Keeping Records at UQ - Procedure

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1.0    Purpose and Scope

This procedure outlines record keeping requirements at The University of Queensland (UQ) and supports UQ’s Information Management Policy and Information Governance and Management Framework. This procedure applies to all UQ staff that create or receive records in the course of their work at UQ.

For the purposes of this procedure:

  • records are evidence of a UQ business activity, decision or transaction and may be in any format (i.e. digital or physical);

  • record keeping involves an interaction between people, processes and systems;

  • approved ‘UQ record keeping systems’ are UQ IT information systems that have been officially recognised and approved as a system of record at UQ.

Examples of UQ records to be kept and approved UQ record keeping systems are outlined in the appendix.

1.1    Legislative context

As a public university, UQ is required to comply with legislative obligations under the Public Records Act 2002 (the Act). Records also are managed under standardised retention and disposal processes issued by Queensland State Archives. Details of these approved retention schedules are provided in section 3.0.

2.0    Process and Key Controls

  1. Vital, high-risk, high-value and permanent records must be kept in an approved UQ record keeping system.

  2. Records must be retained in accordance with the relevant retention and disposal schedule.

  3. Records will only be disposed, destroyed, or deleted with the approval of the Manager of the Records Governance Unit, who is the designated authorised officer.

3.0    Key Requirements

3.1    Record keeping obligations for staff

Vital, high-risk, high-value and permanent records must be kept in an approved record keeping system to ensure the record is discoverable, accessible, and managed throughout their lifecycle. The primary approved record keeping systems at UQ are provided in section 7.3 of this procedure.

For the purposes of vital, high-risk, high-value and permanent records, the following are not approved UQ record keeping systems:

  • network and shared drives

  • personal hard or cloud drives

  • USB drives

  • desk drawers

  • anywhere that is not a centralised, secure and managed system.

Records that are not vital, high-risk, high-value or permanent may be stored in the above systems.

3.2    Retention and Storage of Records

All records must be kept and retained in accordance with the following schedules:

  • General Retention and Disposal Schedule

  • University Sector Retention and Disposal Schedule

  • General Retention and Disposal Schedule for Digital Source Records.

Records retention requirements vary in order to support accountability, and for legal, knowledge and historical reasons. Management of records within a business context and/or system, and the resources needed for their retention, needs to be prioritised based on risks to UQ if the record was unable to be located or authenticated as accurate.

3.2.1    Physical Storage of Records

Physical records must be stored:

  1. on-site within the relevant Organisational Unit area;

  2. in UQ’s on-site archive facilities, which are managed by the Records Governance Unit; or

  3. with an approved external storage provider. 

Before any record is stored with an external storage provider, the Records Governance Unit must be provided with a catalogue of the records to be stored with the provider.  The relevant Organisational Unit is responsible for any costs associated with records storage with external storage providers.

3.3    Disposal

UQ staff must not dispose of records without authorisation in accordance with the Act.  The Vice-Chancellor is responsible for authorising the disposal of records and has delegated this responsibility to the Manager, Records Governance Unit.

The processes and key controls for determining the eligibility of records for disposal apply equally to both physical and digital records.

Disposal encompasses two contexts:

  • Transfer of ownership of records to another entity outside of UQ, requiring official documentation to record the need for the transfer, but also to acknowledge the receipt of the records by the new entity; and

  • Destruction of records at the end of their useful life and as determined eligible under an approved destruction authority.

3.3.1    Records destruction process

The destruction of physical and digital records is covered under UQ’s Destruction of Records Procedure. Under the Public Records Act 2002 records destruction must take place under a process of authorisation delegated by the Vice-Chancellor, and evidence of following the correct process and controls needs to be recorded in UQ’s central records management system (Content Manager).

4.0    Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities

4.1    Records Governance Unit

The Records Governance Unit is responsible for:

  • the management of UQ’s records management system (Content Manager);

  • advising staff on UQ’s record keeping and records disposal obligations under the Public Records Act 2002;

  • advising Organisational Units on best practice compliant record keeping strategies, including records capture via business process design for reduced manual overheads and burden on business operations;

  • physical and digital records registered into the Content Manager system, that are not eligible for transfer of ownership to The University of Queensland Archives.

4.2    The University of Queensland Archives

In accordance with section (28.2) of the Public Records Act, 2002, the Queensland State Archives (the agency) has permitted UQ to create its own permanent archives and store these public records rather than transfer them to Queensland State Archives.

