The value of records

Published: Wednesday 27th July 2016

In 2015 two significant events took place where records became highly sought after. The first was the 100th anniversary of Gallipoli where many of our ancestors served with distinction; the second was the 25th anniversary of the formation of Australian Catholic University (ACU).

In each case, records played an important role in helping us to reflect on events from the past and understand how they have shaped our today.

One of the key priorities within ACU is to improve the way we manage our records and information. In an age of digital technology, the array of information available to us is infinite and growing exponentially. Did you know that Google receives over four million search queries per minute? This one statistic tells the story of the data explosion that we’re living through. ACU has also experienced considerable growth in recent years and many changes have occurred to the way we have traditionally handled our records.

In the same way that our personal records are valuable to us because they enable us to travel, own and operate our bank accounts, prove our qualifications when applying for jobs, ACU records are essential tools of our business and their efficient management enables the university to meet its administrative, legal and social responsibilities including:

  • information for planning and decision-making
  • evidence of  business accountability
  • student results
  • regulatory compliance obligations

The Record Keeping Improvement Project is a Corporate Services priority for 2016 and is intended to improve business practices to manage the challenges presented by ACU’s expansion and multi campus operations. This includes a review of ACU records (both physical and digital), the electronic record keeping environment and policies and procedures. There is currently a pilot underway at ACU to better understand current business processes, establish consistent and compliant practices, manage our records and utilise our electronic record keeping systems more effectively.

Record keeping practices established in the pilot will be rolled out across the university supported by a policy and procedure as well as workshops and training on the electronic record keeping system. Records are a highly integrated and valuable part of our professional and personal life and are generally not considered important until you need them.

If you would like further information on the Record Keeping Improvement Project please contact Paul Magin, Records Coordinator, Directorate of Governance.