Record keeping is an essential element without which it would be impossible to ascertain many important factors integral to the teaching and learning process. How a learner is progressing, whether they attended classes, whether any significant risks were posed by medication, health and safety or by a prospective new teacher, whether an establishment was providing the services it was being paid to and many other important aspects would be impossible to establish without records being kept. Many of the records mentioned above are required by law to be kept complete and organised, not just for the period of the person’s participation within the college, but for a number of years well beyond the pupils or teachers involvement. For example; accident books or records must be kept for 3 years after the last entry, wage or salary records for a minimum of 6 years, some medical records for 40 years after their last use and some Health and Safety Assessments are recommended to be kept permanently. Access to personnel records and the Data Protection Act Virtually all records now come under the jurisdiction of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA). This Act defines UK law on the processing of data on identifiable living people. It is the main piece of legislation that governs the protection of personal data in the UK. The Act applies to most personnel records, whether held in paper, microform, or computerised format. Computerised systems are covered by the law, as are certain manual systems: to be covered, manual systems must be organised into a 'relevant filing system'. Even manual filing systems in existence before 24 October 1998 when the DPA came into force are now required to comply fully with the Data Protection Directive. Subject to certain exceptions (as detailed in Schedule 7 of the Data Protection Act 1998) employees have the right to access their records and the employer is under an obligation to ensure that the data is accurate. Records kept by Tutors In Reflective Teaching, Pollard (2006) states: ‘There are two basic types of record which teachers have to keep: those relating to class and college organisation and those relating to the assessment of pupil progress. Some of the records kept for the purpose of class and college organisation include: pupils medical records, tutor supervisions, contact hours for funding, accident books, criminal record checks, financial records such as wages, college accounts or budgets etc, the Continuous Professional Development (CPD) of tutors, reflective learning journals, equal opportunities monitoring, risk assessments, health and safety audits and quality improvement plans to name but a few. Records relating to the assessment of pupil progress may include: those of achievements such as exam scores etc, attendance records, safeguarding, disciplinary, incident reports, therapy hours, photographic evidencing, individual learning plans, transition passports and annual reviews. Accurate records taken throughout a course enables both tutor and students to continually reassess the effectiveness of the teaching/learning relationship by giving an ongoing measure against which to view learning objectives. Records indicate whether pupils have learnt what has been taught and are making sufficient progress with the course; who needs more help or is ready for more extensive work by assessing better or worse progress than expected; and whether teachers need to refine any aspects of their teaching by assessing successes or shortcomings where teaching needs to be strengthened.