Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Code RIMB015
Coordinator Ms MR Procter
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2007-08 Level One Whole Session 15


The overall aim of the module is to introduce and explain appraisal theories and methodologies and how these may be applied within the records management programme.

Learning Outcomes

When you have completed this module you should be able to:

  1. assess the place of appraisal within the whole records management process and at different stages of the records life-cycle  
  2. describe and evaluate the various criteria used in appraisal  
  3. explain why appraisal criteria may vary according to sector, and identify those of most relevance to your working environment  
  4. assess the usefulness and appropriateness of various tools available to make the appraisal process effective  
  5. describe the benefits of appraisal and the problems associated with non-implementation.
  6. implement appraisal decisions and apply them to retention management
  7. evalu ate and revise existing appraisal and retention systems.


  • Approaches to appraisal (including the National Archives approach) and criteria for appraisal.
  • Legal and regulatory issues and risk assessment.
  • Link to functional analysis.
  • Assigning values to records: identifying organisational value which values matter to the organisation
  • vital records identification
  • retention scheduling methodologies
  • documenting appraisal decisions
  • disposal options; transfer to archive services
  • strategies for determining storage media and methods

Teaching and Learning Strategies

It is compulsory for all Certificate and Diploma students to attend a Study Skills Day, prior to commencing the first module of the programme. The aim of the Study Skills Day is to:

  • Prepare students for studying at a distance.
  • Introduce students to the theory and practice of learning.
  • Provide an opportunity for students to develop skills to support studyign at a distance, such as time managment, using the learning materials, finding and using information, preparing for assessment.
  • Identify the roles and responsibilities of learners, tutors and support staff.

The Study Skills Day also provides the opportunity to meet with the tutors, administrators and, when possible, a current or past student.

Each module begins with a 1 day short course to introduce the module. The distance learning materials and the module assignment are issued during the session. < /p>

The module tutor is available to discuss issues with students over the phone, via email, fax or letter. In addition students are allocated a personal tutor who is available to discuss the student's progress through the programme.

The student's line manager will also be involved in the programme where appropriate as the student's mentor. The mentor will be aware of what the student is doing and will be in a position to contribute to his/her successful progress. Where a line manager is not able to participate, the Director of Studies will assign a mentor through the Association of Departmental Record Officers. This may be a more senior or experienced colleague.

The module assignment assesses whether the learning objectives of this module have been met.

The assignement will be applicable to the work placeand as far as possible the student will have a choice of topic or scenario which will be directly relevant to their own situation. 60;  

The assignment will be marked and moderated by internal markers and a selection submitted to an external examiner.

Candidates will either fail, pass, or achieve a distinction on the basis of the following marks: 0-39 = fail; 40-69 = pass; 70-100 = distinction.

Assessment criteria set out what percentage of marks can be gained for each element of that question. 

To achieve the pass mark, candidates must present work that is competent and thorough, showing knowledge and practical skills, and indicating critical ability.  To achievea distinction, candidates must present work of originality, demonstrating command of the subject along with a grasp of the wider perspective. 

In effect marking is done within a relatively narrow range of marks and any mark over 50% can be considered good. A mark of 70%+ is uncommon and only achieved for excellent pieces of work.

Feedback is provid ed for the student in the form of a constructive commentary on the strengths and weaknesses of the work submitted with, where appropriate, suggestions for improvement in future assessments.

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours           6
1 day short course to introduce the module
Timetable (if known)           Introduced during short course contact at beginning of semester
Private Study 144


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Module Assignment  10 weeks  Semester 1  Pass/Fail  Yes  Standard University Policy applies - see Department/School handbook for details.   

Recommended Texts

It can be difficult to access records and information management textbooks, but you will need to  buy or have ready access to at least a couple one of the books listed below.  Shepherd and Yeo and Hare and McLeod are UK-based texts and both recent. If you are new to the discipline then you are particularly recommended to locate  the book by Elizabeth Parker: although this is out of print your mentor may be able to help you find a copy.  The remaining three texts are North American/Australian but very helpful.

 SHEPHERD, E AND YEO, G.  2003. Managing records: a handbook of principles and practice.  London.  Facet Publishing.

PARKER, E. 1999. Managing your organization’s records.  London: Library Association Publishing.

 Kennedy, J. andSchauder, C. 1998. Records management: a guide to corporate record keeping . 2nd ed. South Melbourne: Longman.

 Penn, I.A., Pennix, G.B., Coulson, J.1994. Records management handbook. 2nd ed. Aldershot, Hants, England; Brookfield, Vt: Gower. 

 Robek, M.F., Brown, G.F., Stephens, D.O. 1996. Information and records management: document-based information systems. New York: GLENCOE/McGraw-Hill.

 Wherever possible National Archives (TNA) and other government publications will be referenced. Other readings or sources, particularly those available on the WWW, may also be suggested but we do not insist on you reading them.