Information Governance Services

University Policy on: Records Management

Policy No.
Information Management
Authoring Organisational Unit
Information Governance Team - SPP Central Unit
Date Approved
01/06/2007 Revised 11/05/2020
Next Review Date
Approving Body
Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor

The University of Western Australia

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Information Retention Policy

Overtype Policy Name with the name of the policy. This must convey specifically, accurately and succinctly what the policy addresses eg Award of Honours, Study Leave.

1 Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to:

1.1 express the Information Retention practices;

1.2 support consistency in recordkeeping across the University;

1.3 contribute to the effective flow and re-use of University Information; and

1.4 contribute to providing world-class education, research and community engagement for the advancement of the prosperity and welfare of our communities.


In this policy:



Institutional Scope

Individual Scope

Information Retention

Delegation of Authority for Records Management


University Recordkeeping

University Archives

Vital Records

Creation and Control of Records

Systems of Record

Security and Protection of Records

Retention and Disposal of Records

Disposal of Non-Records.


This policy is to be read in conjunction with the following:

UWA Recordkeeping Plan 2018;

Western Australian University Sector Disposal Authority SD2011011;

State Records Office of WA General Disposal Authority;

State Records Commission Principles and Standards; and

UWA Information Governance Framework.


2 Scope

2.1 Institutional Scope

The scope of this Policy applies to the entire University.


2.2 Individual Scope

The scope of this Policy applies to the entire University Community.


3 Information Retention

Information Retention means the collection, management and retention of University Information and Records for as long as required in accordance with relevant statutory and University requirements.


4 Delegation of Authority for Records Management

The Vice-Chancellor acting on behalf of the Information Owner will provide Delegation of Authority for Records Management to the University Archivist.


5 Records

Record means any information created, received and maintained as evidence and information by an organisation or person, in fulfilment of legal obligations or in the transaction of business (ISO 15489-1:2001).


University Record means a Record created or received by the University or by an Employee in the course of their work for the University.


A Non-Record means any recorded information that:

- does not document University Activity;

- is not required to be retained once reference ceases;

- has no business or historical value; and/or

- is not subject to retention beyond the purpose for which they are created.


Non-Records may include but are not limited to:

- duplicates of documents retained for local reference purposes only;

- copies of excerpts of documents used for the preparation of other documents;

- personal correspondence;

- externally generated publications, reports, surveys or statistics;

- unsolicited marketing material including junk mail, spam, product or service brochures and catalogues; and/or

- telephone message notes, to-do lists, reminders, meeting notices and routine messages.


6 University Recordkeeping

The University must:

- manage University Records in accordance with the State Records Act 2000 (WA);

- have an approved Recordkeeping Plan;

- review and submit a refreshed Recordkeeping Plan every five years; and

- include a statement of compliance with the Recordkeeping Plan each year in the University Annual Report.


All Employees must complete Recordkeeping Awareness Training.


6.1 University Archives

University Archives means the collection of University Records identified as being Archival Records.


Archival Records means records identified as having permanent value and warranting preservation.


The University will provide for the identification, storage and preservation of, and public access to University Archives conforming to relevant legislation and State Records Commission Standard 7.


The University will adhere to Part 6 of the State Records Act 2000 (WA) to provide restriction of certain categories of State Archives as a Restricted Access Archive.


Restricted Access Archive means a category of State Archives to which public access is restricted until a period of time has passed as designated by Part 6 of the State Records Act, 2000 (WA).


The University Archives business unit within the University Library will be the Information Custodian of University Archives responsible for the University Archives:

- identification;

- storage;

- preservation; and

- access.


6.2 Vital Records

Vital Record means University Records identified as critical to University operations and any loss may cause irreparable harm to the ongoing functioning of the University.


The University will develop and manage a Vital Records Register.


7 Creation and Control of Records

Information Users must ensure that:

- University Records are created, captured, retained and properly disposed of in accordance with the Recordkeeping Plan;

- Metadata is captured;

- University Records must be captured and managed in an identified System of Record;

- University Records are to be valued as an institutional asset and University Property; and

- Non-Records captured in University Systems are not to be retained indefinitely.


Metadata means data that provides information about other data, including but not restricted to:

- descriptive;

- structural;

- administrative; and/or

- reference.


Information Stewards must ensure adequate guidance is provided through process and work instructions to ensure the creation and control of records for their designated information type.


Information Custodians must monitor the creation and control of records in accordance with the guidance provided for their designated information type.


8 Systems of Record

System of Record means a University Information Management System identified as the source of truth for a specified type (set or subset) of University Records.


University Records must be retained and managed within that System of Record for the life of that System of Record or until disposal of those University Records.


The University will declare a Systems of Record as the source of truth for a specified type (set or subset) of University Records, in accordance with the practice of managing Records in Place.


Records in Place means the practice of managing records within the system they were created in, rather than actively moving them to an Electronic Document Records Management System (EDRMS).


