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Records Retention Schedule

The records retention schedule documents the minimum length of time Northumbria University records should be retained tocomply with legal, regulatory and operational requirements.

The Records Retention Schedule documents the length of time Northumbria University records should be retained in order to comply with legal, regulatory and operational requirements.

The retention schedule is also used to ensure that the university balances the requirement to not hold on to records unnecessarily with the need to prevent the premature disposal of information we are required to keep. Retention periods outlined in the schedule are applied to records in whatever medium they are held (paper, electronic etc).

Using the Schedule

The schedule identifies the relevant functions of the university and the categories of records they hold,  described as:

  • The Record Series (type)
  • Examples or descriptions of what makes the record
  • The minimum retention period
  • The recommended disposal action
  • The supporting rationale for the identified period 

Retention periods are independent of format and therefore can be applied to any medium whether paper or electronic. Retention periods in this document are defined as the ‘Minimum’, which mean that files may be retained for a longer period should they be required but must not be disposed of before the identified time.

Long-term Storage of Paper Records

The retention schedule may identify paper based records that are required to be retained for several years even though they are no longer referenced on a regular basis. These records need to be stored in a safe environment but should not be kept onsite taking up valuable storage space, so they should be sent to the University off-site storage facility at Restore.

Disposal of Records

At the end of the designated retention periods, appropriate action should be taken against the records as outlined in the retention schedule. These will be:

Destroy – The record can be destroyed using the appropriate method. This may be ‘deleted’ for electronic records, or disposed of for recycling in the case of non confidential paper records. All confidential records, including those containing personal or financial information should be disposed of using confidential waste disposal. A record should be kept of the destruction.

Review – Documents marked for review at the end of their retention period may be required for a longer period. Therefore there status should be checked before any action is taken.


Implementation should be at a local level within schools/departments. A nominated individual, in conjunction with the Records and Information Manager should ensure that appropriate methods are in place to store records in a manner (electronic or paper) enabling the identification of records as they reach their defined retention period as well as overseeing the disposal.

For further information, please contact:

Duncan James
Records and Information Manager
Ellison Building
Newcastle upon Tyne

Tel:+44 (0)191 243 7357
Fax:+44 (0)191 2274647


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