MS Teams and Administrative Records Guidelines
Please Note these are guidelines regarding the management of Dalhousie’s administrative records that fall under the University Records Management Policy. For training material related to MS Teams and its features, refer to Information Technology Services (ITS) Teams SharePoint site.
At Dalhousie University Teams is considered a communication and collaboration tool in the Microsoft 365 suite of tools. It is a work space for sharing files and engaging in discussions with specific groups of people.
When using Teams for administrative tasks it is important to understand that Teams is not considered a long-term storage repository for administrative records. The guidelines below will assist in understanding how to use Teams while ensuring administrative records are secure and retained in accordance with the Records Management Policy and other university policies, protocols and guidelines.
Use of Teams
- Teams is a communication and collaboration tool in the Microsoft 365 suite of tools.
- It is a workspace for sharing files and engaging in discussions with specific groups of people.
- It is not to be used as a records repository for the management of administrative records.
Determining an Administrative Record
- Refer to DalCLASS to determine what is an administrative record, how long it needs to be retained and its information security classification.
- All records are to be retained in an approved repository as outlined in the Electronic Storage Guidelines according to their information security classification.
Storage of Administrative Records
- Once collaboration has been completed on a record, ensure that the record is saved in the approved repository.
- Follow your department's file storage policy or procedures, ask your manager/supervisor, or contact the Records Management Office for guidance.
- Including storage as part of the workflow encourages consistency and makes it easy to ensure that documents that are considered records (e.g., minutes, agendas, final reports) are secure and retained in accordance with the Records Management Policy. This allows other team members to know that the documents retained on Teams are duplicates that require disposal when they are no longer required.
- Records on a Teams site are not to be retained longer than what is out lined in DalCLASS. The Records Management Office recommends only to retain them on the Teams site as long as they have value to the team. And if they no longer have value to the purpose or goals of the Teams site they should be deleted.
Note: For information about recordings of meetings in Teams see Recordings.
General recommendation - if something doesn’t have to be recorded, don’t record it. If a meeting is to be recorded, to ensure that minutes and notes are documented correctly, once the minutes or notes are finalized (or approved) the recording should be deleted. The official minutes, notes, and other supporting documentation should be retained in accordance with DalCLASS and the Electronic Storage Guidelines.
As of 11 January 2021, Teams meeting recordings will be stored in either OneDrive or the SharePoint site connected to the Teams site. Prior to 11 January 2021 recordings have to manually downloaded from Stream and uploaded the approved repository for meetings documents. See ITS How do I prepare?
Where recordings are stored depends on how they were initiated (e.g., type of meeting). Be aware of where recordings are stored and how long they are accessible for download.
For more details on how to download from Stream and about what has changed related to recording of meetings in Teams see Feature Change: Meeting Recordings Stored in OneDrive or Teams.
Proper Access to Site Content and Chats
When adding members to a Teams site it is important to know what content access rights they should have and what they have been given. The site creator can grant either ‘owner’ or ‘member’ access and, regardless of access type, Teams defaults to allow all team members editing rights to site content. See the Microsoft statement on Private Channels:
Private channels in Microsoft Teams create focused spaces for collaboration within your teams. Only the users on the team who are owners or members of the private channel can access the channel. Anyone, including guests, can be added as a member of a private channel as long as they are already members of the team. (Microsoft.com)
When inviting guests to a meeting it is recommend that they are not invited to a recurring meeting, but that a separate meeting be created. See Make the most of your Team meeting from Dalhousie + Microsoft 365 Unser Recourse Centre state below:
Create a separate meeting when inviting guests: When guests (internal or external) are invited to a meeting that is part of a recurring meeting series, they continue to see all future meetings and chats related to that meeting series. Rather than inviting a guest to a single occurrence of a recurring meeting, it is better to create a separate meeting for this purpose (do not schedule this separate meeting in a channel).
‘Guest’ access allows access to the meeting chat—any site assets shared during the meeting (e.g., links, files, notes) could be affected. If you are an organizer or a participant, think about the appropriate access required for the meeting. If it is a single meeting or a recurring meeting, method of attendance will affect the participants’ level of access. You want to ensure that those who do not require access to specific information accessible through the Teams site are not granted access by mistake. For more details see Teams Meeting Participant's Access to Chat