The Records Management Policy (Policy) requires all staff to keep appropriate and accurate records, which document decisions and actions for which the University may be held accountable, and to incorporate those records into University recordkeeping systems. The University has adopted an electronic document and records management application (RMS) as its official recordkeeping system.
The Policy should be read in conjunction with these Rules, which are issued to provide guidance to end users of the RMS on a standardised approach to managing the University’s official documents and correspondence within the RMS.
This field in the RMS denotes the signatory of a letter/memo or sender of an email.
Containers relate to objects into which records may be deposited eg files containing documents and archive boxes containing files.
This is a person who saves a document or record in the RMS. If you compose a document and then save to the RMS you will be author and creator. However if you save a received email in the RMS, you will be the creator and the sender of the email will be the author. The RMS will automatically capture the creator details.
Disposal Schedules identify records which have permanent retention value and authorise the legal destruction of other records, regardless of format, once the minimum retention period has expired.
The term ‘document’ in the RMS is used to describe recorded information created, edited and stored by an end user prior to being finalised as a ‘record’, for example emails, word documents, PowerPoint presentations, PDFs, TIFFs, etc.
The File Plan is a hierarchical classification of records by Function/Activity/Record Class. It provides a representation of the business of the University. The File Plan may be used as an additional search tool to locate all files with related subject matter grouped according to their Record Class.
Locations can be people, organisational units or groups. They are used to track the location of files and to apply access control for security on sensitive records. RMS users will encounter locations when saving electronic records, undertaking file movements and viewing records in a search results screen.
This is information about documents or records. It may be generated by the RMS when a document is created or it may require some user input, for example, the metadata for a word document may include title, author, and date created etc.
Offline Records is an RMS Tray where records or draft documents can be stored or edited without changes being committed to the RMS database until the user checks in the document.
A record is a document created or received and maintained in the conduct of University business.
The RMS provides the capability for document format conversion (rendering) to TIFF or PDF to prepare documents for publication and to maintain long term usability. Both the original and rendered document are stored as a record. Files which have permanent retention value will be rendered to PDF prior to archiving.
Any editing of a current document will automatically create a new revision of that document. The RMS will always display the latest revision by default, with other revisions saved as separate pages behind the latest entry.
Security Caveats/Levels/Access Controls
For security related definitions, refer to the RMS Security Model which can be downloaded at the following link.
The ‘User Stamp’ is used in the RMS Notes field to indicate the time and login details of the person who made the notes entry. It is mandatory to use this when adding a note to records in the RMS.
A version is a major variation to an existing document, such that the previous version is superseded and saved as a separate document withinthe RMS. Once a new version is created, the previous version cannot be revised.
For the purpose of this document, references to the Vice-Chancellor’s office means the administrative divisions and units within the structural listing at the following link .
Individuals who have access to the RMS are automatically logged onto the system as an inquiry user, end user, information worker or administrator. They have a specific user profile that determines which tasks they are able to carry out within the system. An individual’s profile will be determined when their account is created, and amended as necessary by the System Administrator.
Inquiry users have view only access to the system eg. to view the content of student files.
The majority of RMS users will be categorised as an ‘end user’ and will have the capacity to:
- Open and read all documents and files to which they have access within the file plan (refer RMS Security Guidelines for the security model)
- Create, save and edit those documents
- Search for documents
- Finalise documents as a corporate record
Some end users in areas such as the Research Services Office and Student Administration and Systems are also able to create specific categories of files such as research project files and student files.
This category applies to staff in the Central Records Office who perform routine records management tasks within the RMS including the monitoring of naming conventions and the classification of documents.
Activities associated with this role would typically include:
- Creation of ‘Locations’ (internal staff)
- Security management
- System configuration
- File plan management
- Disposal Scheduling management
All Executive Officers and Executive Assistants to the Senior Executive have access within the RMS to view and action, if appropriate, any item referred within the RMS to the relevant Senior Executive officer. Other officers may arrange delegation access by request to the System Administrator. Please be aware that delegation will mean that the delegate will inherit all the security permissions from the senior appointment to access information within the RMS.
The use of out-of-office email advice may be sufficient to redirect correspondence to other appointments in times of absence.
The Manager, University Records is accountable to the Vice-President (Strategy and Community Engagement) through the Head, Policy and Secretariat for the integrity, security and ongoing operation of the University’s corporate records management system (RMS), and the provision of associated advice and training, in accordance with the Records Management Policy. Individual managers are responsible for ensuring that RMS recordkeeping meets the requirements of these rules in their respective business areas. They should ensure that users are adequately trained in the records management system.
It is the responsibility of every RMS user to ensure that the work they carry out on behalf of the University is correctly saved and maintained within the RMS.
More specifically, RMS users are responsible for:
- Titling documents and records in accordance with the naming guidelines to ensure they can be retrieved easily by all users
- Capturing all records, including email, which authentically document the University’s business activities
- Declaring documents as records (finalising)
- Ensuring records are consistent, accurate, reliable and complete
- Applying security controls to records where appropriate
The University’s BCS is a high-level conceptual representation of the University’s business. It documents, in a hierarchical structure, all business functions and the activities associated with those functions. This structure is mirrored in the File Plan for classifying University records.
