Staff Leaving Employment - Information Management Guidelines


These guidelines apply to all staff members at the University, including contractors.


These guidelines will help ensure the University meets its ongoing business needs and compliance obligations set out in the Records Management Policy. They are in addition to the exiting requirements as set out by Human Resources.


With the loss of staff comes the loss of specialist and organisational knowledge. Those leaving and managers are encouraged to think of actions which will ensure service continuity and capture the valuable contributions made by staff, as well as managing the handover of critical business information. This not only concerns the documentation and records associated with their work, but also the key resources and contacts needed to carry out the role successfully.

Leavers and managers should take the appropriate actions to make sure that the staff member’s work remains accessible to the manager or the person taking on their responsibilities. This is so that:

  • information the University requires to carry out its activities is accessible, secure and retained where appropriate, regardless of format
  • colleagues and managers can find information they rely on when it is needed
  • easier locating of records and information should they be required for present or future Official Information Act, Privacy Act requests, internal reviews or enquiries
  • key knowledge resources and contacts relating to the person’s role are captured and available for the next person in the role.
  • reduce the need to re-do work or make decisions based on incomplete data because the relevant information cannot be accessed

Academic staff should also make sure that their research data will continue to be managed in line with the University’s Research Conduct and eResearch requirements, and any ethics approval requirements.

For staff leaving:

Electronic files

  • If you need specialist software to access or manage your information, ensure your manager is aware of it so it will be available to your successor
  • Ensure that all electronic information you are working on and has worked on in the past has all been saved to the appropriate business system, network file share or agreed information repository. This includes all work relevant e-mails which are records of decisions or transactions

Note - Staff moving to another role in the University should also do this.

  • Ensure that all business files on your personal network drive (Home drive or personal storage on Google drive or OneDrive) have been either deleted or saved to the team network file share, appropriate business system or to your line manager as appropriate
  • Ensure that any documents in Google Drive that need to be kept as a record of a business decision are saved to the appropriate business system or network file share
  • Ensure all drafts (except for work in progress) and/or duplicate documents have been deleted or disposed of before you leave. Clearly name drafts which are work-in-progress


Ensure all paper files have been returned to the storage system
Ensure all draft and/or duplicate documents have been deleted or disposed of before you leave


  • Ensure any USB or other external storage devices containing University information are labelled as to their contents


  • Ensure all your personal information is deleted from the University Email account

For managers

Electronic and paper files

  • Ensure that any business documents in Google Drive, Dropbox, wiki for which the staff member leaving (including moving to another role in the University) is the current owner, have had their ownership transferred to: a) an appropriate member of the team or (b) the staff member’s line manager, or (c) a shared team account
  • Ensure that the staff member has returned all portable electronic devices including USB (Memory) sticks, laptops etc. before they leave and that all information contained on such devices has been transferred to the network file share or appropriate business system
  • Ensure that any paper files are returned to their storage system


  • Where the staff member is leaving the University ensure that all access to all corporate systems has been removed

Note - Where the staff member is just moving within the University access will only need to be removed to the systems and areas of the former team’s network fileshare they no longer need access.


  • Consider whether you need access to email accounts of leaving staff if it retains information that there is a business need to access
  • Ensure that where the staff member is leaving that they put on their Out of Office until such time as their e-mail account is deleted in order to signpost University employees and partner organisations or individuals to another contact within the team or service

Knowledge exchange

  • Ensure valuable or unique knowledge is identified and documented so that the person taking over the tasks has access to it
  • Identify key knowledge needed to carry out role, e.g. training required
  • Discuss with the staff member who their key internal and external contacts are
  • Ask the staff member to identify key document and information sources
  • Organise a briefing on any immediate or dormant issues that need resolving

Information management checklist for leavers

No Task Comments/actions Completed
S1 Have you advised your manager of any special software or passwords needed to access the information which is created as part of your role?
S2 Have you saved all electronic files (including work-related emails) in the electronic shared team/service filing area, or somewhere as agreed with your line manager?     
S3 Have you reassigned ownership of any work-related Google Docs, wiki sites or other information sites  “owned,” by you to an appropriate colleague/manager or deleted as appropriate?    
S4 Have you deleted all your personal information from email and shared drives?    
S5 Have you transferred work saved on memory sticks and/or work  laptop or personal computer (PC) hard drives, been transferred to University systems? e.g. network drives, SharePoint site    
S6 Have you named any drafts or duplicates clearly or deleted them if they are no longer required?    
S7 Have you returned all paper files  to their storage locations?    

Information management checklist for managers

No Task Comments/actions Completed
M1 Have all records (or access to them) being worked on by the staff member been reviewed and passed on to colleagues/managers or, where appropriate transferred for archiving?
M2 Have any files, electronic or paper, which are part of an ongoing investigation, been identified and marked for retention?    
M3 Have draft documents been named or deleted as appropriate?    
M4 Has material stored locations ‘owned’ by the staff member such as Google Docs, the Wiki, or particular SharePoint sites had ownership transferred or the records transferred?    
M5 Has personal information been deleted from drives and email accounts?    
M6 Have you ensured on-going access to any specialist software or tools needed for the position?    
M7 Has the staff member set up a standard Out- of-Office reply for their e-mail account, identifying an alternative contact to deal with any enquiries that may come after the person has left?    
M8 Have you identified the key information resources and people that someone in the role will need to be aware of to successfully carry it out?    
M9 Have you discussed with the staff member the status of any ongoing work, or work that has been ‘parked’ but which still needs resolving?    


The following definitions apply to this document:

Staff member refers to an individual employed by the University on a full or part time basis.

University means the University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries.

Key relevant documents

Document management and control

Owner: Registrar
Content manager: Records Management Programme Manager
Date approved: 1st February 2018
Review date: 1st February 2021