Records management

The British Council creates international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and builds trust between them worldwide. We are committed to creating, maintaining and managing records which document our activities, to supporting governance and to facilitating compliance 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 policy applies to all records, regardless of form or medium, created, received or maintained by all staff, irrespective of their contractual status, in the course of British Council business. It is applicable globally. Records and documentation created through partnerships must also be subject to contractual record keeping requirements.


The British Council is committed to:

• ensuring that records are created to provide adequate and reliable 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, 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 selection, identification, preservation and transfer of records to the National Archives or 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 2016 and is due for review in February 2017.