A functional approach to records management means that records are classified by linking them to their business context rather than by subject or an organizational structure, which is subject to change. Classifying records by function rather than by subject is promoted as ‘best practice’ by State Records of SA.
Signed legal documents and items which have not been scanned, such as thick publications and CDs, will be placed on hard-copy files that mirror the number and title of the electronic RMS file. Hard-copy inwards correspondence received by Central Records will be placed on these files after scanning. If a document has not been scanned completely (e.g. cover only), an icon within the electronic file will indicate that the document exists in hard-copy only.
Record types are a way to group like items. A record type is visually distinguished by its icon (shape and colour). It also differs by its numbering pattern, its access requirements or the metadata collected against the records it represents. The range of record types visible to users will be dependent on their access profiles. Using ‘Record Types’ as a way of structuring the RMS provides the following advantages:
- Each type of record will have an associated template for saving documents to ensure consistency of data input
- The most significant advantage will be a quicker return of search results if a search employs a Record Type rather than using a key word on its own.
The following Records Types are available for use within the RMS:
- Corporate Document
- Corporate File
- CRH Document
- CRH File
- Legacy Contracts Register
- Legal Document
- Professional Accreditation Document
- Professional Accreditation File
- Remission Document
- Remission File
- Research Project Document
- Research Project File
- Research Project Subfolder
- RMS Legacy Document
- RMS Legacy File
- Salary Packaging Document
- Salary Packaging File
- Scholarship Document
- Scholarship File
- Student Card
- Student Card File
- Student Document
- Student File
- Student Sponsor Document
- Student Sponsor File
Your access profile may be such that some files and the documents they contain do not appear in a search. After searching the RMS and checking with the Central Records Office that a suitable file does not exist, users may request, via the RMS email , that a new file be raised. The request should contain sufficient contextual information to enable staff in Central Records to correctly classify the file in accordance with the File Plan. Alternatively, the relevant Function and Activity within the File Plan which best describe the new subject matter could be supplied. In addition, a suggested title and if applicable, the necessary access restrictions will also be required. The new file request should be completed by the Section Head or delegate.
Official University records contained within the RMS must be considered reliable. Fundamental to issues surrounding reliability is the notion that records must be inviolate. This means that no information on a record may be altered, deleted or lost once the transaction it documents has occurred. However, if a deletion or amendment to a finalised document is required prior to its despatch then a work request should be submitted via the RMS Email. The RMS System Administrator will then either delete the document or reverse finalisation of the document if an amendment is required.
RMS files and the documents they contain will be reviewed for possible destruction once the minimum retention period has expired in accordance with the relevant disposal schedules. This is carried out after consulting relevant stakeholders and with the subsequent approval of State Records. The disposal of official records is managed by the Manager, University Records.
It is common practice to adopt a standardised approach to summarising the content of documents to assist in their subsequent retrieval. While lengthy titles should be avoided, document titles must contain sufficient information to summarise the content without having to open the document. For many documents the use of a few key words separated by hyphens (spaces before and after) would be adequate eg Safework SA – Safe Work Awards 2014. There is no need to repeat a file title when registering a document where the title is specific eg for a committee file ‘Minutes 13 June 2014 would suffice.
In addition to the Title field and depending on the Record Type, completion of the following fields may be compulsory when registering documents:
Date Created – This should be the date on the document. If the document has been scanned, the date may need to be adjusted as the RMS will automatically show the date scanned.
File Reference – If you do not know the file number use the KwikSelect button to search for the file or seek guidance from Central Records (central.records).
A document should be finalised as a record within the RMS when it is completed and is required as evidence of a business activity. Once finalised the content of a record is secured so that it cannot be edited or deleted. Scanned PDF documents eg a signed letter should be finalised prior to despatch.
The following guidelines apply to emails which have ongoing value as evidence of University business activities and therefore need to be registered into the RMS.
- If you are the first named recipient of an email originating from outside the University it is your responsibility to ensure that it is registered into the RMS.
- If you are the sender of an email relating to University business it is your responsibility to ensure that the document is registered into the RMS.
- If you are the first named recipient of an internal email that has ongoing value it is your responsibility to ensure that it is registered into the RMS.
- If you expect there to be ongoing exchanges regarding an issue, the email exchanges may be saved into the RMS as decisions are made or at the conclusion of the exchanges, so that all business information is captured.
Student e-mail, must be forwarded or cc’d to student.file. Enrolment Services will register the emails into the RMS student file.
All mail for the Vice-Chancellor’s office, which includes mail for all administrative divisions and units within the portfolio areas of the Senior Executive, is opened in the Central Records Office, other than mail marked ‘Personal’ or ‘Private’ and particular exemptions approved by Heads of Division.
