As a records officer you're responsible for the effective and appropriate management of an organisation's records from their creation, right through to their eventual disposal.
The Skills Required
You'll need to have:
- strong communication skills to deal with senior colleagues, suppliers and contractors;
- negotiation skills to persuade senior colleagues to follow agreed record storing guidelines;
- problem-solving and analytical skills to develop an understanding of how your organisation works and build integrated records systems;
- good project management and organisational skills;
- a good grasp of new technology to use and adapt to new IT packages and systems;
- an awareness of information management principles and familiarity with information systems and archives;
- attention to detail;
- flexibility to get involved in all aspects of information provision.
- Knowledge of the data protection and freedom of information legislation is also useful.
To become a records manager, you'll normally need a first degree followed by a postgraduate qualification recognised and accredited by the ARA.
The subject of your first degree isn't particularly relevant, and records managers come from a range of backgrounds, including archives management, scientific research, financial and retail management, and the civil service.
Entry onto a postgraduate course is competitive and you normally need a good honours degree and previous work experience. Courses lead to a nine-month Postgraduate Diploma, the minimum requirement for employment as a professional records manager, or a full one-year Masters degree on completion of a dissertation. Most courses are combined archives and records management programmes.