It sounds as if you are trying to over-complicate this! A retention schedule
should be built up from the records series created by the organisation and
these will each have a specified retention period which meets legal and best
practice requirements and business need. The length of time which the series
runs for is irrelevant because the retention is governed by the retention
So, if you have a series called 'Sprocket Reports' and you have to keep
'Sprocket Reports' for 6 years you can have a series which runs indefinitely
but you will only retain 6/7 years worth of records. When you (or your
departmental records office) does an annual destruction run you will
confidentially shred any 'Sprocket Reports' over 6 years old which means any
series can keep running for as long as the records are created by the
organisation. When the series ceases to be created it will gradually be
shredded as part of the retention schedule.
Archive dates are a part of the same process. When you devise your retention
schedule you identify the records series which you will need to either archive
or review for transfer to archives so that at the end of the current life of
the record it is either shredded, sent to semi-current storage for an
additional retention before being shredded or reviewed for archive at the end
of the further retention period or sent straightto the archive. This means
that each departmental records officer will be using the same process to deal
with their records and it gives them the flexibility to either wait until the
retention period is reached and shred a years worth of records or keep a
shorter period on-site and send the rest to storage for the remainder of the
retention period before recall for shredding when the end of the retention
period has been reached.
Hope that helps,
Dept of Town & Regional Planning
University of Sheffield
Quoting Fraser Marshall <[log in to unmask]>:
> A question for you all.
> I need to get a better understanding of the point in the records managment
> process at which the dates for destruction on a record series is set.
> My belief, backed up by conversations with a few people off list, is that
> the Record Series should have a single retention period applied to it -
> e.g. all files in "Record Series 'X'" should be ones that need to be
> retained for six years, rather than a mixture of different retention
> Do I therefore determine the date for distruction based on the start date
> of the Record Series - a known entity, or apply the rentention period once
> the Record Series is full - which cannot be known?
> Thinking out loud here, it occurs to me that one could control this by
> imposing strict insistance on date ranges on Record Series - e.g. "Record
> Series 'X' 2005-2006" - thus the start of the 6 year retention period can
> be a known entity regardless of whether it is applied at the start or the
> end of the Record Series. Does this sound reasonable?
> On a similar theme; Archive dates... Since I cannot reasonably be expected
> to predict how long it will take to fill a Record Series, do I allow the
> individual Departmental Record Officers to determine when archiving occurs
> on a basis of space requirements or redundancy?
> I hope this all makes sense. Look forward to hearing your responses.
> Fraser Marshall (LB Tower Hamlets)