This training module covers the basics of records management at UNC-Chapel Hill. It was created for records management liaisons and any other University employees who are interested in records management.
Welcome to the Introduction to Records Management training module, brought to you by University Archives and Records Management Services at UNC-Chapel Hill. This module will take about 10 minutes to complete.
In this module we’ll address what records management is, and why it is important. You’ll also learn more about the North Carolina Laws pertaining to records management, how disasters impact records management, the purpose of retention and disposition schedules and the role of Records Management Liaisons.
Many of you might be asking, “what is records management, anyway?”Records management means using efficient and economical methods to create, use, maintain, retain, preserve and dispose of official records.
So why do we even bother with records management? There are three main reasons.First, as a public institution, we must comply with the public records law mandated by the state. Second, we use records to document the history of this University and tell the story of our daily operations and the decisions made by the University.Third, records management is an opportunity to improve efficiency across the University. Well managed records limit the confusion of multiple copies, prevent old records from clogging precious storage space and stream line the search process for finding records.
Records present four major values to the University. Records with administrative value help your office do its work. Occasionally, they have lasting importance, but more often their value is short term. Administratively valuable records might be procedure manuals, retention schedules, memos or reports.Fiscally valuable records are most often subject to audits, and each office’s retention and disposition schedule indicates which records are subject to audits. Budget records, expenditure ledgers and credit card reports are examples of records with fiscal value.Much like fiscal records, records with legal value can often be subject to official actions - subpoenas, investigations, lawsuits. Please keep in mind that if you receive notice that a lawsuit has been filed that effects your office, that is the worst time to clean out your files. Retention periods instruct on not destroying records during audits or legal action. For example, ENRON and Arthur Anderson were both convicted of destroying records after a lawsuit was filled, even though their records retention schedule said they could destroy them. You will be contacted by legal counsel if any records need to retained due to a lawsuit.Some records have enduring historical value, even beyond what you might be able to see. The pictures of the last time your building was renovated may not have much current use. But as part of the historical record of the University, renovation documentation is important. In most cases where historical records are concerned, the Records Retention and Disposition Schedule asks that records with possible historic value be transferred to the official repository, the University Archives in the Wilson Library.
There are two North Carolina laws that address public records, and as University employees we must follow them. The first is North Carolina General Statue 121, known as the Archives and History Act. This legislation defines the duties of the Department of Cultural Resources, including their obligation to provide records management services to the University community.This act also regulates the destruction of public records with the consent of the Department of Cultural Resources.This law basically states that the Department of Cultural Resources and University Archives and Records Management are responsible for creating records schedules and approving the destruction of public records at UNC-Chapel Hill.
The second piece of legislation regulating records management is North Carolina General Statue 132, known as the Public Records Law. This statue defines public records – explicitly including the list you see here and provision to include other type of material too. This law also clarifies that public records belong to the people of North Carolina, and that no person can destroy a public record unless its destruction is outlined and approved through the proper retention and disposition schedule. As University employees, we also have an obligation to make public records reasonably available to North Carolinians – this doesn’t mean citizens can demand to see records at 3:00 am, but that they do have a legal right to view public records.Please note that the word public in this definition does not indicate that all public records are open to the public. The word public has to do with doing the public’s business or the business of government. A public record can be confidential.
Speaking of confidential, there are both state and federal statues that regulate confidential records. Health records, personnel records and student records have special confidential classifications and must be handled accordingly. These are also examples of public records, that aren’t for the public’s viewing.
Records management policies include planning for disaster scenarios. In the records management world, a disaster is considered something sudden, unexpected and destructive, but not necessarily natural or catastrophic. For example, a leaking pipe can destroy valuable records. Hurricane Fran is an example of disaster that struck North Carolina back in 1996. A strong records management plan includes provisions to protect records before a disaster strikes.
There are several strategies for minimizing the impact of a disaster. The first rule is that lives are always more important than records – there’s no record worth risking your life for.Beyond self preservation, what your office can do to prepare for a disaster is distinguish between important and essential records. Important records are replaceable, but essential records are irreplaceable and vital to an organization. Losing an essential record will result in failure of the operations the record supports. So the question becomes, how do you protect your essential records?
