Some Tips for Effective Recording

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Before you start:

  • Be clear about what and why you are recording
  • Be clear who you are recording for
  • Be clear about the structure of the meeting
  • Know what form the recording will take – for case file, diary, log book, etc
  • Remind yourself about attentive listening and core communication skills
  • Think about difference and diversity and how this will affect interaction


During the meeting:

  • Acknowledge feelings
  • If filling in forms, explain the purpose of the form, and as far as possible use the service user’s own words in filling in form (if possible, encourage service user to fill it in )
  • Use language that is clear and unambiguous
  • Avoid jargon; understand the language of the service user
  • Separate fact from opinion - when you give an opinion separate it from the facts and explain why you have come to that particular opinion
  • Check out your own and the service user’s understanding of what is being said.
  • If actions are needed, identify who will carry them out, and the timescale.
  • Agree how you are going to share the record with the service user.


After the meeting

  • Record as soon as possible after an event or observation – whether written, typed or electronically stored
  • Ensure agreed actions are identified, with timescales and an indication of who is doing what.
  • Where possible, encourage the service user to read what you have said.
  • Record in a way that you would be able to explain to the service user
  • Don’t forget to sign (wherever required) and date each record


In general, the same principles apply to meetings with other professionals.

Telephone conversations:

  • Note date and time, and the name, number and, where appropriate, role of other party.
  • Feedback and agree the key points from the conversation.
  • Note  down key information, and try to ensure that the other party is doing the same.
  • If action is agreed, note who is doing what, when.
  • Identify what follow-up there will be, and when.
  • Sign the note