The Scheduling Process
A Records Retention Schedule is a policy document that is formulated by the Records Manager and the Records Custodian of each department. This document is reviewed periodically (typically, once each year) to ensure that new record series and classifications that have been created since the last round of retention scheduling are covered, and to verify that current retention decisions should remain in effect. The following information is on the retention schedule:
- Record series names
- Series descriptions
- Retention periods (based on material date or class year)
- Disposition methods
- Approval dates for each series
- For digital records, the existing File Plan is displayed, along with the Retention Periods and Disposition Methods for each node
Once the Records Custodian and the Records Manager have reached agreement on the retention schedules for all stored material, the retention schedule is verified and signed by both parties.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Retention periods are usually measured from the actual date of the material itself, not the date the material was transferred to Records Management. However, Records Management also measures retention periods based on key event dates, such as Contract Close, Class Year, Graduation Date, Grant Period, etc.. Contact the Records Manager for more information on how to set up retention schedules with these event dates.
The final step in the process is the presentation of the retention schedule to the Records Management Policy Committee. This group is charged with reviewing and approving all retention schedules formulated by the Records Custodian and the Records Manager. The committee contains representatives from the following departments (in most cases it is the department director who sits on the committee):
- Business Affairs
- Administrative Computing
- Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action
- Human Resources
- Legal Affairs
- Records Management
- Risk Management
In most cases approval is quickly granted and the retention schedule approved. However in some cases a member of the committee may provide additional information or voice concerns. In this event they may ask that a retention schedule be revisited. The Records Manager will then work with the department and the Committee to ensure that all parties' concerns are addressed. Once this happens, the Records Retention Committee representative signs the retention schedule, and it goes into effect.