Capture specific record types

Find out how and when to capture common record types and those with additional recordkeeping requirements.


You should decide which emails to capture using the same criteria as all other records.

Once you have decided that you need to capture an email documenting a business activity or decision, remember to:

  • capture emails at the end of a thread where possible (rather than every to-and-from)
  • capture attachments to emails
  • capture work related emails from your personal email accounts if they are used for business
  • check the relevant retention and disposal schedule to ensure you don’t delete business emails that are required to be kept for a certain period of time.

Most email systems do not have sufficient recordkeeping functionality to properly capture and manage emails. Email archives and back-up tapes are not suitable methods of capture.

Procedures and processes may need to include a standard, and business rules for who, when, where and how to capture emails (e.g. standard naming conventions and detailed subject fields).

Some business rules you could include are:

  • if you are the sender–you are responsible for capture
  • if you have received an email from an external sender and you are the only recipient in your agency–you are responsible for capture
  • if you have received an email from an external sender and you are one of many recipients in your agency–the person who is most directly involved in the issue or task is responsible for capture.

Meetings and conversations

You will need to capture records of business meetings and conversations if decisions are made or actions are taken.

Official minutes are usually taken during formal meetings. Minutes may not be taken for informal meetings (e.g. brainstorming sessions) or in quick conversations (e.g. telephone call, video conference or chat) and decisions or actions will need to be documented in another way.

You can:

  • create a summary or file note of the meeting/conversation
  • take a photo or copy of any notes made in a format that can’t be captured and kept (e.g. white board, butchers paper, online collaboration tool)
  • use audio or video recordings (e.g. live streaming) to capture discussions–these can be kept as recordings or transcribed later.

Make sure all relevant information is captured. Minutes and summaries of meetings can be sent to everyone involved so additional information can be added or corrections made where necessary.

Where a meeting is recorded using audio or video (e.g. live streamed), and official meeting minutes are also created, the recordings do not need to be kept as the official record.

How long recordings need to be kept will depend on your agency, the type of meeting and recording, and your retention and disposal schedule. For example, live-streamed local council meetings, where official meeting minutes are created, may be sentenced under 13.6.5 or 13.6.6 in the Local Government Sector retention and disposal schedule.

Text and instant messages

You will need to capture texts and instant messages sent or received by staff if they document a decision or action taken or were created, received or kept to meet legal or business requirements or community expectations.

Note: This applies to both agency issued and personal devices.

You will need to capture:

  • the contents–what was discussed and any decisions, actions or transactions
  • the business activity it relates to
  • the date and time
  • who was involved.

Check what devices or software is used and what functionality they have for capturing conversations. You may be able to download a conversation or copy and paste it into a document. If this is not possible, consider other ways of capturing the information (e.g.a file note or screen shot).

Note: Be aware of any personal information that may be captured.

Find out about managing records on mobile and smart devices.