About the Records Management Program & Services

Goals

The University of Toronto Archives and Records Management Services’ (UTARMS) Records Management Program seeks to promote systematic control of University records in accordance with legal statutes and University policy. It provides guidance to administrative and academic units on management of their records.

Development

The Records Management Program was launched in May 1989 when the University President passed the Presidential Regulations for the Management of Archives and Records which established the Presidential Advisory Committee on Archives and Records Management (PACARM). The PACARM plays an advisory role to UTARMS and helps to develop strategic direction and approves final products, as stated in its Terms of Reference. The impetus to the creation of the Records Management Program was the lack of a unified approach to the management of the University’s records.

The first project addressed by the Records Management Program was to inventory and schedule all student records throughout the University. This project took three years to complete and generated over 200 schedules. Training sessions were developed to help staff participate in this project.

In 1990, the Records Management Manual was developed from the student records project, providing staff with guidelines and procedures for developing schedules, storing records, disposing of records, and well as information on microforms and the University Archives.

In 1993, UTARMS began to evaluate the products and services of records management vendors, and made recommendations of preferred-vendor status to the University’s Purchasing Department. Vendor information sessions were organized to allow preferred vendors to present their products, services and procedures directly to University staff.

In 1994, UTARMS undertook a Human Resources records project to determine the types of personnel records and how long they should be maintained.

In 1996, UTARMS began development of the University File Plan. The File Plan provides a file classification scheme that applies to both paper and electronic University records. It specifies how long these records need to be retained and whether they should be destroyed or transferred to the University Archives. Administrative staff were introduced to the Finance section of the File Plan in mid-1996.

In 1998, UTARMS developed the Human Resources section of the University File Plan. This section of the file plan has received PACARM approval with the exception of a few retention periods.

In 1999, UTARMS drafted the final three sections of the Administrative Records portion of University File Plan and is preparing to present them to the PACARM for approval.

Also in 1999, UTARMS replaced its existing University Archives web site with a new site that explicitly combined the University’s archives and records management services.

Services

As part of its Records Management Program, the UTARMS provides information, guidance, and support to University employees responsible for the creation, use, storage, retrieval and disposal of university records. This includes consulting services via phone or email, and on-site visits.

UTARMS develops records retention and disposition schedules in consultation with University offices. These schedules govern when University records can be destroyed and when they should be forwarded to the University Archives for permanent preservation.

UTARMS advises the University Purchasing Department on standards for vendor quality for records related products and services, such as storage, microfilming and shredding. It also monitor and periodically review the services of these external vendors to monitor quality of service and competitiveness.

UTARMS provides further guidance and information to University employees by developing and maintaining the University of Toronto Archives and Records Management Services web site. This site provides guidance on the control and disposition of University records as well as providing information on broader records and information management issues.

UTARMS also offers records management training sessions to University staff on topics such as records management fundamentals and the University of Toronto File Plan. Upon request, additional training and presentations are also developed to suit the requirements of specific University offices.

UTARMS develops, maintains and refines the University of Toronto File Plan to help University offices control their records and ensure that documents can be located in a timely fashion. The File Plan also governs disposition of University administrative records by providing guidelines on the destruction or retention of these records.