Introduction to University records

What is a record?

A University record is information, in any format (eg, electronic, paper, image etc) created or received by staff in the course of conducting their University duties.

What is a record? (2 min video)

If you are unsure whether something is a University record, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does it relate to work?
  • Did I write it?
  • Do I need to action this?
  • Is this external correspondence (in or out)?
  • Does this support or document a business transaction?
  • Has the record been used to create other records?
  • Is the record I hold the original record?

If you answer yes to any of these questions, it is a University record that must be kept and managed in accordance with University and legislative requirements.

Record vs non-record

University record

Non-record

  • Policies/processes
  • Business unit planning documents
  • Internal/external advice and reports
  • Interactions between staff and students
  • Research reports and data
  • Legal agreements
  • Authorisations and approvals
  • Individual notes that inform high level decision making
  • Emails between team members making plans for lunch
  • Marketing received from vendors
  • Professional association subscriptions
  • Publicly available information (eg, copies of legislation)

Are drafts and reference material a University record?

Yes. Any document created in the course of conducting University business is considered a record, even if they only need to be kept for a very short time. These documents might include:

  • Drafts
  • Transitory messages of short-term value
  • Rough notes

    Who is responsible for managing University records?

    All University staff share a responsibility for records management, including:

    • Creating, capturing, managing and disposing of records
    • Protecting personal and confidential information when accessing University records

    University and legislative requirements

    The University (including its subsidiaries) is considered a public agency in Victoria and is therefore subject to the Public Records Act 1973 (Vic). University staff are considered public officers under this act.

    This legislation is supplemented by Public Record Office Victoria’s Standards and the following University policy:

    Records Management Policy (MPF1106)

    The policy, together with advice and guidance on this website have been developed to support good records management practice and help ensure that the University is meeting legislative requirements.

    Other related University policies and resources

    Further information

    If you require further information or advice, please contact Records & Information: records-info@unimelb.edu.au