A System of Record must have an identified Business System Owner.


A Business System Owner must ensure their System of Record has:

- adequate record management capabilities to support the lifecycle of University Records contained for as long as they are required to be retained for statutory purposes;

- adequate business controls including, but not limited to, guidelines, processes, and work instructions;

- undertaken a risk assessment under the guidance from the Governance Directorate and are included in the Records Disaster Recovery Plan; and

- periodic checks on the backup media used to store electronic University Records for accessibility and readability.


All Information Users must:

- capture and manage University Records within an identified System of Record;

- not duplicate University Information where access to a System of Record is available; and

- move Non-Records to an appropriate System of Record if they become University Records.


9 Security and Protection of Records

Access to University Records will be managed in accordance with the Information Protection Policy.


Information Users involved in the issuing, approving or management of outsourced contractual arrangements must include the University Standard Record Keeping Clause in all new outsourced contractual arrangements, in accordance with State Records Commission Standard 6.


The University must provide public access to University Records in accordance with relevant statutory requirements, its Policies and agreements for Open Data.


Open Data means data that is free to use, reuse and redistribute, subject only, at most to the requirement to attribute and share-alike.


All Information Users must store electronic University Records that require long-term retention in a format appropriate for long-term storage as directed by Records Management Services.


10 Retention and Disposal of Records

The University must retain University Records for as long as required in accordance with relevant statutory and business requirements, including but not limited to:

- Western Australian University Sector Disposal Authority;

- State Records Office of WA General Disposal Authority for State Government Information; and

- General Disposal Authority for Source Records.


The University must only dispose of University Records in accordance with the applicable Record Disposal Authority.


Records Disposal means the range of processes associated with implementing appraisal decisions. These include the retention, deletion or destruction of records in or from recordkeeping systems and may include the migration or transmission of records between recordkeeping systems, and the transfer of custody or ownership of records.


Record Disposal Authority means a document (legal instrument) setting out the retention and disposition requirements of records and authorising their disposal.


Information Users must not destroy a University Record or transfer to University Archives unless authorised by:

- the relevant Information Steward; and

- the Information Owner.


Information Stewards must ensure adequate controls (e.g. processes, procedures and guidance) are developed and approved by Record Management Services for the retention and disposition of their designated information types.


Information Custodians must manage and monitor the retention and disposition of their designated information types in accordance with these controls.


10.1 Disposal of Non-Records

The University will dispose of Non-Records according to their evidential, administrative and research value in accordance with relevant internal documented processes and procedures currently under development.


The Information Users will dispose of Non-Records once reference ceases to inhibit the growth of redundant, obsolete and trivial University Information.



Breach of Policy

Failure to comply with this policy by a member of the University Community may be considered a breach of the Code of Conduct and Code of Ethics and may result in disciplinary action.




Affiliates means incorporated or unincorporated bodies that are legally recognised as outside the control of Senate but are under the influence of University Employees and/or predominately employ University Employees via a University Enterprise or common law employment contract.


Archival Record is defined in section 6.1


Business System Owner is defined in the Information Protection Policy.


Employee means an individual employed by the University under a:

- University of Western Australia Academic Employees Agreement;

- University of Western Australia Professional and General Employees Agreement; or

- common law employment agreement.


Information Custodian is defined in the Information Protection Policy.


Information Owner is defined in the Information Protection Policy.


Information Retention is defined in section 3


Information Steward is defined in the Information Protection Policy.


Information User is defined in the Information Protection Policy.


Metadata is defined in section 7


Non-Record is defined in section 5


Open Data is defined in section 9


Record Disposal Authority is defined in section 10


Record is defined in section 5


Records Disposal is defined in section 10


Records in Place is defined in section 8


Restricted Access Archive is defined in section 6.1


System of Record (SoR) is defined in section 8


University is defined Part 1 section 2 of the University of Western Australia 1911 (WA) and does not include Affiliates.


University Activity means engaging in study, work, recreation, other activities and services, and the performance of official duties for the University regardless of the location.


University Archives is defined in section 6.1


University Community means all individuals who engage in University Activity and/or use University Property.


University Information is defined the Information Protection Policy.


University Information Management System is defined in section 8


University Property means tangible and non-tangible things, belonging to, or contracted to the University or members of the University Community, including campuses, facilities and services.


University Record is defined in section 5


Vital Record is defined in section 6.2

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This policy defines the nature and purpose of study leave provisions for academic staff and sets out eligibility criteria and other conditions that apply.

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This policy seeks to rationalise the award of honours across the University by addressing such issues as: entry standards, course content and structure, supervision, assessment, examination, grades, classifications, benchmarking and the maintenance and provision of documentation relating to these matters. It is based on resolutions of the Academic Board flowing from the 1999 report of the Honours Working Party.


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Related Policies or legislation:


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