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 RIMB001
Coordinator Ms MR Procter
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2009-10 Level One First Semester 15


Because it is a general introduction, this module does not aim to provide you with specific tools and techniques for records and information management.  That’s the job of other, more specialist modules.  Instead it aims:

·       to introduce you to the programme and to provide you with an overview of the basic concepts of the purpose and nature of records and information and their management and to the sectoral, national and international context of records and information management.

Learning Outcomes

When you’ve completed this module you should be able to:

 1.     define records, information and related concepts

2.     describe the different elements of the complete records management programme and explain their functions

3.     explain the benefits and justify the costs of effective records management

4.     describe the development of the records management profession and the skills and knowledge required by today’s records managers

5.     describe the sectoral, national and international context of government records and information management

6.     demonstrate awareness of current issues and challenges in records and information management

7.     analyse how the above key concepts relate to your own working environment.


  • Key concepts (records, records management, information).
  • Overview of records and information, the life cycle and the continuum.
  • Knowledge management and the relationship between records management and information management, records management and archives management.
  • Justification and benefits of effective records management.
  • Risks associated with poor records management.
  • Ownership and safekeeping issues.
  • Legal issues. 
  • The development of the discipline.
  • Sectoral, national and international contexts of records management in central government.
  • Policy, programme and procedures for creation, retention, disposal, transfer and preservation.
  • The electronic environment.
  • Organisational place of records managemen t.
  • Models/approaches to records management.
  • User needs.
  • Records management staff and their roles.
  • Uses of records.
  • Professional ethics.
  • Current issues in records management.

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 provi ded 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)           1 day short course to introduce the module.
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

Students will be expected to buy or have ready access to at least one of the first four books listed below.  Shepherd and Yeo is the only UK-based text.  If you are new to the discipline then you are particularly recommended to locate either the book by Hare & McLeod or by Elizabeth Parker; both are currently out of print but your mentor may be able to help you find a copy.

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

HARE, C. and McLEOD, J. 1997. Developing a records management programme. London: Aslib 

 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, England; Brookfield, Vt: Gower. 

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

Wherever possible The National Archives and other government publications will be referenced; with very few exceptions, these are all available online.   Copyright restrictions permitting,  we will also make other readings or texts available via VITAL.