Retention Schedule for academic departments, schools
Notes and guidance
What is covered by this schedule?
This schedule applies to all records kept in academic departments, schools
What’s on the retention schedule?
A retention schedule is a list of the minimum records we need to keep, along
with the period they need to be kept for. Schedules are based on the content of
a document, not its format – they apply equally to paper and electronic
What’s not on the schedule?
If a document you have isn’t on the
retention schedule it means there is probably no legal need or general
business continuity need for you to keep it. Schedules focus on what your
department, section, centre, school or office needs to keep. They don’t include
things you as an individual might feel useful to keep. If something is for your
own use, because it’s part of something you’re currently working on, or
something that you work on termly or annually and need a reminder of how things
went the last time, then that’s fine.
If you think something in your office, department, school or section is a
core document and needed for legal or business continuity reason, and it isn’t
on the schedule check to see whether another part of the University holds it.
There is a list
of items kept elsewhere, and the
Section retention schedule might also be useful. If you still can’t find the
item listed then please speak to the Information Manager who will be able to
advise and update the schedule if necessary.
What do the codes on the schedules mean?
- CAY Current
Academic Year (October to September)
- CFY Current Financial Year (August to July)
- CCY Current Calendar Year (January to
- TofR Termination of Relationship (the point
at which someone permanently stops being a student or member of
- Permanent This information should be kept
forever and not destroyed.
The numbers refer to the number of years after the current year the records
have to be kept for. For example, CAY+6 means until the end of this academic
year, and then another six full academic years. So a document created in
February 2011 will be kept until the end of the 2010-11 academic year (September
2011), and then a further six full academic years, which means it could be
destroyed at the end of September 2017.
What do I do with items I don’t need to keep any
Most things aren’t kept forever. At the end of the retention period they are
normally destroyed. Any personal information (information about identifiable
living individuals) should be shredded. Anything that is confidential should
also be shredded. Otherwise – think of the environment and recycle. Electronic
documents should also be deleted at the end of the retention period. Don’t
forget to clear out your recycle bin as deleted documents will stay there until
you do so.
Support and help
There is more information on the records management web pages about retention
schedules, deciding what the throw away, keeping information secure, organising
information, archiving information and destroying information.