Records managers

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Records managers are responsible for accurately, securely and effectively managing information received and produced by a wide range of public and private sector organisations.

Records managers oversee an organisation’s records from their creation and preservation through to disposal. Typical responsibilities include:

  • establishing new records management systems

  • developing, maintaining, verifying and evaluating existing systems

  • overseeing the switch from paper to electronic record-keeping

  • writing reports and publications

  • dealing with enquiries and requests for information from both internal and external clients

  • ensuring that financial, legal or administrative requirements and regulations are complied with

  • ensuring that data is protected

  • classifying and indexing records

  • destroying or archiving finished data/records

  • ensuring that records are easily accessible when needed

  • providing training to staff who require access or have responsibility for maintaining records.

While the role is advertised for in its own right, in some organisations the job might be combined with that of:

  • a project manager  (information management is a key element of project management)

  • an information science or management role (that often has a wider remit than record management)

  • an IT manager

  • a regulation and compliance officer or regulatory affairs manager

  • an archivist.


Qualifications and training required


You usually need a degree to become a records manager.

The vast majority of vacancies do require you to have gained related work experience, which you can gain through voluntary work or paid placements (bear in mind that these can be competitive to secure).

It’s also not unknown for entrants to have started out in a scientific research, technology, government or financial role and to have moved across into record management, having gained the relevant postgraduate qualification if required.


Key skills for records managers


  • Patience

  • Meticulousness

  • Capable of prioritising

  • Good problem-solving skills

  • Analytical skills

  • Administrative skills

  • Organisational skills

  • Communication and influencing skills, especially when requiring colleagues to hand over records or to use the systems correctly

  • Confidence with using bespoke and standard databases, software and operating systems.


Typical employers of records managers


Any organisation that handles large amounts of information may require the skills of a records manager; key sectors where you might find record managers are those where there is a great deal of regulations and supervision, such as the nuclear industry, healthcare and finance.

Most record management jobs are found with:

  • the NHS

  • technology companies

  • universities, higher education institutions and further education colleges

  • local authorities, the Civil Service and the intelligence services

  • financial services organisations

  • construction companies, utility companies and other organisations connected with power (particularly nuclear)

  • pharmaceutical companies

  • charities, retailers and other companies that store data for marketing or consumer research purposes

Experienced record managers can also work on a freelance or consultancy basis for employers.


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