Policy Redesign Project

All policies and procedures are being reviewed as part of this project. This document is pending review, but remains in effect until the review is carried out.

Records Management Policy

Establishment: Vice-Chancellor, 7 May 2008
Last Amended: Vice-President (Strategy and Community Engagement), 24 November 2014
Nature of Amendment: Change of Responsible Officer and removal of reference to Vice-President (Strategy and Community Engagement) in clauses 5 and 6.5
Date Last Reviewed: March 2011
Responsible Officer: Head, Policy and Secretariat


This Policy is consistent with the provisions of the South Australian State Records Act 1997 and other legislation containing requirements for the management of official records and with the requirements for management of research data and primary materials set out in the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research.

The State Government of South Australia’s Information Privacy Principles, which regulate the way in which personal information is managed, and the Best Practice Provisions of AS 4390 - Australian Standard for Records Management were also referred to in developing the Policy.

1.  Policy Statement

Flinders University is committed to the responsible management of records to ensure that information is accessible and is properly captured, maintained, stored and disposed of in accordance with legislative and other external requirements.   

2.  Scope

This Policy establishes a framework for the control and management of records throughout the University from their creation to their ultimate disposal or retention as University archives. For the purposes of this Policy, records comprise information in any format, including hard copy and electronic files, emails, data in computer systems, bound volumes, maps, plans, books, registers, forms, photographs, microfilm and microfiche.

3.  Definitions

3.1  Capture – an action which results in the registration of a record into a recordkeeping system.

3.2  Disposal Schedule – a systematic listing of records showing those records which have permanent value and those which can be destroyed after the period specified.

3.3  Non-current records – records which are no longer required for current business but are required to be retained for the minimum period prescribed by disposal schedules.

3.4  Vital Records – those records that are essential for the ongoing business of the University, and without which the University could not continue to function effectively. 

4.  Key Principles

4.1  The University will ensure that appropriate records of the business of the University are kept.

4.2  The University’s records are important and valuable assets of the University and must only be used for University purposes.

4.3  Records must be maintained and stored in a way which ensures they are accessible.

4.4  Records must be disposed of in accordance with the requirements of this Policy.

4.5  Individual staff are responsible for managing records which they create or maintain in the course of their work in accordance with this Policy and any related procedures.

5.  Responsibilities

The following University Officers have specific responsibilities for records management:

The Head (Policy and Secretariat) is responsible for managing university records, including making determinations about Vital Records.

The Manager, University Records - is responsible to the Head (Policy and Secretariat) for:

  • the development of records management policy;
  • provision of recordkeeping advice and assistance to University staff in accordance with records management standards for best practice issued under the State Records Act 1997;
  • the management of non-current records and provision of storage facilities for the preservation and control of records having long term temporary value;
  • the design of records management training programs and provision of records management training to address the roles and responsibilities of University staff under this policy;
  • System administration of the University's electronic document and record management application;
  • the management of the Vital Records Register.

Executive Dean/Portfolio Heads - are responsible for ensuring that the management of records held in the Faculty/Portfolio is undertaken in accordance with this Policy.

Deans of Schools and Heads of Administrative Divisions - are responsible for ensuring that the management of records specifically held in the School or Division is undertaken in accordance with this Policy.

Supervisors – are responsible for ensuring staff under their supervision adequately create, capture, maintain and store records as evidence of University business to meet the needs of the University under this Policy.

System Administrators - are responsible for the integrity, security and continuing operation of systems that generate records.    

6. Management of Records

6.1  Creation and Capture

All staff are required 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 in accordance with this Policy and any related procedures.

6.2  Storage

All records, both current and non-current, must be stored in such a way that they can be accessed and retrieved upon demand.

When determining appropriate storage for non-current records, due consideration must be given to the protection afforded by the storage area, sensitivity of the records, retention period (as determined by Disposal Schedules) and access rate.

In accordance with the State Records Act 1997, all non-current records deemed to have permanent value under the Disposal Schedules will be transferred to State Records to ensure their preservation as State Archives.

6.3  Accessibility and Security

The sensitivity and value of records should be assessed at the time of creation or receipt, preferably by those staff who create or receive the records, so that appropriate arrangements are made for their accessibility and security.

Records must be securely maintained to prevent unauthorised access, alteration or removal. Officers to whom hard-copy files are issued are responsible for their security. An unauthorized person who intentionally damages, alters, disposes or removes an official record commits an offence under the State Records Act 1997.

6.4  Disposal

University records which have no ongoing value and are no longer required for current business purposes must be retained for the minimum period prescribed by the relevant Disposal Schedules.#

When official records are destroyed, documentation referencing the Disposal Schedule entries which authorised the destruction must be kept.

6.5  Vital Records

A Register of Vital Records will be maintained by the University and managed in accordance with this Policy to assist in documenting and protecting the University’s Vital Records.

The Head (Policy and Secretariat) is responsible for determining which records are to be treated as Vital Records.

6.6  Research Data and Primary Materials

The University will adopt principles and procedures for management of research data and primary materials which are consistent with the requirements of the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research.

6.7  Audit

Under the State Records Act 1997, the University’s records and recordkeeping systems are subject to audit by the Office of State Records.

Staff must provide reasonable cooperation and assistance to State Records auditors in the conduct of these audits and to the Manager, Records and Archives in connection with these audits and in the conduct of record surveys.

7.  Related Procedures and Information

The University may establish procedures and guidelines to facilitate the management of records in accordance with this Policy.
  # General Disposal Schedule No. 24 (GDS24) - for operational records relating to South Australian Universities

General Disposal Schedule No. 30 (GDS30) - for administrative records common to State Government Agencies

General Disposal Schedule No. 21 - for Digitised Records