Managing student records in compliance with regulatory obligations
If you handle and store information about identifiable,
living people, e.g. students, you are legally obliged to protect that
information. Under the Data Protection Act you must:
it is relevant and up to date
hold as much as you need and only for as long as you need it
the subject of the information to see it on request
The Freedom of Information Act gives students the
right to see not only their personal information which is held by an academic
institution but also their educational records. If a request by a student is
made the relevant information must be supplied within 20 working days.
The Information Commissioner’s Office has developed and
approved a model publication scheme which demands that every
local authority, including schools, should have a records management and
personal data policy which includes:
retention destruction and archive policies
protection (including information sharing policies)
The policy must also ensure that records relating to the
academic aspects of the student’s relationship with the institution are clearly
segregated from those dealing with financial, disciplinary and social aspects.
This will enable differential retention periods to be applied to
each of these to meet business and regulatory requirements.
The nature of student records and the personal information
they contain demand that they should be stored in facilities and equipment or
electronic systems which are, above all, secure and accessible only to
authorised personnel. The storage facility should also provide adequate space
for the records to be retained and appropriate environmental conditions.
If student records are kept in paper format, complying with
all the above requirements will be difficult, labour intensive and time
consuming. Even in electronic format, records may not be easy to manage unless
the system they are stored in has the necessary functionality. With this in
mind, The IPC Group has developed a compliance tool called mstore for
Education which can help schools and colleges achieve conformity with these regulatory
obligations. It is a highly secure electronic student records management system
with automated document retention which can be assigned to individual elements
of a student record. mstore for Education is structured to allow easy
retrieval by authorised individuals and has an audit facility to track all
activity within the system.
For further details about mstore for Education please click
here or call The IPC Group on 08081 45 46 47.