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Records Management

Hack your records! 10 simple steps for better records management

17 February 2017

This post is based on a hand-out produced for staff at Cardiff University and was available during the recent Staff Speak Week. As such, it is primarily aimed at Cardiff University Staff and so contains links to internal guidance and procedures. We hope you find something useful!


By managing your records well, you can benefit from easily accessible information, reliable records and a more organised working environment, as well as avoiding risks associated with information security and loss of important information. Following these straightforward tips should help you to practice more efficient records management in your work.

  1. When you are creating records, remember that that they may be viewed by others. Be aware of the implications of the Data Protection and Freedom of Information Acts.

  2. Use the University’s Information Classification and Handling Procedures to assess sensitivity and determine how information should be handled and stored.

  3. Arrange records in both paper and electronic filing systems in a sensible way so you, and others, can find them easily.

  4. Name electronic documents consistently and explicitly so they are easy to find.

  5. Consider using off-site storage to free up office space.

  6. Make time! – Set aside time each year to go through your records. This will help you stay aware of what records you hold, allow you to destroy ones you no longer need, and flag up areas where security needs improving. (We can help you to organise an office detox day – if you’re interested, get in touch!)

  7. Use the University’s Records Retention Schedule to appraise records and set destruction dates.

  8. Dispose of documents and records when no longer needed using the retention schedule and destroy working papers and duplicates when you no longer need them.

  9. Dispose of confidential records and documents securely by shredding or using confidential waste sacks

  10. Get in touch with us if you require any clarification or advice!