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​Email DOs and DON'Ts





Remember that emails sent and received on University systems are subject to multiple pieces of legislation and policies and may be open to scrutiny or required for legislative purposes. Please see guidance.​


​Send business emails to or from private/non business email accounts.

​Remember that University systems are for University business and save emails which are University records into Share-Point/S:Drive with related records, ensuring appropriate access controls are in place.


Treat emails to do with University business as your personal correspondence.

​Remember that the University email system is not a filing system/information storage repository.


​Leave all your messages in the University email system e.g. Outlook or a .pst archive

​Remember that email is NOT a secure form of communication.


Encrypt emails containing personal, sensitive or confidential information.


​Send any personal, sensitive, or confidential information by email as a general rule.


Use "Reply All" without checking who you are replying to


Filter the emails you receive and decide if you should Act, Read or Delete them.

​Keep important University records in your email account – particularly if they are the only copy (Golden copy). They may be needed by others in your absence.


​Delete non-record emails as soon as they are no longer useful or required.


​Forget to empty the ‘deleted’ folder in your email account regularly.


​Provide links to files in the message body rather than sending attachments.


​Send attachments – send links where possible.


​Set time aside regularly to manage (review, file or delete) emails in your account. Set up an appointment in your calendar for regular review.


​Allow backlogs of emails to accumulate in your account. This can lead to their management becoming an ‘insurmountable obstacle’. Mass deletion of emails increases the risk of destroying records too early in contravention of legislation/policy.


Use one email per business item, so that they can be stored with the other related information/records.


​Mix University and personal business in one email.


​Use appropriate business language, as you would for any other business records/communications.  Remember that emails are subject to information legislation.


​Send angry emails or make inappropriate comments which would cause embarrassment if the email was required to be produced in response to a request for information made under the ‘Access to Information’ legislation.


​Be efficient: deal with the whole process for an email in one pass as often as possible – read/action then file/delete as appropriate.


​Waste time by leaving emails in your inbox that you will return to or re-read just to make sure they have been dealt with.


​Title your email in the ‘subject’ field with useful, precise information.


​Send long convoluted messages that are hard to understand.


​Use the ‘CC’ facility with care. It is not always appropriate to share others' email addresses with a group if they are unknown to eachother - BCC may be more appropriate.


If something goes wrong and you send personal data to the wrong recipient in error PLEASE contact a colleague in Governance Services so that we can assist with rectifying the situation.


​Use BCC to let others 'eavesdrop' on the message, if necessary forward the message instead.