  • The UQ Archivist is responsible for the operational management of The University of Queensland Archives (Archives – Policy).

  • The University of Queensland Archives holdings substantiate corporate accountability, reflect administrative history, fulfil legal responsibilities, and enhance societal memory through research, teaching and outreach to UQ and the greater community.

  • The University of Queensland Archives and the Records Governance Unit work collaboratively in the identification, collection and preservation of archival records.

4.3    Heads of Organisational Units, Managers and Project Managers

Heads of Organisational Units, Managers and Project Managers are responsible for:

  • assessing the types of records they create and receive in their unit or project, and ensuring that they are maintained in accordance with this procedure;

  • when new workflows, business processes and systems are procured, ensuring that record keeping requirements are incorporated into the planning and procurement process;

  • when a business process or system is to be replaced and/or decommissioned, record keeping migration is incorporated into the budgeting and project plan commensurate with the value of the records in the system.

4.4    UQ staff

UQ staff are responsible for:

5.0    Monitoring, Review and Assurance

The Records Governance Unit will:

  • monitor UQ’s compliance with its record keeping obligations under the Public Records Act 2002;

  • review this procedure as required to ensure –

    • its currency and accuracy; and

    • that UQ’s processes comply with requirements under relevant legislation; and

  • provide training opportunities and awareness-raising materials to enable UQ staff to meet their record keeping obligations under this procedure.

6.0    Recording and Reporting

To support UQ’s record keeping obligations, the Records Governance Unit, The University of Queensland Archives and IT Governance will record the existence of vital, high-risk, high-value records (which includes those that need to be retained permanently), within an Information Asset Register, a resource that itemises details of all key UQ business activities/processes, entities that own the system/s and the nature of the records and data within.

Evidence of authorised records destruction will be recorded and captured in UQ’s records management system (Content Manager).

Evidence of records held with third-party service providers, is detailed and available for reference through UQ’s records management system (Content Manager)

7.0    Appendix

7.1    Definitions

Approved record keeping system – a system approved by the Records Governance Unit as a record keeping system, or a system that integrates with Content Manager (TRIM) for management of records.  The primary approved record keeping systems at UQ are listed in section 7.3

Archives/archival records – The non-current records of the University that are a direct result of administrative or organisational activity and hold permanent status in a current and authorised retention schedule or have continuing or permanent value.

Disposal (of records) – defined under the Act as:

  • destroying or damaging a record, or part of it; or

  • abandoning, transferring, donating, giving away or selling the record, or part of it.

High-risk record – a record which, if it can’t be found, will create an operational, legal, financial or reputational risk for an organisation.

High-value record – this type of record may not be far from being vital or high-risk. These refer to records that have intrinsic value to an organisation, and if they were not findable or protected, it would be difficult to continue a seamless relationship with students, staff, industry, community, and state, federal and global jurisdictions. These records help the University to maintain its reputational relationships, preserve specialist knowledge, or could be of historical significance.

Permanent record – a record of this type is a Public Record of enduring value to Queensland and the university. Records that fall into this category are described in the approved retention schedules. They are artefacts that are historical and/or culturally significant to the Queensland public.

Record – defined under the Act as any recorded information created or received by an organisation in the course of their business or conduct of their affairs. A record provides evidence of activities. This is irrespective of the technology or medium used to generate, capture, manage, preserve and access those records.

Staff – continuing, fixed-term, research (contingent funded) and casual staff members.

Vital record – defined by the Queensland State Archives as records that an agency could not continue to operate without and which would be needed to re-establish the agency in the event of a disaster and satisfy ongoing core business responsibilities. These records are essential to an organisation being able to function.

7.2    Examples of records to keep

The table below has broad examples of common records to be kept and managed.

The retention and disposal schedules listed under Item 3.2 provide further descriptions of records needed in various business contexts.

The Records Governance Unit assist staff in translating these schedules to UQ organisational areas and operational contexts.

Assets – infrastructure and equipment controls, registers, maintenance, warranties, security

Academic program -development and management over life of program

Approval, decision or advisory correspondence

Audits - any records that are part of an auditable process, internal due diligence, or as required under legislation or legally binding standards.

Clinical records - administrative, case records and data


Committee papers – final agendas, meeting papers and approved minutes

Contracts - includes agreements and memoranda of understanding, licenses to operate, and any documented legally binding arrangements

Copyright – administrative activities associated with the university publishing original literature, including agreements associated with joint ventures.

