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Records Management Procedures – Records Retention Schedule

The foundation of all records management systems is the records retention schedule. It is the primary tool used to control an office’s records. The schedule identifies each series of records maintained in an office and lists the period of time it is to be retained there, and then schedules it for:

  1. continued retention in the office of origin;
  2. a period of retention in the Records Center;
  3. destruction; or
  4. transfer into the Archives collection for permanent retention

The retention schedule also identifies the retention responsibility for the “record copy” and “non-record copy” of University records. If it is determined that the office of origin (the office responsible for the creation of a document or report) is responsible for maintaining the record copy, then it is often possible for recipients of duplicates to dispose of them quickly. Non-record copies should be discarded as soon as they have ceased to be of value. Periodic records schedule audits are conducted to assure accuracy and compliance.

Through the records retention schedule, the University is able to demonstrate that, it has studied the legal requirements for the keeping of its records, and that it is discarding inactive records in a routine, orderly manner in compliance with statutory regulations and in the course of normal business operations. Additionally, record keeping costs are subsequently reduced because unnecessary records are destroyed; there is increased use of the records center for improved storage and retrieval; and the University’s vital records are identified and protected.