The British Council is the United Kingdom’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities.

We are committed to creating and maintaining records which document our activities, to supporting good governance and to complying with legal and statutory requirements, in particular the Freedom of Information Act 2000, Data Protection Act 1998 and Public Records Act 1958. We recognise that records form part of our corporate memory and are an important organisational asset.

This applies to all records, in all media, which are created, received or maintained by our staff, irrespective of their contractual status, in the course of British Council business. Records and documentation created through partnerships are also subject to contractual record keeping requirements.

The British Council is committed to:

  • ensuring that records are created to provide evidence of its decisions and activities
  • maintaining record keeping systems to support the integrity and reliability of records
  • developing and maintaining policy and procedures for the review and timely disposal of records in line with organisational requirements, legal obligations and historical value
  • protecting records from unauthorised alteration or loss and providing an audit trail to record the movement and use of records
  • setting principles and standards which govern access to records and reviewing information for sensitive issues
  • ensuring that records which are essential to business continuity are identified and protected
  • ensuring the identification, preservation and transfer of records to the National Archives or to an approved place of deposit
  • monitoring how it complies with this policy.

We will provide adequate and appropriate resources to implement this policy and will ensure it is communicated and understood.

The British Council will review this global policy statement annually to reflect new legal and regulatory developments and ensure good practice.

This global policy statement was approved by Sir Ciarán Devane, Chief Executive, in February 2017 and is due for review in February 2018.