This article explores a series of issues surrounding the use of Records of Achievement (RoAs) within higher education and seeks to understand the way in which a small group of first year students make sense of them. Despite having made limited use at school of the National Record of Achievement either formatively or summatively, a majority of these students expressed a desire to continue with RoAs as an aid to empowerment in the labour market. Some modern universities seek to develop key transferable skills and advocate the use of RoAs to enable a summative document to be taken forward following completion of studies. The development of such documents takes place within a context in which some employers rely on the social and cultural capital associated with those who attend established universities. On a minimalist level we need to support undergraduates in the development and recording of skills which will help them to achieve their life projects but it is also incumbent upon us to ensure that we simultaneously develop their critical sensibilities towards the society and labour market they hope to enter.