Looking after UWS Psychology Equipment Stores

General Stores & Cupboards

Teaching, research and technical equipment.

IT Stores

Disposal of obsolete equipment.


Documentation (e.g. instructions) for devices.


Computer database inventory of major departmental property.

Booking Out

How to Conduct an INVENT Audit

INVENT must be accurate in terms of both unchanging information (like Manufacturer) and changing information (like Location). To ensure the accuracy of INVENT, it is necessary to perform an audit at least once a year.

Print the contents of INVENT, sorted by location (it is sometimes helpful to have another printout sorted by departmental number). The printout should contain the following fields as a minimum:

Dept No., Location, Equipment, Name & Description, Model No., Serial No.

Go around the department room-by-room, including the chronopsychology lab. In each room, check the entries for that room on the by-location printout, following the steps below:

  1. Correct entries: Tick the records of items allocated to this room that are here.
  2. Inaccurate information: Make notes to allow any empty or wrong fields to be corrected.
  3. Unexpected items: Make a note of any items found in this room that aren't recorded under this room in INVENT. This applies to items with or without an INVENT number. If an item doesn't have an INVENT number, record enough information to allow yourself to create a new record for it.
  4. Missing items: Cross out the Location value of records that are listed as being in this room, but aren't here.

Back at your desk, bring INVENT up to date by creating new records for new items, and by correcting faulty existing records. For items that were found in the 'wrong' room, first tick their entry on the printout (which will obviously be listed under the wrong room), then update their Location field in INVENT.

After the audit is completed and all rooms have been searched, for items that couldn't be found, enter the text Missing: followed by the old Location value, along with any other relevant information, in the Comments field to help locate the item later on. After the old location has been recorded under Comments, remove it from the Location field.

If possible, update the Location field for any items in this room but shown under a different location.

Typical Auditing Problems

Items which aren't recorded in INVENT: Items for which an INVENT record can't be found should be allocated a new record with a unique departmental number. Make absolutely sure that the item is not already in INVENT, since duplicate records must be avoided.

The departmental number should be written on the item in indelible black ink using large digits. The number should be written near the front-top-right hand side and again on the back or bottom of the device. For new items, the number should be written on a removable label stuck to the device so that it can be removed if the unit has to be returned to the supplier for any reason. The supplier may refuse to accept the item if it has been marked in any way. Once we are satisfied that the unit is working reliably, we can write the departmental number on the device itself.

Items in INVENT, but without a departmental number written on them: Some items may not have a departmental number written on them, but can be matched with a record in INVENT (by serial number, for example). For these items, the number should be added as described above.

INVENT records with missing or wrong values: The correct data should be added to INVENT as soon as possible. If some fields cannot be filled in because the data is unavailable or not applicable, enter the value "N/A".

INVENT records for items that can't be located: Such situations may arise for a number of reasons; the item may be on loan, or may be scrapped. Check in the INVENT logbook for information relating to the missing item, and adjust the Location field as appropriate (the Borrower, Date Out and Date Due Back fields should also be filled in.)

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Content last updated: 2006-06-15