Mail marked ‘Personal’ or ‘Private’ is delivered unopened to the addressee. If it contains information that should be on file, the officer should return it to the Central Records Office for registration and subsequent referral to the officer within the RMS. This procedure also applies to hard-copy correspondence which has been hand delivered from Faculties/Schools and the Library as well as mail received directly by courier.
Incoming mail is stamped with the date and time of receipt, scanned, registered and sent within the RMS to the addressee. The hard-copy source document is retained on the RMS paper file. Unsolicited promotional material will not be scanned unless it is subsequently identified that the material has ongoing value.
All documents that have been generated electronically will be required to adhere to standard file naming conventions with the Student ID, followed by a brief clear description of the file contents (e.g. 9501234 Show cause.doc).
All student related e-mail must be cc’d to student.file. Any hard copy student related correspondence or document must be scanned and e-mailed to student file. Enrolment Services will register the documents into the RMS student file. After scanning, the hard-copy source documents must be retained and archived at regular intervals (contact Archivist on Ext 12884).
All outgoing mail should include the date and reference the RMS file number. Where applicable, email correspondence should also include the RMS reference.
External to University
It is the responsibility of the officer who originates an outgoing letter to print the letter for signature and if it is to be signed by another officer, to refer it on a Central Records manila folder for this purpose to the signing officer. The manila folder will have provision on the cover to indicate the officer to whom the signed letter is to be returned for despatch. The despatching officer is responsible for ensuring that the signed letter and any attachments are scanned and registered into the RMS prior to despatch.
In general, internal mail should be referred to the addressee using RMS workflow; or by email message with a hyperlink to the letter/document in the RMS , and/or as an attached file (if the addressee is a non-RMS user). If it is deemed that the correspondence must be sent in hard copy, the rules in the above paragraph will apply.
The following procedures apply to the execution and registration of legal documents.
1. The legal document should be accompanied by a completed Report on Entry into Contract (ROEC) form Report of Entry into Contract (DOCX 32KB) and referred to a relevant officer (as listed at Appendix A to the Policy on Delegations of Authority to Enter into Contracts) for signing. The documents should be presented securely, eg in a manila folder, with a clear instruction as to whom the documents should be returned for processing post signature. Manila 'signing' folders with provision on the cover to indicate the officers to whom the documents are to be sent and returned to for processing are available from Central Records.
2. It is the responsibility of the business owner of the contract to ensure that:
a. the signed ROEC, any supporting documentation and the signed legal document is scanned and registered in the record management system; and
b. if the legal document needs to be referred to another party or parties for signing, the partially executed legal document is scanned and registered in the record management system prior to despatch to the other party/ies; and
c. the legal document is tracked and a fully executed original returned to the University; and
d. the original fully executed legal document is scanned and registered in the record management system (see clause 5); and
e. the original fully executed legal document is forwarded to Central Records for retention. Staff in Central Records will register the fully executed document, if this has not already been done.
3. A legal document must be registered in the records management system as a legal document type with the following titling convention:
[Legal document type/purpose] – [Other party (first listed or other suitable descriptor, if more than one] – [any additional text considered necessary to distinguish the document] – [Document status eg [partially executed, fully executed] – [with ROEC (if applicable)]
Example: Services – Alphawest – record management system support – partially executed – with ROEC
4. Within the legal document type, add the details of the other party or parties by using the ‘Other parties’ tab along the bar at the top of the registration screen.
5. When registering a fully executed legal document for which there is an existing ROEC and partially executed legal document, search for the existing document and replace it with the fully executed version using the ‘Making Revisions to a Document’ facility. In the Properties screen, update the ‘title’, agreement status’ and ‘date created/fully executed’ fields. The replaced document will be kept. Use the ‘Revisions’ tab at the top of the Properties screen to view previous documents.
6. The ROEC, if not scanned and registered together with the legal document, can also be kept with the legal document by using the ‘Making Revisions to a Document’ facility, as above.
7. Use the Related Record tab to link a legal document with associated correspondence.
Committee minutes and agenda of Council and its Standing committees are now maintained electronically and will be archived in that format as the definitive record of proceedings.
Other committee records may be maintained either in electronic or hard copy form. As a guide, if most of the agenda papers are electronic documents and the agenda is distributed electronically, then the committee records should be maintained electronically within the RMS. An RMS file will be raised for both formats with the hard copy icon in the RMS file indicating the official record is maintained in hard copy.
The Secretaries of the following major committees should prepare extracts from the minutes of meetings and any relevant papers for inclusion in RMS subject files:
- Academic Senate
- Audit Committee
- Finance and Investment Committee
- Governance Committee
- Strategic Marketing Committee
- Strategic Resources Committee
Secretaries to other University committees should prepare minute extracts in relation to significant policy or procedural matters only when it is clear that these matters will not appear subsequently in the minutes of any of the major committees listed above.
Extracts should be forwarded via email to the Central Records Office (central.records) for inclusion in the relevant subject files.
LG: KJ 25/3/11;
Updated 13/4/11; 6/7/11 (list of record types); 8/7/11 (section17) 20/2/12 (sections 3 & 7); May 2014 (general review; replaced section 17)