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Trinity Information » College Policies » Records Management Policy

Approved by the Board on 13 December, 2005

On this page:

1. Introduction

The information that College 1 records contain serves as evidence of functions executed and activities performed, and comprises a vital source of knowledge as to how and why decisions were taken. Given that good quality records are of value to any organisation, their effective management is necessary to ensure that the records maintained are authentic, reliable and complete and to ensure that they are protected and preserved as evidence to support future actions and to ensure current and future accountability.

1 The term ‘College’ is used for brevity but should be taken as referring to The University of Dublin, Trinity College

2. Official Records

All records created and received in the course of its official business constitute the official records of The University of Dublin, Trinity College.

3. Records Management

This is the application of controls to the creation, maintenance and use and disposal of records, elements of which include correspondence and forms management, records classification, files management, retention scheduling, disaster planning, vital records protection, the administration of inactive records storage, the management of record conversion programmes, archival preservation activities and destruction of records. Good records management is of especial significance in the context of the College's functions, where the maintenance of academic records is a core activity.

4. Rationale for Records Management

Effective records management will assist the College to create and maintain records that enable it to:

  • Conduct business in an orderly, efficient and accountable manner
  • Deliver services in a consistent and equitable manner
  • Support and document policy formulation and managerial decision-making
  • Provide consistency, continuity and productivity in management and administration
  • Facilitate the effective performance of activities throughout the College
  • Facilitate the efficient handling of enquiries concerning records of the College
  • Facilitate the management of risks to records safekeeping and provide continuity in the event of disaster
  • Meet legislative and regulatory requirements, including archival, audit, Freedom of Information and oversight activities
  • Provide protection and support in litigation, including the management of risks associated with the existence, or lack of evidence of, organisational activity
  • Ensure that adequate records are made of all the vital activities of the College
  • Protect the interests of the organisation and the rights of employees, clients and present and future stakeholders
  • Support and document current and future research and development activities, developments and achievements, as well as historical research
  • Provide evidence of business, personal and cultural identity
  • Maintain corporate, personal or collective memory

5. Objectives of the Records Management Policy

5.1: The purpose of this records management policy is to ensure the creation and management of authentic, reliable, complete and usable records, capable of supporting the College’s functions and activities for as long as they are required.

5.2: The objectives of the policy are to:

  • Provide a statement of intent declaring records management standards for the administration of College records
  • Support organisational compliance with legislation and College regulations
  • Establish a system of records management within College
  • Ensure the preservation of records of permanent value and establish criteria to maintain and assure continued access for the College to appropriate historical records

6. Scope of Policy

6.1: The official records of the College consists of recorded information, regardless of format, created or received by College officers and employees in the course of performing official functions on behalf of the College and held as evidence of its organisation, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, and internal or external transactions.   Records can be recorded on any physical form or medium, including paper or electronic.

6.2: All official records created or received by the College and its officers and employees in the course of their official duties are the property of the College and subject to its overall control and must be created, maintained, used and disposed of in accordance with procedures and guidelines approved by the appropriate College authority.

6.3: Employees leaving the College or changing positions within the College are to leave all official College records for their successors.

6.4: This policy is applicable to all areas and locations of the College and includes all official records that are held by the College or are under the control of the College.

7. Responsibility for College Records Management

7.1: All official records must be retained as long as required to meet legal, administrative, financial and operational requirements of the College, after which time they are either destroyed or transferred to the College Archives in accordance with the archiving policy. [See Appendix 1 for specific requirements for European Regional Development Fund/European Social Fund]

7.2: It is the responsibility of the individual offices to ensure that appropriate security measures are observed for maintaining official records containing personal or other confidential information.

7.3: All official records approved to be destroyed must be disposed of in a manner that safeguards the confidentiality of the information they contain.

7.4: While operational responsibility rests with each head of department, assistance is provided by the Assistant Librarian (College Archives) who provides advice regarding College Archives procedures.

7.5: All official records that are permanently preserved must remain accessible to relevant officers and employees.

8. Other Requirements

The following documents will be required to give effect to the records management policy and will be developed
A records management implementation plan

  • A records management implementation plan;
  • A records classification scheme;
  • Records retention schedules;
  • A records management procedures manual
  • Guidelines for the management of electronic records

9. Terminology

9.1: Records

The Freedom of Information Act, 1997, gives the following definition:

"'Record' includes any memorandum, book, plan, map, drawing, diagram, pictorial or graphic work or other document, any photograph, film or recording (whether of sound or images or both), any form in which data (within the meaning of the Data Protection Act, 1988) are held, any other form (including machine-readable form) or thing in which information is held or stored manually, mechanically or electronically and anything that is a part or a copy, in any form, of any of the foregoing or is a combination of two or more of the foregoing;"

9.2: Classification

This has been defined as the systematic identification and arrangement of business activities and/or records into categories according to logically structured conventions, methods, and procedural rules represented in a classification system.

9.3: Records Retention Schedules

A Records Retention Schedule is a control document that describes the College's corporate records at a series level and indicates the length of time each series shall be retained as active before transfer to semi-active storage; the length of time each series should be retained as semi-active prior to final disposition; and the final disposition of each series. This document serves as the College’s approved authorisation for the disposal of records.

Appendix 1:

European Regional Development Fund/European Social Fund Retention of Documents

All documents forming part of the audit trail must be retained for a minimum of three years after the closure of the programme to which they relate.  All original supporting documentation will be retained in accordance with Article 90 of Council Regulation (EC) 1083/2006 and Article 19 of Council Regulation EC 1828/2006 i.e. for three years after the closure (date of last payment from the European Commission to the programme) of the programme.  This means that all supporting documentation in respect to assistance received under the ERDF Structural Funds must be retained for a period of three years after the final payment has been received for all Operational Programmes, therefore all supporting documentation for the 2007-2013 ERDF measures may need to be retained until at least 2022.  For the 2014-2020 round, documentation may need to be retained until 20292.

During this period documents should be available for inspection by Managing and Certifying authority staff, auditors, certifying officers and other national or Commission officials. Documents forming the audit trail at each level of the cascade must be retained in readily retrievable form and be readily accessible.

Public Beneficiary Bodies should retain the following:

  • Financial plans
  • Grant approvals
  • Audit Reports – Audit Authority
  • Accounting record of payments made and funds received
  • Form B0 (Expenditure Declaration) and attached schedule of payments
  • Form B1
  • Completed Article 13 checklists and reports
  • Timesheets
  • Employment Contracts
  • Original Invoices and documents of equivalent probative value
  • FMS print-outs
  • Procurement and Publicity documentation
  • Bank Statements

1 Article 90 of Council Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 states “the managing authority shall ensure that all supporting documentation regarding expenditure and audits on the OP are kept available for the Commission and the Court of Auditors for a period of three year following the closure of the OP.”

2Article 90 of Council Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 is replaced by Article 140 of Council Regulation (EC) No 1303/2013 for the 2014-2020 Programme

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