Records Management Retention Scheduling

What is Retention Scheduling?

Retention Scheduling is the process by which an organisation identify and retain the ‘correct’ historical records securely for an appropriate period, at the same time ensuring that any redundant records are correctly disposed of in a controlled manner. The Retention Schedule therefore, lists the all the different kinds of records held by the organisation and the policies and procedures they have in place for their retention and disposal. Old records can be a major commercial and legal liability and many organisations would like to dispose of them when practicable. If such unwanted records are to be destroyed, a Retention Schedule allows this to be done as a process of policy, thus protecting the organisation against accusations of hiding or destroying evidence (for example, in the event of litigation).

For the organisation to gain maximum benefits, Retention Scheduling has got to adequately consider all organisational Records Management needs, including commercial issues and the preference of the record owners (the individual with responsibility for the records during their active (operational) life – more often than not a ‘line’ Manager), in addition to legal requirements. This cannot be done based on a standard formula as this involves balancing risks and compromising over potentially conflicting views. Because opinions on the retention of records can differ – even between legal advisers –the Retention Schedule must state the policies that reflect the organisational consensus.

More to follow:

  • What is Retention Scheduling?
  • The Importance of Retention Scheduling
  • Records Management Retention Scheduling
  • Content of Retention Schedules
  • Creating your Retention Schedule
  • Go and ask the ‘record owner’
  • Have you conduct a Records Survey