Records and information.

(13) Records of the university must be captured as soon as practicable in a university recordkeeping system.

(14) Records and Information systems must be reassessed for record keeping compliance if they undergo major upgrades or changes in functionality or content.

Access and Security

(15) University Record Keeping Systems should provide for proper access and security safeguards including:

  1. Control of access to Records so as to:
    1. ensure that Records are available to all authorised staff that require access to them for business purposes; and
    2. regulate Access rights, conditions and restrictions to address privacy, security and freedom of information.
  2. Storing and Preserving Records so as to:
    1. ensure that Records and information are stored in a safe and secure environment;
    2. ensure Vital Records are identified, protected and recoverable when needed; and
    3. establish protocols to preserve and handle Records and information to prevent loss or decay.

Retention and Disposal

(16) University Record Keeping Systems should provide for the proper retention and disposal of Records including:

  1. ensuring that Records and information are maintained only for as long as needed or required;
  2. no records of NSW State Archives should be disposed of unless in accordance with these retention and disposal authorities or Normal Administrative Practice; and
  3. transferring control and ownership of University Archives (records of continuing value) to State Archives and Records Authority of NSW as appropriate.

Monitor and Evaluate

(17) In order to implement and manage the Records Management Program the University will:

  1. Train Staff:
    1. provide records management training and consultancy services to all stakeholders.
  2. Monitor and Evaluate:
    1. monitor compliance with the Act; and
    2. evaluate opportunities for improving the effectiveness, efficiency and quality of the Records Management.
  3. Report:
    1. report on the Records Management System to the appropriate authorities; and
    2. participate in audits by internal and external agencies.


(18) The Vice-Chancellor (VC), as head of the University, is responsible for ensuring the University complies with legislative requirements for Records and Information Management.

(19) The General Counsel as the Vice-Chancellor's delegate is the nominated senior officer responsible for records management, has the responsibility for overseeing compliance with and performance against the University’s Records and Information Management program. The General Counsel  may, as and when required, delegate this authority to another senior officer in accordance with the Delegations of Authority Policy.

(20) The Records and Archives Manager is responsible for developing, implementing and monitoring the Records and Information Management program as well as the University’s Recordkeeping Awareness Program which provides staff with the knowledge and skills required to fulfil their Record and information keeping obligations. The Records and Archives Manager is responsible for providing Record and Information Management advice and support to business units in relation to managing University Records and information and manages the University’s Archive and offsite storage facility.

(21) The Chief Information and Digital Officer (CIDO) is responsible for ensuring that the information technology systems at Macquarie University perform effectively and comply with statutory requirements for Record, information and data keeping functionality (capturing, managing, and protecting Records), including disaster planning / business continuity.

(22) Business System Owners (BSOs) are responsible for ensuring the reliability and continued operation and functionality of business systems that generate and store Records and information, and for ensuring business continuity plans for these systems are in place.

(23) Executive Group (EG) members are responsible for ensuring that the Records and Information Management program aligns with the strategic direction of the University and is actively implemented within their relevant portfolios.

(24) University staff who are in a supervisory capacity are responsible for monitoring and supporting staff to ensure they understand and comply with Records and Information Management policies and procedures. Managers and Supervisors must encourage and support positive Record and information keeping practices within their business areas.

(25) All University staff including casual staff as well as individuals who may perform work on behalf of the University are responsible for ensuring they Access Records and information only relevant to their role, and understand and comply with their Record and information keeping requirements outlined in this Policy and associated procedures, individual position descriptions and in the corporate induction program.

(26) Further guidance information is also provided within:

  1. Appendix 1 Records Retention Guide;
  2. Appendix 2 Records Classification Guide;
  3. Records and Information Management Policy - Student Record; and
  4. Records and Information Management Schedule of Definitions.
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Section 3 - Procedures

(27) Refer to the:

  1. Classification and Capture Procedure;
  2. Access and Security Procedure; and
  3. Retention and Disposal Procedure.
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Section 4 - Guidelines

(28) Nil.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(29) The State Archives and Records Authority of NSW Glossary of Recordkeeping Terms defines terms used in Records Management. The following definitions are drawn from the Glossary of Recordkeeping Terms and will clarify the terms used in this Policy.

