What they do
Records managers are responsible for the storage and maintenance of the records of an organisation's activities. Increasingly these records are stored in a digital format, though backups may still be kept on paper, film or CD. Records managers ensure that an organisation meets legal requirements to keep records of their activities for a certain amount of time, and make this information available under the Freedom of Information Act. They are also responsible for ensuring that records are disposed of responsibly and appropriately at the end of this period. Many records managers are also responsible for training other staff members in how to effectively use the records management system.
Records managers in Western Australia usually work in government departments and larger organisations located in the Perth metropolitan region. They usually work in an office environment, though in some cases they may also have to travel to off-site storage locations. Records managers work regular office hours, and there are often opportunities to work part-time.
Tools and technologies
With the increasing move to store records electronically archivists must be familiar with using computers to both create and navigate a database. Where hardcopy information is also stored, records managers may be required to climb ladders to reach high shelves. Records managers will have to use a consistent information management or catalogue system in order to record the location of stored material. These systems may be developed by the records manager themselves, or they may already exist within an organisation and will have to be learned by new employees.
How do I become one?
Education and training
To become a records manager, you usually need to gain a qualification in recordkeeping, information management, records management or a related area.
You can undertake a traineeship in records keeping (level 3 or level 4). The traineeships usually take 12 months to complete.
You can also complete a degree majoring in corporate information management. Curtin University offers a Bachelor of Arts, with a double major in Librarianship and Corporate Information Management.
Alternatively, you can undertake a degree in any discipline, followed by a postgraduate qualification in information studies, records management and archives, or information management.
Contact the universities you are interested in for more information
Apprenticeships and traineeships
As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.
You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.