University Records Management in 5 Steps

Managing University records involves the following five steps:

  1. Know what records you have, by maintaining an information inventory.
  2. Know which records your office is responsible for, as the University’s official record, and which are copies by matching your inventory to the University records classification & retention schedules (WatClass).
  3. Organize & safeguard your records using WatClass and the information confidentiality classification for your records.
  4. Destroy transitory records (copies & ephemeral records) when they are no longer needed.
  5. Dispose of records at the end of their retention period & document their disposal.

Following these steps ensures:

  • Compliance with record-keeping requirements of the laws and regulations applicable to the University’s operations, and Policy 46 – Information Management.
  • Consistency in managing records across the University.
  • Availability of information for as long as it is needed by the University.
  • Timely disposal of records, with documentation to show that we’re following our records retention rules in WatClass.

Beyond the “5 Steps”

The Canadian national standard, CAN/CGSB-72.34-2017: Electronic records as documentary evidence (free download) describes additional requirements to help ensure the trustworthiness of electronic records, and therefore their admissibility and weight as documentary evidence in legal proceedings. These additional requirements will be summarized in supplementary sections to this guide, in future updates. 

Implementing records management measures beyond the “5 steps” should follow from risk assessment and management processes described in Policy 11 – University Risk Management. Information stewards and custodians can contact the University Records Manager if they have questions about CAN/CGSB-72.34 and its significance for specific University processes and information systems.

Comments or Questions?

This records management manual is a work-in-progress, so please contact the University Records Manager if you have any comments, questions, or suggestions for improvements.