Now is the time to prepare and ask these important questions. When Hurricane Fran is knocking on your front door, or when water is pouring onto your desk from a leak in the floor above – it’s too late. Consider this your warning, and start preparing for disaster today. There are three questions to consider in planning for a disaster. First, which records are critical to continue the operations post disaster? These will be some of your essential and most important records. Second you examine how you can protect these records – storing them in fireproof and waterproof containers might be an option. Third, you consider where you store back up copies. If some of your essential files reside in a single computer’s hard drive, where are you going to store back up copies to access these records if the entire office is by flood or fire?
Records Retention and Disposition Schedules dictate the life cycle of a record. There are three key stages of a record’s life – first is it’s creation, where the record is generated for use – the second stage of its life cycle. When the record is no longer in use, it’s time for disposition, which could mean destruction, storage or transfer.
There’s some basic retention and disposition vocabulary that you’ll see repeatedly in schedules across the University. A record series refers to a group of related records. For example, all of the notes from a single committees’ meeting would be a record series.Disposition means the instructions for how long you must a keep a record series and how to dispose of it.A record copy describes a record held by an office that is the official keeper of that record for the University.A reference copy describes a record held by an office for their own reference and is NOT the official record for the University.
The University operates from the General Records Retention Schedule, with the exceptions of the schools of Law, Medicine and Dentistry which have school-specific schedules. Retention and disposition schedules serve the same basic four functions. They list records found in your office, provide uniform descriptions, outline retention and disposition instructions and identify confidential or restricted records.
Records Management Liaisons are critical in the records management process. Liaisons need to know the organization of the office, including how records are stored and used. They must be appointed by the administrative head of the department or office, and they must have records management responsibilities as part of their work plans.
Appointed liaisons are responsible for: Serving as the key contact person with University Archives and Records Management Services Instructing their colleagues on retention periods and how to use the records retention scheduleCoordinating records transfer to storage or University Archives
This concludes the Introduction to Records Management module. If you have additional questions, don’t hesitate to contact University Archives and Records Management services. Thank you for your time.
Introduction to Records Management @ UNC-Chapel Hill
Introduction to Records Management<br />University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill<br />University Archives and Records Management Services<br />Wilson Library| CB# 3926<br />919-962-6402 | phone<br />email@example.com<br />
Agenda<br /><ul><li> What is Records Management?
UNC Records Retention and Disposition Schedules
Role of Records Management Liaisons</li></li></ul><li>What is Records Management?<br />Using efficient and economical methods to create, use, maintain, retain, preserve and dispose of official records. <br />
Why Bother with Records Management?<br /> Comply with North Carolina Law<br /> Document history of UNC-Chapel Hill<br />Improve efficiency <br />
Four Values of Records<br />Fiscal<br />Administrative<br />Historic<br />Legal<br />
North Carolina Law<br />Archives and History Act North Carolina General Statute 121<br /><ul><li> Defines duties of Department of the Cultural Resources
Regulates the destruction of public records</li></li></ul><li>Public Records Law<br />North Carolina General Statute 132<br /><ul><li> Defines public records
Essential records are irreplaceable and vital to an organization
Loss of essential records results in failure of the operations they support</li></li></ul><li>Now is the time to prepare.<br /> Which records are critical to continue operations post disaster?<br /> How do I protect these records?<br /> Where do I store back-up copies? <br />
Records Retention and Disposition Schedules<br />Creation<br />Disposition<br />Use<br />
Retention and Disposition Vocabulary<br />Record Series – a group of related records<br />Disposition – instructions for how long you must keep a records series and how to dispose of it <br />Record Copy – a record held by an office that is the official keeper of that record for the University<br />Reference Copy – a record held by an office for their own reference and is not the official record for the University<br />
A Retention and Disposition Schedule:<br /> Lists records found in your office<br /> Provides uniform descriptions<br />Outlines retention and disposition instructions<br /> Identifies confidential or restricted records<br />
Role of Records Management Liaisons<br />Liaisons need to:<br /> Know the organization of the office, where and how records are stored and used<br /> Be appointed by the administrative head of the department/office<br /> Have the records management responsibilities as part of their work plans<br />
Liaisons are responsible for:<br /> Serving as the key contact person with University Archives and Records Management Services<br /> Instructing their colleagues on retention periods and how to use the records retention schedule<br /> Coordinating records transfer to storage or University Archives<br />
Thank you for completing this module.<br />Questions?<br />University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill<br />University Archives and Records Management Services<br />Wilson Library| CB# 3926<br />919-962-6402 | phone<br />firstname.lastname@example.org<br />