Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Distance Learning
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment no more than 3,000 words  Records Management Manual  100%

Learning Outcomes

After completing this module you should be able to:

  • define records management and state how you would set up a records management programme
  • describe how you would assess organisational needs and develop control over the records
  • discuss active records management
  • outline semi-active records management

Brief description

Records represent a basic tool of business or administrative transactions. All organisations create records in the course of their various activities. They vary in nature and content, including a wide variety of documentary materials and also, for example, photographs, maps and plans, all reflecting the operational and legal aspects of business transactions. By today, records are being created in increasingly varied formats, especially electronic media.
Records constitute an essential information resource for the effective continuation of the business of the parent bodies: they justify official actions and policy decisions, provide precedent and supply evidence required for legal compliance and official audit. At the same time, they continue to document the activities of those same bodies. They may also contain wide-ranging evidence which can support the rights of individuals as well as organisations.
The value and use of recorded information is dependent upon the ability to retrieve appropriate information when required and, thus, on good management of the records themselves. Records Management addresses the need for a systematic approach to managing this information resource throughout its life cycle, from creation to final disposition. It is a professional discipline which is primarily concerned with the management of document-based information systems, but must increasingly take account of electronic media. Information Management, on the other hand, usually focuses more exclusively on data-based information systems in computer environments in which the information is stored electronically.
Records Management encompasses a range of stages and purposes within a systematic management process. Based on principles of regular review and a controlled retention/destruction programme, its general aim is to secure cost-effective efficiency and good practice. Its more specific purposes range from successful information retrieval for administrative needs to compliance with a growing range of regulations, for example Data Protection, Freedom of Information, official audit etc. In addition, while the final disposition of the majority of recent records will be destruction, Records Management should secure archival status for material which is judged to be worthy of permanent/long-term preservation, being representative of or significant to the functions of the creating body.


This module is at CQFW Level 7