Keeping records

  • It is advisable to make a brief note of every meeting with your advisees. When making notes, you should include as a minimum:

    • date and time
    • type of meeting
    • any actions for the adviser or advisee

    A word about making notes

    You may like to include further notes on what has been discussed, particularly if significant or contentions matters arise. A record is particularly important when advice has been give about a student's academic choices or the impact of regulations on their programme.
    It is important that the advisee agree with you the record held on the system. Advisees can comment on the contact record in the My Advisees facility. Records stay with the student, so be aware that contact records follow them.

    The Data Protection Act 1998 requires that all personal information, whether recorded on paper or held in a computer file, must be kept securely. Records should only be kept for as long as they are needed and must be disposed of securely. The Moodle facility assures this. Do not put paper records in a recycling box or waste-basket unless they have been shredded.

    Academic advisor conversations are by default confidential. You should clarify with the students the confidential nature of the meeting and the limits of confidentiality. Sometimes an academic adviser will need to disclose details to another person that is better placed to help. This might be because an adviser has concerns about the wellbeing of the student (or others), the student has a disclosed condition, or the adviser suspects a criminal offence. It is preferable to come to an agreement with your advisee about the sharing of information in these circumstances. Often students will expect relevant information related to their learning to be shared with Module Leads. Where such agreement has been difficult to reach, it is wise to confirm this in writing. Advisers need to balance the right to confidentiality against other obligations and should not hesitate to consult a senior colleague if in doubt. (Adapted from the University of Plymouth guidance.)