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Recordkeeping Guidelines Committees and Working Groups

Committees, regardless of their size or formality, are both common and essential to the decision-making of the university. The records constitute a valuable source documenting the history of the University. These guidelines are intended to assist committee Chairs and administrative staff supporting the Chair in the creation, management and disposition of the documents produced by university committees and working groups. 


  • Chair of the committee is responsible for recordkeeping and is responsible for delegating this responsibility as required
  • Committee records follow the position of the committee Chair – no abandoned committee records
  • Committee chair should control access to records as governed by the sensitivity of the records content
  • Always include an agenda
  • Prepare minutes as soon as possible after the meeting
  • Review access rights iCompass or other content systems when membership changes
  • Committee members hold copies (transitory records) that do not need to be retained and should be destroyed when their involvement in the committee ends, this includes email or chat
  • The minutes should be an accurate representation of the decision-making of the committee 

Responsibility for Committee Records 

The chair of the committee has responsibility for the creation and management of the records produced by the committee. In practice, much of this responsibility is delegated to administrative support personnel. Every committee should have a designated person responsible for committee records creation and management. 

The designated person is typically responsible for: 

  • Distribution of agendas, minutes and meeting packages containing supporting documents 
  • Recording the minutes of meetings 
  • Managing the master set of minutes 
  • Arranging for transfer and/or disposition of committee records in accordance with the university’s policies and procedures 

Change in Chair Position 

If the Chair of a committee changes, all official records of the committee should also be transferred to the new Chair. Transfer of records should include any committee records that may be stored off-site. 

Transitory Copies held by Committee Members 

Committee members may hold their own committee records-set for reference. Ideally, the Chair should provide a link to a central location where the records could be viewed read-only thus eliminating the need for committee members to accumulate their own copies (iCompass). Records held by committee members are transitory copies and retained for convenience only. These duplicates should be destroyed when no longer required or when the member’s committee involvement has ended. The Committee member should also do a search in their email for any email associated with the committee such as agendas, meeting minutes and/or packages sent to them and destroy those when their membership has ended or when they are no longer required for reference. 


Depending on the nature of the committee, the Chair should know how, or if, access to committee records is controlled. On a shared drive or content system this is typically facilitated through the use of a security group. The Chair and/or designate should also review the security profile on the folder when membership changes. 

Recommended Practices 

Meeting minutes document summary discussion and decision. They are the official record of a committee but are not used solely by the committee members. They may also be used by future members, non-members and, if appropriate in the future, by members of the researching public. They are a key record of the university’s documentary history and should be created with this in mind. Be sure the minutes are an accurate representation of the decision-making of the committee. Regardless of adopted style, minutes should created on a template that includes letterhead. 

Preparing the minutes 

The minutes should be prepared as soon as is possible after the meeting. At the very least, the notes taken should be reviewed immediately following the meeting to ensure that they are sufficiently detailed for the preparation of the minutes if they are to be prepared at a later date. 

Once the minutes are approved (typically at the next meeting) they should be saved as a PDF and named according to a consistent naming convention. All approved documentation should be filed together. In addition, once approved, all transitory materials relating to the preparation of the minutes should be destroyed (notes used to prepare the minutes for example). Regardless of the formality of the minutes there should not be any personal or subjective information recorded. 

Disposition of committee records 

Please see UFV’s record retention schedule for appropriate disposition of committee and working group records (under development).


For questions about iCompass, please contact UFV Secretariat.


This guideline was reproduced from University of British Columbia record keeping practices.