Information Compliance

Records Management Policy

1. Overall commitment
2. Role of records management
3. Principles of good practice – Staff requirements
4. Responsibilities
5. Relationship with existing policies
6. Primary legislation
7. Monitoring of compliance

1. Overall commitment

This policy is a commitment from the University to take proper care of the records it holds and applies to all staff who work with these records.

The policy is part of implementing the Lord Chancellor’s Code of Practice on the management of records issued under section 46 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.  This is referred to within this document as the section 46 code of practice.

Records are defined in the section 46 code of practice as follows:  ‘Information created, received and maintained as evidence and information by an organisation or person.”  The policy applies to all records: student, academic, research and professional.  It is irrespective of the technology used to create and store them or the type of information they contain. It includes, therefore, not only paper files but also business and information systems, e-mails and website content.

2. Role of records management

The role of records management is to facilitate the creation and management of authentic, reliable and usable records, capable of supporting business functions and activities for as long as they are required.

Records management is highly devolved across the University. This policy should be used by schools and departments as a foundation for assessing and improving their practices. Failure to do this may cause the University to incur financial penalties and reputational damage, as well as adversely impacting third parties.

Information is an asset considered essential to the work of the organisation. Good records management is integral to the following aims and objectives:

Institutional Strategic Plan: The university will communicate well (internally and externally - Page 11) and will be efficient and effective throughout our internal operations (Page 15).

Academic Division Aims:  To support more effective and informed decision making throughout the University by the provision of timely and accurate management information.

Information Services Vision:  The IS vision is for a university with knowledge exchange and stimulation of creativity at its heart, where our community enjoys convenient and effective access to information and technology, and where we all work, learn and collaborate how and when it suits us, wherever we may be.

3. Principles of good practice – Staff requirements

The following staff requirements have been developed from the section 46 code of practice. The records management guidance provided by the University links to these requirements.

Staff must ensure that records are

Good practice means:


accessible & usable


  • keeping records in systems that enable records to be stored and retrieved as necessary.
  • knowing what records are held and where they are, and ensuring that they remain usable for as long as they are required.


kept only for as long as required


  • keeping the accurate records needed for business, regulatory, legal and accountability purposes.
  • defining how long to keep records, disposing of them when they are no longer needed and being able to explain why records are no longer held




  • ensuring that records are stored securely and that access to them is controlled.


shared correctly


  • ensuring that records shared with other bodies or held on their behalf by other bodies are managed in accordance with the section 46 code of practice.


 4. Responsibilities

Lead Responsibility:  The Senate is the lead responsibility for approving and supporting the implementation of this policy.  It recognises that the University has a corporate responsibility to maintain its records and record-keeping systems in accordance with the regulatory environment.

Local Responsibility:  Heads of schools and professional departments have responsibility for the management of records generated by their activities, namely to ensure that the records created, received or processed within their purview, are managed in a way that complies with this policy.

Operational Responsibility:  The Information Compliance Officer is responsible for drawing up guidance for good records management practice and for supporting compliance with this policy.

Staff Responsibility:  Individual employees must ensure that the records for which they are responsible form complete and accurate records of their activities, and that they are maintained and disposed of in accordance with the University’s records management guidelines and information compliance policies.

5. Relationship with existing policies

This policy should be used in conjunction with the following policies




Data Protection Code of Practice

If you process personal data about individuals, you have a number of legal obligations to protect that information under the Data Protection Act 1998. This document is intended as a brief guide to the Act and its implications for all members of University of Kent staff.

Information Compliance Officer

Document Retention and Archiving Policy

This policy sets out approved document retention periods in order that Kent may meet its obligations to students; comply with quality assurance requirements; reduce burdens on space and storage; and comply with the Data Protection Act by not retaining documentation longer than is justifiably necessary.

Quality Assurance and Validation Manager

IT Security Policy (under development)

Under development

IT Security Officer

Archiving Policy (under development)

Under development

University Archivist

Copyright Policy and Guidelines

Policy, guidelines and links providing the fundamentals that you need to know about copyright and related rights at the University of Kent.

Copyright and Licensing Compliance Officer

Framework for Research Data Management (under development)

A sustainable framework for policy, services and systems that will support RDM at the University of Kent and enable effective data curation by researchers throughout the full data curation cycle.

Data Curator


6. Primary legislation

  • Freedom of Information Act 2000
    • Section 46 - The Lord Chancellor’s Code of Practice on the management of records
  • Data Protection Act 1998
  • Environmental Information Regulations 2004

7. Monitoring of compliance

The University will review the content and implementation of this policy biennially.

Document history



Approved by

Approval date

Review date


Alan Martin


11 Feb 2015

Jan 2017


Alan Martin

Information Services Board

26 Jan 2015

Jan 2017



Information Compliance - © University of Kent

The Registry, The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T: +44(0)1227 823671

Last Updated: 09/06/2017