Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

Minute Keeping Guidelines for Council, Senate and their Committees

Category Administration and Management
Type Guideline
Approved by Registrar and Secretary to Council, 16 July 2012
Date Guideline Took Effect 1 January 2013
Last Approved Revision
Sponsor Registrar and Secretary to Council
Responsible Officer Executive Officer, Office of the Registrar and Secretary to Council
Review Date 1 January 2015

Please note that compliance with University Guidelines is expected in normal circumstances, and any deviation from Guidelines – which should only be in exceptional circumstances – needs to be justifiable.


To provide guidance on formal minute keeping procedures to ensure that full and accurate records of Council, Senate and their Committees are maintained, made accessible, and stored in accordance with legislative requirements. These guidelines also outline the responsibilities of staff in support of these requirements.

Organisational Scope

These guidelines are for any staff member who is a Secretary to Council, Senate and/or their Committees.


Formal Minute Paper
A4 acid free minute paper (warm white 118gsm).

Ring Binders
Officially named ring binders for storage of signed minutes.

Polypropylene Pocket
Archival quality acid free clear polypropylene A4 pages to store sets of minutes.


1. Copies of minutes are to be sent to Head, Corporate Records Services, as part of the distribution process.

2. Minutes are to be printed on formal minute paper and inserted into the polypropylene pocket prior to the next meeting of the Committee/Board.

3. For indexing purposes (refer item 6), minutes are to be numbered by hand writing the figure at the top right hand side of the page. As paper is likely to be cropped in the binding process, please write the number approximately 10mm from the top and side.

4. At the next Committee/Board meeting, the original on formal minute paper is signed by the Convenor and returned to the polypropylene pocket.

5. Original minutes are stored in the polypropylene pockets in the suitably titled formal ring binder by the Secretary until such time as the ring binder volume is full and complete.

6. Each ring binder volume of minutes should contain an index at the beginning. In line with best practice, the University of Otago has adopted indexing for all formal Committees of Council (Appendix A). Indexing must be clear and concise and terms must be consistent. The Index should be updated after every meeting. It is recommended that the index be formatted into two columns in alphabetical order. Acronyms and abbreviations must not be used.

Example Index


Academic Audit

Academic Promotions

3, 26, 33, 41

1, 17, 19

Board of Graduate Studies

Budget 2012

Budget Guidelines

5, 26


32, 47, 78

Committee for the Advancement of Learning and Teaching

Code of Student Conduct

2, 17, 38

17, 26

Financial Performance48, 56
General Staff Conference 201238, 46
Inaugural Professorial Lectures22, 28, 61
New Zealand International Science Festival12, 48

Research Committee

Review of the PhD Programme

7, 19

22, 26, 38, 42

Treaty of Waitangi7, 36, 43

7. The complete ring binder containing officially signed minutes is to be forwarded to the Foreman Binder, Central Services, Information Services Building, for formal binding.

8. The General Disposal Authority (GDA) for formal minutes is: Action for Committees of Council agendas and minutes and supporting documentation: Archive 10 years after date of last action.

9. 10 years after date of last action, bound minutes are to be forwarded to the Hocken Librarian for storage in accordance with the GDA.


Formal Minute Paper

Teton A4
Archival (NISO/ANSI standard Z39.48-1992 permanence of paper)
Elemental Chlorine Free (ECF)
Acid Free
Warm White 118gsm
Available through the Foreman Binder on 479 9194.

Ring Binders for Storage of Signed Minutes

Officially named ring binders are available through the Foreman Binder on 479 9194

P35 Polypropylene Page A4

Archival quality acid free clear polypropylene A4 pages to store sets of minutes are available through Conservation Supplies

Related Policies, Procedures and Forms

University of Otago Records Management Policy

New Zealand Universities General Disposal Authority (GDA)

Access Framework for University of Otago Records

University of Otago Human Resources Career Development and Training: Servicing Formal Committees – an introduction to the art and science of servicing formal committees

Contact for Further Information

If you have any queries regarding the content of these guidelines or need further clarification, contact the Executive Officer, Office of the Registrar and Secretary to Council on 479 8250.