Find out about roles and responsibilities

Staff need to be aware of their recordkeeping roles and responsibilities.

Responsibilities may be determined by legislation or assigned to a position by the agency itself.

When developing or reviewing your agency’s records governance framework, you will need to determine who will use the framework, who will manage it and how each will do so.

Consider how roles and responsibilities are currently organised and what changes to your framework may support what you are seeking to achieve. Remember that there are limits to how roles and responsibilities may change.

The following roles will usually have the responsibilities described below.

1. Ministers and Assistant Ministers

Ministers and Assistant Ministers will make and keep complete and reliable records of activities related to their ministerial portfolio responsibilities or Assistant Minister duties.

The Ministerial records policy (PDF, 504 KB) establishes how Ministers, Assistant Ministers and ministerial staff can fulfil their recordkeeping responsibilities by:

  • being aware of and fulfilling their recordkeeping obligations under the Public Records Act 2002
  • making full and accurate ministerial records
  • keeping all ministerial records for as long as they are lawfully required to be kept.

See the Queensland Ministerial HandbookQueensland Parliament procedures - Code of ethical standards and CAARA Policy 24 - Social Media Records of Ministers for information on other ministerial responsibilities. See also advice from the Office of the Information Commissioner on documents a Minister.

2. Mayors, councillors and council employees

The Local Government Act 2009 requires mayors and councillors to comply with all laws that apply to local government. This includes the recordkeeping requirements of the Public Records Act 2002 (the Act).

Mayors, councillors and council employees create public records as part of their roles. Any records that a mayor, council or council employees create will be public records if they relate to the:

  • administration of council business
  • responsibilities of the mayor, councillors or council employees under the Local Government Act 2009.

These records will need to be managed as public records by the council.

A Council’s CEO is responsible for ensuring their council complies with its recordkeeping obligations.

The joint QSA and Crime and Corruption Commission guideline on council records (PDF, establishes how elected council officials, as well as CEOs and council employees, can fulfil their recordkeeping responsibilities by:

  • being aware of and fulfilling their recordkeeping obligations under the Act
  • making full and accurate public records
  • keeping public records for as long as they are lawfully required to be kept.

For more information on the responsibilities of elected members of council and managing records, see:

3. Chief Executives

Chief executives are required to:

  • ensure recordkeeping is included in business processes
  • provide resources to maintain your recordkeeping system
  • promote and support a positive recordkeeping culture
  • endorse the disposal of records
  • set restricted access periods for records held in the custody of QSA.

The CEO can also delegate certain authorisations.

Find out more about delegating authorisations (PDF, 207 KB).

Resources for CEOs

4. Managers

Managers are required to:

  • ensure all employees are aware of recordkeeping policies and procedures
  • assign recordkeeping responsibilities to the right people
  • ensure recordkeeping processes support business processes–this means making sure recordkeeping is built into your processes
  • ensure there is no unauthorised disposal of records–this means ensuring that disposal is in accordance with an authorised retention and disposal schedule.

5. Employees

All public service employees are required to:

  • comply with recordkeeping policies and procedures
  • create and capture records of work activities
  • secure records from unauthorised access
  • ensure there is no unauthorised disposal of records–find out who is responsible for endorsing the destruction of records in your agency.

6. Records managers/records teams (if applicable)

If your agency has a dedicated records manager or records team, they are required to:

  • establish and manage a recordkeeping system
  • identify business recordkeeping requirements
  • ensure recordkeeping training is provided to all employees
  • coordinate the disposal of records in accordance with approved retention and disposal schedules
  • ensure appropriate access to records (e.g. through control, storage).

Your agency may have a centralised records and/or information management team responsible for major recordkeeping tasks (e.g. creating files, registering documents, managing access and security). If this is the case, you will need to clearly communicate this to all staff. Staff remain responsible for creating and keeping records of their work.

Find out about recordkeeping responsibilities as part of the strategies to prevent corruption (PDF, 572KB).

7. Key roles

The Records governance policy requires agencies to assign formal records management responsibilities to key roles within the business to monitor and support the active implementation of the policy.

A key role can be any position that is able to monitor and support the implementation of the Policy. It can be multiple positions, for example, a governance board or committee.

The key role should:

  • be familiar with the Records governance policy
  • act as a champion for the Policy as well as recordkeeping maturity
  • gather support to help them with the Policy
  • lead the determination of what changes are needed to ensure compliance with the Policy
  • collaborate with or enable collaboration between different units to achieve records management aims
  • communicate with other parts of the agency to educate on, and obtain buy in, for records management changes
  • allocate or advocate for the allocation of resources for records management projects and objectives
  • report on records management to the executive
  • ensure any delegations are appropriate and regularly review the delegations.

More information about key roles can be found on the Records Connect blog.

8. Delegating authorisations

In your agency, the CEO can delegate authorisation to:

Delegations should be to people with the appropriate skills, knowledge and authority.

Destruction or transfer of records


  • can only come from the CEO
  • can be to an appropriate position or a named officer
  • can be to an appropriate external position if a service provider manages records on your behalf–for more information see machinery-of-government changes
  • cannot be sub-delegated–this means a delegate cannot give responsibility to someone else.

