What records do I need to keep?

How do I know which records to keep?

The records that you need to keep will vary depending on the work that you do and the organisational unit you are a part of.

In general there are a few key things to consider when deciding whether a record needs to be retained:

If the answer to any of the above is yes, then it is an official record and you will need to be store it in an appropriate system. You can read more about where records are stored at Charles Sturt on the Where do I keep my records? page.

Another question to ask yourself is "did I/did my team create this?". The responsibility for capturing and managing records in an appropriate system lies with the organisational unit that is responsible for the creation and/or ongoing use of that record. For example, DPC is responsible for capturing and managing recruitment and personnel records. Policy and Records provides guidance, education and resources to support progress towards best practice in records management at the University. Please contact us at records@csu.edu.au for help with managing your unit's records.

Not all records will need to be kept under the same conditions or for the same period of time. Some records will only need to be kept for as long as they are in use, while others must be retained for years, or kept permanently at the Charles Sturt University Regional Archives. For more information on this you can read the How long do I need to keep my records for? page.

Regardless of the records' content, it must be treated with care and must not be destroyed without the approval of the Manager, Policy and Records. For more information on when it is appropriate to destroy a record, see the Archive or destroy? page.

Identifying records

Some records are useful in the short term or as reference materials and do not need to be retained formally as records. Please refer to the below table for help identifying selected official University records vs. unofficial reference and personal records. For help determining if you are dealing with official or unofficial records, please contact records@csu.edu.au.

Examples of official recordsExamples of unofficial records
Agendas, meeting and committee minutesPersonal notes, calendars or diaries

Emails/email trails documenting any of the following:

  • decisions, approvals or authorisations
  • advice
  • enquiries
  • consent

Emails/email trails about non-University business or generated by external organisations, for example:

  • organising a time to meet for lunch with your colleagues
  • marketing materials from other universities, agencies or service providers
  • professional association newsletters, event reminders, etc.
Employee informationCopies or duplicates of existing records
Contracts and agreementsDrafts that do not contain evidence of/rationale for major change
invoices, receipts and purchase ordersNotes or calculations that are used to prepare/inform other records
Planning documents and business casesPersonal study materials
Academic transcripts, testamurs, appealsAdvertising brochures and catalogues
Course and subject outlines and materials 
Research data 
Notes or correspondence that provide important context or rationale for any of the above

Do I need to keep proof of identity documents?

Processes within your unit may require you to sight identification documents (eg. birth certificates, driver's licenses, passports, etc). You are not required to keep or copy these records and retaining them presents a significant security risk. We recommend that you follow the advice of State Records NSW, which is to record that you have sighted the identifying documents and either return the originals or securely destroy copies of the documents as soon as possible.

If your current process relies on copying and retaining proof of identity documents, or you have a backlog of historic copies of identifying documents, you can follow one of two pathways:

  • if you have a demonstrated business need to retain the documents, contact the University Ombudsman to discuss the measures required to adequately protect the information in line with privacy legislation, or
  • contact records to arrange ongoing approval to securely destroy the documents once they are no longer in use (in Confluence).

Regular, approved disposal of identity documents and other records containing personally identifiable information (PII) reduces the University's risk profile and protects staff, students and other stakeholders from data breaches.

What are High risk/High value records?

High risk/High value (HRHV) records are official University records that typically have one or more of the characteristics listed below, and therefore require special attention to mitigate data security, business continuity and reputational risks.

Retention requirements

The records have a retention period of more than 45 years or are required as State Archives. Retention periods are determined by State Records NSW. For help determining the retention requirements of your records please contact records@csu.edu.au.

Examples of records with long term retention requirements include:

  • Records documenting the presence or removal of hazardous substances in buildings or land (eg. asbestos, radioactive materials)
  • Testamurs
  • Selected employee records
Principal obligations

The records support performance of the University's principal functions under:

  • the Charles Sturt University Act 1989
  • the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021
  • the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (ESOS)

Alternatively, the records may be vital to demonstrating compliance with TEQSA accreditation standards.

Personal information

The records contain personal information as defined in the University's Privacy Management Plan.

Examples of personal information include:

  • Identifying information, eg. ID numbers, contact details, financial information, academic details
  • Health information
  • Religious beliefs
  • Ethnic or racial origin

Policy and Records works with HRHV records custodians to manage their records and record important information in a HRHV information asset register. Policy and Records maintains the HRHV information asset register and conducts regular checks to keep the register up to date and help custodians mitigate risks. You won't be expected to action updates to the register, but it can be helpful to understand what HRHV records are and how they support the University's functions.