(30) Further definitions are set out in the Records and Information Management Schedule of Definitions. The following definitions apply for the purpose of this Policy:

  1. Access means the right, opportunity, means of finding, using or retrieving information. (AS ISO 15489 Part 1 Clause 3.1). The granting of permission to:
    1. use the reference facilities of Archives;
    2. examine and study individual Archives and / or collections held by Archives; and
    3. extract information from Archives and Records for research or publication.
  2. Archive means the whole body of Records of continuing value of an organisation or individual and sometimes called ‘corporate memory’. (AS 4390 Part 1 Clause 4.4). The whole body or group of Records of continuing value of an agency or individual. An accumulation of series or other record items with a common provenance, or of a distinct organisation, body or purpose. Ellis (ed), Keeping Archives, p. 462. This is also known as the Macquarie University Archive and / or the Macquarie University Records Collection.
  3. Archives means those Records that are appraised as having continuing value. (AS 4390 Part 1 Clause 4.5). Traditionally the term has been used to describe Records no longer required for current use which have been selected for permanent preservation. Also referred to as permanent Records. The place (building / room / storage area) where archival material is kept. An organisation (or part of an organisation) responsible for appraising, acquiring, preserving and making available archival material. Ellis (ed), Keeping Archives, p. 463.
  4. Recordkeeping Systems means business information systems capable of capturing, maintaining, and providing Access to Records over time.
  5. Records means information created, received, and maintained as evidence and information by an organisation or person, in pursuance of legal obligations or in the transaction of business. (AS ISO 15489 Part 1 Clause 3.15). Any document or other source of information compiled, recorded or stored in written form or on film, or by electronic process, or in any other manner or by any other means. (The Act)
  6. Records Management means the field of management responsible for the efficient and systematic control of the creation, receipt, maintenance, use and disposition of Records, including processes for capturing and maintaining evidence of and information about business activities and transactions in the form of Records. (AS ISO 15489 Part 1 Clause 3.16)
  7. Records Management Program means a Records Management program that encompasses the management framework, the people and the systems required within an organisation to manage full and accurate Records over time. This includes the identification and protection of Records with longer-term value that may be required as prescribed by State Archives and Records Authority of NSW.
  8. Retention and Disposal Authority means the documents authorised by State Archives and Records Authority of NSW that set out appropriate retention periods for classes of Records.
  9. State Record means any Record made and kept, or received and kept, by any person in the course of the exercise of official functions in a public office, or for any purpose of a public office, or for the use of a public office. State Records Act 1998.
  10. State Archives and Records Authority of NSW (also known as ‘State Records NSW’) means the NSW State Government’s Archives and Records management authority. It manages the NSW State Archives collection and sets the rules and provides guidance on the management of official Records.
  11. University means Macquarie University and where the context permits includes any one or more of the following:
    1. its controlled entities;
    2. any institution affiliated with Macquarie University or any of its controlled entities;
    3. any college; and
    4. any educational institution located on the premises of the University.
  12. University Activities means the activities of the University and the University community including:
    1. teaching, study and research at the University;
    2. the conduct of any academic exercise;
    3. recreational, commercial, disciplinary or ceremonial activities of the University or the University community;
    4. any clinical, professional or practical work, research, workshops, camps or field or vocational placements and any other activities arranged, sponsored, controlled or supervised by the University whether or not it is part of a program or unit of study at the University;
    5. the provision by the University of services to the general community;
    6. the use or enjoyment of any University property or University premises by any person authorised by the University; and
    7. the management or administration of the University.
  13. University Records means any recorded information created, received, used or maintained as evidence of, or information about, the conduct of the University’s Activities. University Records may be created by any staff member of Macquarie University or its controlled entities when undertaking official business and making decisions related to the University’s Activities. University Records can be in any format, including but not limited to, electronic documents, hardcopy letters, email, spreadsheets, legal contracts and agreements, building plans, photographs, audio-visual Records, anything on which there is writing or Braille or images or sound that convey information. These Records include, but are not limited to, student files, staff files, correspondence, business email, administrative files, financial Records and minutes of meetings of University committees or boards. Specific research data Records are excluded.
  14. Vital Record means a Record that is essential for the ongoing business of Macquarie University without which Macquarie University could not continue to function effectively. The identification and protection of such Records is a primary objective of Records Management and business continuity planning.