You do not need to inform QSA if you have chosen to delegate responsibilities around the destruction or transfer of records.

Restricted access periods and authorised access


  • can only come from the CEO
  • must be to a position within your agency rather than a named officer
  • can be to an appropriate external position if a service provider manages records on your behalf–for more information see machinery-of-government changes
  • can include determining RAPs, approval for administrative access to restricted records held at QSA and changing RAPs as required
  • can be included when delegating responsibilities for endorsing the disposal or transfer of records
  • are renewed every 2 years through the public records access delegation of authority form (DOCX, 154 KB)
  • cannot be sub-delegated–this means a delegate cannot give responsibility for setting RAPs to someone else.

The CEO always retains these powers and does not need to complete the form.

All access requests will be sent to the CEO if an authorised delegate is not nominated. You can provide a preferred contact point (e.g. generic email address) in section 4 of the public records access delegation of authority form (DOCX, 154 KB)

If nominated positions change, you must complete a new form and forward it to QSA.

More information

Information on delegating responsibilities can be found in s27 of the Acts Interpretation Act 1954.

See more about delegating recordkeeping responsibilities (PDF, 207 KB).

9. Communicating roles and responsibilities

Practical ways of communicating roles and responsibilities include:

  • developing and communicating a recordkeeping policy
  • training and awareness–including training programs, employee inductions and regular communications
  • incorporating recordkeeping responsibilities into position descriptions
  • defining recordkeeping responsibilities in contracts and related documents
  • incorporating responsibilities in performance development planning.

10. Training and awareness

Training and awareness programs can be used to ensure staff understand their responsibilities and have the right knowledge and skills to make and keep records.

A recordkeeping training and awareness program will usually cover:

  • what employees need to do–their recordkeeping responsibilities
  • why they need to do it–the legal recordkeeping obligations of your agency
  • how they are going to do it–examples of records that employees need to keep and how they can capture, keep and lawfully destroy them.

The type of training and awareness program you choose, and how it is implemented and delivered will depend on your agency.

Format of training

Training and awareness should be delivered in the best format for your agency:


  • Flexible
  • Can combine visual and audio content
  • Reporting functionality can be used to monitor participation.


  • Useful for practical training in the use of recordkeeping applications and technology
  • Experience in training environments good for employee confidence.


  • Procedural documents can be used alone, or to support other training methods
  • Publish procedures for easy access
  • Present procedures during induction processes.

Informal face-to-face

  • Integrate recordkeeping into team meetings, workshops or other training sessions
  • Tailor messages to the audience or subject matter.

Formal face-to-face

  • Regular training and awareness sessions allow employees to attend when it is convenient for them
  • These sessions might be longer, more comprehensive and tailored to the audience (e.g. new employee induction).

Informal publications

  • Regular reminders, tips, or announcements can be put in blog posts, intranet articles, newsletters or social media updates.

On-the-job training

  • Informal training can be fostered through the appointment of ‘champions’–responsible for promoting recordkeeping in their workgroup.

Find out more about marketing your recordkeeping team’s services.

Training to capture records

Ensure that staff know how to create and capture records, including:

  • how to identify a record–adapt and use what records do I need to keep? (DOC, 47 KB)
  • what recordkeeping solutions should be used to capture your high-value business records
  • the specifics of capturing records, like how to title records and apply proper security.

Document this information in your recordkeeping procedures as a collection of work instructions, a guideline, a manual or a web-based tool.

Find out more about developing processes and procedures.

Training provided by QSA

QSA provides 2 online recordkeeping training modules.

Both training tools:

  • can be used for staff inductions, as a refresher or as part of a wider records management program in your agency
  • are suitable for all employees–from experienced recordkeepers to new starters
  • are free and available on under the training section
  • can be hosted internally on your agency’s e-learning management system–contact us for more details.

Recordkeeping and You–Recordkeeping awareness training

QSA’s Recordkeeping and you training is an interactive, web-based training designed to introduce employees to the who, what, why and how of good recordkeeping.

It outlines in simple terms the things you need to be aware of to do good recordkeeping, including your obligations and responsibilities.

The training consists of a 4 minute “edumercial” and a single module training package that takes you through the recordkeeping basics. It takes approximately 20 minutes to complete.

The program is web-based and can be accessed via the ForGov website or you can host it internally on your agency’s e-learning management system.

Read the overview of the Recordkeeping and you awareness training (PDF, 157 KB).

Records management challenge

The Records management challenge is a step up from the Recordkeeping and You training.

This learning tool allows public service employees to consolidate their recordkeeping knowledge and skills in a simulated work situation.

The module uses gamification techniques to guide learners through their records management responsibilities while building a new park in the fictional town of Lamingtown.

It highlights the consequences to business processes, service delivery and community outcomes if staff don’t properly create and manage records.

The training is based on the award-winning City of Sydney Records Challenge and has been customised for Queensland and Queensland State Archives with permission under a creative commons licence.

Read the overview of the Records management challenge (PDF, 154 KB).

Training provided by other recordkeeping and archival organisations

We recommend both the Records and Information Management Professionals Australia (RIMPA) and the Australian Society of Archivists (ASA) for information on accredited courses in information management, recordkeeping, archiving, and library and information services.

11. Resources