What are student records?

Records are documents or other items which:

∙ contain recorded information;
∙ are produced or received in the initiation, conduct or completion of an activity;
∙ are retained as evidence of that activity, or because they have other informational value.

The recorded information may be in any form (e.g. text, image, sound) and the records may be in any medium or format.

• Student records – records associated with managing the relationship between an institution and
• its students – can be organised into three broad categories, each of which may be additionally divided:

    1. Records documenting the contractual relationship between the student and the
    Institution
    2. Records documenting the student as a learner e.g. records documenting programmes undertaken, academic progress and performance, awards.
    3. Records documenting the student as an individual and consumer of services provided by the institution e.g. records documenting use of accommodation services, counselling services, library and IT support services, careers and employment services.

Most records in categories 1 and 3 have specific retention periods triggered by the formal end of a student’s direct relationship with an institution, although the information they contain may be aggregated and analysed to provide data requested by third parties1 or to support the institution’s planning and development activities.

An institution will need to retain some of the records in category 2 to provide confirmatory information to potential employers, professional bodies and associations, and to bodies which regulate entry to medical and other professions
and which assess and maintain evidence of ‘fitness to practise’ in those professions.

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