Records Management Policy

Oxford Brookes University recognises that efficient management of its records is necessary, to support its core functions, to comply with legal and regulatory requirements and to ensure the effective overall management of the institution.

This document provides the framework through which this effective management can be achieved.

Scope of the Policy

This policy applies to all records created, received or maintained by staff of the university in the course of carrying out their work. Records and documentation created in the course of research, however funded, are also subject to contractual record-keeping requirements.


a) A record is a document in any format that facilitates the business carried out by the University and which is thereafter retained (for a set period) to provide evidence of its transactions, activities or intentions. A record can be in any format for instance a digital document, an e-mail conversation, a printed document or a video recording.

b) The University's records relate to any of its activities whether academic or administrative.
These records are the property of the University and are subject to its overall control and will be created, maintained, processed and disposed of in accordance with its policies, procedures and guidelines.

c) Records Management is defined as a field of management responsible for the efficient and systematic control of the creation, receipt, maintenance, use and disposal of records, including processes for capturing and maintaining evidence of and information about business activities and transactions in the form of records. (BS ISO 15489: 2001 Records Management.)

d) A small percentage of the University's records will be selected for permanent or long-term preservation as part of the University's Archives, for historical research and as an enduring record of the conduct of the University's functions and business.

Key Aims

The effective management of the University's records is essential for the University to:

  1. conduct itself in an efficient and accountable manner,
  2. deliver consistent and equitable services to its students and staff and to the community,
  3. support and document policy formulation and managerial decision-making,
  4. provide business continuity in the event of a disaster,
  5. meet legislative and regulatory requirements,
  6. provide protection and support in litigation and in the management of risks,
  7. protect the interests of the organisation and the rights of employees, students, clients and other stakeholders now and in the future,
  8. support and document current and future research and developments and achievements as well as historical research.


a) Records will be retained and disposed of in accordance with the Records Retention Schedule. Thus records will be retained for as long as (and no longer than) they are needed for legal, operational or historical purposes.

b) Records will be appropriately accessible and retrievable

c) Records retained will be accurate, timely and version controlled

d) Records essential for business continuity in the event of a disaster will be identified and measures taken to ensure their survival.

e) Records that are no longer current but need to be retained are stored in a way that ensures efficient use of time, money, people and space.

f) Duplication will be avoided wherever possible, and steps taken to identify and eliminate duplication before the records are stored.

g) Records worthy of permanent preservation will be transferred to the University Archive.

h) Disposal of records will be authorised and secure. A Certificate of Destruction will be required.


a) The University has a corporate responsibility to maintain its records and record-keeping in accordance with the regulatory environment, subject to the University's responsibility to make knowledge available in the public domain. The person with overall responsibility for this policy is the University Registrar.

b) The University Records Manager is responsible for drawing up guidance for good records management practice and promoting compliance with the policy in such a way as to ensure the easy, appropriate and timely retrieval of information.

c) The Dean or Director is responsible for ensuring that records created, received and controlled within their areas of activity are managed in accordance with the policy and procedures.

d) Individual staff members are responsible for ensuring that the records within their control are complete and accurate and that they are managed and disposed of in accordance with the University's records management procedures. They are also responsible for ensuring records are passed on to a responsible person when their contract of employment with Oxford Brookes University ends.

Status of this Policy

This policy was approved by the Executive Board on: 12th April 2010.
It may be updated with the approval of the University Registrar.

The Retention Schedule may be updated by the Records Manager.


Guidance on the procedures necessary to comply with this policy is available from the Records Manager.
A Records Management user network will be set up. This group will assist and advise the Records Manager to ensure the system is working properly and is as user-friendly as possible.


Compliance with this policy will in turn facilitate compliance not only with information-related legislation but also with other legislation or regulations (including audit, equal opportunities and research ethics) affecting the institution.