Data - core financial, student and staff data

Decision making data – evidence informing official finding, decision, approval

Delegations of authority

Disaster management and business continuity – plans, manuals, debriefs

Donors, gifts and bequests – correspondence, arrangements

Engagement, Marketing -campaigns and materials

Ethical Clearances – legal obligations for research and training activities involving human and animal research, and genetic manipulation.

Export Controls licensing, permits required legally for arrangements when exporting products/materials as part of research activities.

Grants, scholarships and sponsorships - case files and arrangements

Incidents and near misses - occupational health and safety reported matters and supporting data and documentation and actioning

Industrial relations matters

Insurance – case files

Insurance – certificates, product disclosure materials

Intellectual property – agreements, arrangements

Legal matters – case files

Newsletters – UQ community - staff, student, alumni official communications

Operational health, safety and environmental  – administrative matters, arrangements and training

Patents, Trademarks

Policies, procedures and operational standards (UQ) - published

Procurement activities


Project management - case files

Property and Facilities – as constructed drawings including refurbishment drawings, manuals, maintenance, statutory inspections

Publications – distributed to community, students and staff

Reporting – statutory and external requirements, internal accountability, investigations, etc.

Research – administrative matters,  case records and data

Senate and Academic Board records

Strategic plans and reports

Staff records - including inductions, training records, misconduct issues, etc

Student records - including academic transcripts, misconduct issues, etc

Teaching and learning - examination scripts, assessment, etc

Teaching and learning - UQ’s teaching and learning arrangements and activities


Records of significant UQ events -  announcements, speeches, innovations, knowledge leadership recognition, research accomplishments and historically significant matters attached to cultural change or remediation events e.g. first nations, gender equity; vulnerable persons, etc.

Permanent retention information - any records that are required to be kept forever or need to be kept for a very long time as described in the approved retention and disposal schedules.


7.3    Approved Record Keeping Systems

  1. Content Manager (TRIM) is proprietary software designed with full record keeping compliance functionality. It is the university’s central record keeping system, a digital repository that accepts records through automated processes, system integration, or through manual means, such as individuals interacting directly in the system day to day. It also tracks the existence and management of physical record collections.  Content Manager is suitable for all record types.

  2. Table 1 outlines the approved record keeping systems and the records for which the system is approved to keep.

Business Category

Approved Systems

Administrative day to day

  • Content Manager (TRIM)

  • Digital Asset Manager (DAM)

  • Service CRM Oracle Service Cloud

  • UQ-ORG

  • Confluence

  • SharePoint

Communications, Community & Global Enrichment

  • Raisers Edge

  • Content Manager (TRIM)

Clinical and Research Data, and Analysis

  • Content Manager (TRIM) Contract eVaults

  • RDM Research Data Manager

  • MyResearch

Collaboration & knowledge sharing

(NOTE: Exceptions – any Permanent value records will need to be migrated to an approved archival system after collaboration ceases)

  • Confluence

  • Website Drupal

  • SharePoint

  • Teams

Contracts, Agreements, Permits, Certifications

(NOTE: For final executed; legally binding documents; licences to operate)

  • Content Manager (TRIM) Contract eVaults

Environment, Emissions, Sustainability

  • Chemwatch Gold FX

  • Archibus

  • Content Manager (TRIM)

Financial, Budgeting, Accounts & Payroll

  • Uni-Fi

  • Expense Management System (EMS)

  • My Balance (Reporting)

Governance, Compliance, Duty of Care

  • Content Manager (TRIM)

  • UQ-Safe

  • InPlace

  • cGov Misconduct Grievance System

  • MyResearch

Historically, Culturally Significant

  • UQ Archives

  • Content Manager (TRIM)

Legal Matters

  • Practice Evolve (Legal Case Management)

  • Content Manager (TRIM)

Project Management & Case Files

  • Jira

  • Content Manager (TRIM)

  • SharePoint

  • MS Project

Property, Facilities, Security, and Infrastructure

  • Archibus

  • CCTV Recording Systems

Student Services

  • Si-Net

  • InPlace

  • Content Manager (TRIM)

Teaching & Learning

  • JAC Curriculum Management

  • Blackboard

  • Content Manager (TRIM)

Workforce Management

  • Aurion

  • WorkDay

  • Content Manager (TRIM)


Director, Governance and Risk
Director, Governance and Risk