Where do I keep my records?

Electronic records

Where you store your electronic records will be informed by:

  • what the record is or the function it performs
  • the capabilities of the system it was created in, and
  • how it will be used.

Some University systems have features built-in that make them an acceptable place to store records while they are in use in that system, but others do not, and you will need to capture the record in Unirecords. Unirecords (aka Content Manager or TRIM) is the University's records management system of choice. It is managed by Policy and Records and is highly compliant with the NSW State Records Act 1998. If an activity you undertake does not automatically create a record, you will need to create them yourself. For example, committee minutes will need to be added to Unirecords.

Systems that are able to appropriately store the records created within them are called "systems of record". Some systems of record in use at the University include:

  • Banner Student
  • Banner Finance
  • Cherwell, and
  • Gallagher.

Regardless of where you store your electronic records, it is important to use clear, practical naming conventions to enable your team to find what they need when they need it. See the naming conventions advice below.

Physical records

Physical records must be kept in a dry location, away from dampness, pests or any other hazards that could damage the records. They must be kept for the minimum retention period set out by State Records NSW, and/or as long as they are required to meet organisational needs. Risks to physical records should be accounted for and mitigated in a unit's risk management processes.

Further guidance on storing physical records within your unit are available on the State Records NSW website - Standard on the physical storage of State records. All official records generated by the University are considered State records. For help identifying official records, please see the What records do I need to keep? page.

When physical records are no longer required for use by your unit, they should be evaluated for archiving or destruction. For more information please see the Archive or destroy? page.

Should my records be in Unirecords (TRIM)?

Records that need to be captured in Unirecords will generally have one or more of the following characteristics:

  • creation and/or retention of the record is mandated by a statute or regulation, eg. hazardous materials registers, agreements and contracts
  • the record contributes to the University's ability to demonstrate legislative compliance and/or maintain its accreditation status
  • the record contributes to core University functions.

For help determining whether or not your organisational unit should be using Unirecords, contact records@csu.edu.au.

Naming conventions

Setting naming conventions for your team enables consistency in filing and improves your ability to find and use what you need, when you need it. There is not a single standard convention in use across the University, as the needs of each unit will vary. In general, the title of a record should be descriptive, accurate and meaningful. This guide is intended to support developing naming conventions within any and all storage systems and locations in use at the University.

When you add something to Unirecords it will import the existing title of the record. If it doesn't already have an appropriate title you can use the "properties" menu to edit it. Some Unirecords record types have established naming conventions and don't require the use of this guide.

Policy and Records recommends that you consider the following elements and information when developing a naming convention for your unit's documents:

DateThe date the record was created, or a date range that it is relevant to.

When including the date, it's best practice to use the full date, formatted as YYYYMMDD (eg. 20240116 would be 16th Januray 2024).
DescriptionBriefly describe the record's contents. With the exception of the record type Agreements/Contracts/Leases, descriptions should be concise and don't need a lot of detail.

When deciding what to include, prioritise keywords that you would reasonably excpect to use when searching for the record. For example, the names of any people or teams involved, the function of the record or its purpose (eg. Records management naming conventions draft).

Other guidance to consider when titling records and developing naming conventions includes:

  • use sentence case, and only use capital letters for names and proper nouns
  • use spaces between words, rather than a hyphen or underscore
  • if using acronyms, be consistent and make sure that they are commonly used and understood. Alternatively, you can use the acronym and its expanded form as well to improve discoverability.

With all this in mind, if this information was being filed, it may have the title "20241601 Records management naming conventions guide".

For more help titling your records or developing naming conventions, please contact records@csu.edu.au.