Division of General Counsel, Governance and Compliance

Records Management Guidance

Records Management Policy & Master Records Retention Schedule


Effective records management is an institutional priority, given how integral record-keeping is to ensuring the University runs as efficiently as possible and meets its various obligations. Without it, the University is likely to waste time and resources and risks reputational damage and non-compliance with important legislative and regulatory requirements.

A record, or records, can be understood as ‘information created, received, and maintained as evidence and information by an organization or person, in pursuance of legal obligations or in the transaction of business.

The University has a Records Management Policy, linked below, which provides more detail about the importance of records management and the principles which underpin good records management, and which lays out individual and institutional responsibilities with regards to records management at the University.

The policy applies to all University records, regardless of how they were created and how they are stored (for example, whether hard copy or digital; held by individuals or in centralised systems), and covers the entire life cycle of records, from creation through to disposal. It is important to familiarise yourself with this policy and to understand how it relates to your day-to-day work.

The Records Management Policy sits alongside an institutional Master Records Retention Schedule. A ‘master record’ is a core University record which has ongoing institutional, authoritative and/or evidential value (for example, a final published version of a policy, but not the working drafts; or audited Financial Statements).

The Master Records Retention Schedule provides specific detail about which records make up the University’s master records, how long these should be retained, and what the recommended disposal action following the end of the retention period is. This schedule has been developed by the Information Management team following a period of consultation with representatives from key areas across the University, to ensure that it factors in specific legal and regulatory requirements and business needs.

If you have a specific query about records management, please check to see if it is answered in the Policy or Schedule. If not, please contact the Information Management team.

Understanding the Master Records Retention Schedule


The schedule is split into broad sections (below), with each section then broken down further to detail specific groups and types of records.

Section 1              General Management and Strategy                        

Section 2              Governance                      

Section 3              Student Administration                

Section 4              Teaching                             

Section 5              Research and Enterprise                              

Section 6              Finance               

Section 7              Human Resources                           

Section 8              Estates and Facilities Management                         

Section 9              Trading and Campus Services                     

Section 10            Communications                             

Section 11            Library                 

Section 12            IT Services                          

Section 13            Health and Safety                           

Section 14            Development and Alumni Relations                        

The ‘subject’ refers to the specific type of master records in question. It is important to consider that some records may be held within different or multiple areas – for example, certain Finance records may be generated and stored within Schools or Professional Services Divisions or Teams rather than centrally within the Finance division.

The ‘retention period’ sets out the length of time for which the records should be kept where they are normally located (e.g. within the School/Division/Team), with the ‘action at end of retention period’ detailing the action to be taken once that initial retention period has elapsed. The Records Management Policy provides more information about the various options considered following the end of the retention period.