University Records Policy


The creation and proper management of records is central to the success of the University's learning, teaching, research and administration activities. As a publicly funded institution, the University must maintain a reliable "institutional memory", produce evidence of its activities and decision making, and retain an authentic record of its contributions to education, research, academic pursuits and the wider community.

The University is also required to produce evidence of its activities to external regulators, internal auditors, accreditation and funding bodies. Adherence to this Policy will assist the University to meet this requirement.

University records evince the University's history, organisation and operations and they are the property of the University and not of the officers, faculty members, research students or employees who create them, or to whom they are entrusted.

This Policy affirms the University's commitment to compliance with mandatory laws and codes relating to record keeping and data management (including the State Records Act 1997 and the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research), and articulates the responsibilities of all staff and research students with respect to the creation and maintenance of University records.

This Policy also embodies the best practice recordkeeping standards as articulated in Australian Standards AS ISO 15489.

Scope and Application

This Policy applies to all staff and volunteers of the University of Adelaide, and all titleholders, visitors, adjuncts or affiliates, and all research students who create or receive records on behalf of the University or in the course of their University affiliation.

Research data created in the course of any research activity hosted by the University is also subject to this Policy, while taking into account any third party agreements and relevant contractual arrangements.

This Policy also applies to the management of records by Adelaide Research and Innovation Pty Ltd (ARI Pty Ltd).

Policy Principles

1. Any digital (both born digital and digitised) or hardcopy record generated as a result of University activities is an official record under the State Records Act 1997 (in this Policy referred to as a 'University record') and must be maintained in good order and condition.

2. Executive managers and Heads of School/Branch must ensure that records are created, captured and effectively managed to ensure that the activities and functions of their areas are adequately represented within the University's recordkeeping system and institutional memory.

3. Where University records are born digital or retained digitally, the system that holds the records must be either the University's dedicated records management system, a business system that is linked to it, or a business system (or data storage and management system) with recordkeeping functionality.

4. Research records, including data, created as a result of the conduct of research must be managed in a manner consistent with this Policy, the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research and any ethics requirements relating to the particular research project.

5. University records, once created and captured, must not be damaged, altered or destroyed other than in accordance with General Disposal Schedules No 24 - South Australian Universities or an alternative Disposal Schedule, and with authorisation from the University Archivist or delegate in consultation with relevant business owners.

6. To the extent that University records are mobile and may be taken off-site in certain circumstances, staff and research students do so knowing that they must be managed off-site in accordance with this Policy.

7. The permanent removal of University records from University custody or control must be authorised by the University Archivist or delegate, on the endorsement of the Head of Branch or Head of School. In the case of research data, there must be a formal agreement with a researcher's new institution affirming an intention to curate these records.

8. Original signed agreements, leases, licenses and any other legal document between parties that evidence the obligations and rights of the parties, including those of the University are vital records. All legal documents must be captured in the University's record's management system.



Authority Category


Delegation Holder


Records Management

Records Management

Compliance with the State Records Act 1997

Vice-Chancellor & President

Records Management

Implementation and monitoring of records standards and authorisation for the destruction of records

University Archivist


1. University Records Management Program

Responsibility: University Archivist

a. Establish records management procedures to support best practice standards.

b. Administer the University electronic recordkeeping system;

c. Develop and implement records disposal schedules to ensure University records are disposed of in accordance with legislative requirements.

d. Provide support and training to University staff to allow for compliant management and disposal of University records; and

e. Provide public access to University records within the constraints of security, confidentiality, privacy and archival access conditions.

2. Recordkeeping Practices

Responsibility: All employees, titleholders, consultants, contractors and volunteers of the University must

a. Create records that adequately document the activities and decisions of the University in which they take part, whether related to learning and teaching, research, commercialisation or administration;

b. Capture important business records into the University recordkeeping system or an alternative business system with functionality to retain records in a secure manner for as long as they are legally required;

c. Take appropriate steps to ensure the reliability of University records and ensure records can be located;

d. Manage security of University records or restrict access if appropriate;

e. Ensure records are described adequately to allow the University to store, dispose and/or archive them in accordance with academic, business and legal requirements; and

f. Comply with legal requirements and standards including the State Records Act 1997, State Records Adequate Records Management Standards and the Australian Standard AS ISO 15489, as well as the University's procedures and processes in relation to records management.


University Records

A University record is recorded information or data in any form that is created or received by the University in the conduct of its affairs, transaction of its business functions or resulting from research activities, and retained as evidence of that activity. This incorporates both hardcopy documents and electronic records, including emails sent or received in the course of University activities. Whether a document is a University record is determined by its purpose of creation or receipt, not its place of storage; therefore it may include electronic records whether they are stored on the University server or on portable storage devices, and may include hardcopy records stored on or offsite.

Date uploaded 16 June 2014

This document is a component of University Records Policy

Policy Control Information

RMO File No. 2012/9604
Policy custodian Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Academic)
Responsible policy officer University Librarian
Endorsed by Vice-Chancellors Executive
Approved by Vice-Chancellor and President
Related legislation State Records Act 1997

State Records Adelaide Records Management Standards

Australian Standard AS ISO 15489

Superceded Policies Records Management Policy
Effective from 12 June 2014
Review Date 11 December 2017
Contact for queries about the policy University Librarian, Ms Teresa Chitty, tel 8313 5700

Printed copies of these documents may not be up to date. Please refer to the University Policy and Procedures website for the latest version.