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Records Management Policies and Procedures

Records management entails consistent systems throughout campus guiding how and when records are created, accessed, stored, and/or discarded. This guide includes advice on working with the University Archives, identifying records and their sources, develo

9.1 Records Management Self-Assessment

Before engaging in any new records management processes, you, your office, or your organization may want to begin with a self assessment to better understand your existing records management processes and needs. Conducting a self assessment can reveal questions or challenges that the University Archivist or other sections in this guide may be able to help you address. Answering the following questions, (adapted from the University of Maryland Libraries research guide on Managing Records), can help you get started. This self assessment should be performed periodically, ideally at regular intervals (e.g. every five years), as the answers to these questions will shift over time.

  • What do you do?
    • What are your major programs or activities?
    • What is your operational structure?
    • What external entities do you collaborate with or report to?
    • How do you document programs, activities, and collaborations?
  • Where do you manage records?
    • What systems and spaces do you use to manage information?
    • What workflows and routines do you use (formal or informal)?
    • How do you backup information?
    • Who has access to which systems and spaces?
    • What shared systems and spaces do you have or need?
    • What limited-access systems and spaces do you have or need?
  • Who does what?
    • Who is involved in each program, activity, and collaboration?
    • Who uses records-related systems and spaces?
      • Who are the records creators?
      • Who are the records stewards?
  • How do you manage records?
    • What guidelines or policies govern your records, files, and data?
    • How do you train, on-board, and off-board records creators and stewards?
    • What happens to old or inactive records?
    • How do you track versions of records, files, and data?
    • How do you name files?
  • What records do you manage?
    • What records do you create and receive?
      • When and why do you create records?
      • When and why do you receive records?
    • Who are your records about?
    • Who uses your records?
    • How long is it useful and/or required to retain your records?
    • Which records go into each records management system or space?
  • Which of your activities involve personal or sensitive information? (e.g. personnel files, human subjects research data, student records, or health information)
    • Who has access to records with sensitive information?
    • Where are sensitive records stored?
    • Who are these sensitive records about?