How to become a Records Officer

Records officers are responsible for the creation, storage, retrieval and disposal of all recorded information about an organisation’s activities. Information can come in many formats, such as digital, photographic, film or paper. This information contributes to what is often called the ‘corporate memory’ of the organisation, without which an organisation could not function properly or be held accountable for its actions.

Personal requirements of a Records Officer

  • Good planning and organisational skills
  • Good problem-solving skills
  • Good communication skills
  • Able to work as part of a team
  • Attention to detail

Education & Training for a Records Officer

To become a records officer, you usually have to complete a VET qualification in recordkeeping or information technology. You may also like to consider a VET qualification in government, business or business administration. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. You may be able to study through distance education. You can also become a records officer through a traineeship in recordkeeping. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. Ask your career adviser about the possibility of starting some of this training in school. For full details, refer to the entries on the website at www.goodcareersguide.com.au or university handbooks.

Duties & Tasks of a Records Officer

Records officers may perform the following tasks:

  • research and analyse the information needs of an organisation and develop procedures to meet those needs
  • undertake audits of information created and stored within the organisation
  • establish the duration for which records are to be kept according to policy and legislative requirements
  • develop policies for the distribution and storage of records, including the incorporation of new information technologies into the organisation
  • create and maintain databases for the control and retrieval of information
  • provide support to meet regulatory, accountability and transparency requirements of organisations
  • interpret freedom of information, archives and records and privacy legislation as it governs access to organisation information.

Working conditions for a Records Officer

Records officers must work closely with all staff members to make sure that the information systems of the organisation meet their needs and the organisation's objectives.

Employment Opportunities for a Records Officer

Records officers work in a variety of environments, including federal, state and territory government departments, local councils, commercial firms (such as banks and resource companies), churches and professional associations. It is possible for records officers to move between different organisations and industries. Self-employment is possible, mainly through contract work in setting up new record systems and by advising firms on methods of improved record storage and retrieval. With experience, and sometimes further training, records officers may progress into team leader, coordinator and managerial roles.

Additional Information
Records and Information Management Professionals Australasia is the professional organisation for records officers. Membership is available at various levels depending on qualifications and experience.
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