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Are my records eligible for disposition

This page is part of a series of articles on implementing the Records Classification and Retention Schedule. Before you can figure out if your records are eligible you must have:

  • Identified your storage locations
  • Completed an Inventory and Classification sheet.

DETERMINE RETENTION THRESHOLD

To establish a retention threshold for each of your records series, start at the beginning of the current year and subtract the retention period for the records series. 

Example:

A records series has a two-year retention period. In 2016 any records with a trigger date before January 1st 2014 are eligible. 

Note: Be careful to use the correct year (academic, calendar, fiscal, etc.) when you are calculating the threshold for a particular records series.

Add a column to the Inventory and Classification sheet. Enter the retention threshold for each records series. 

DETERMINE ELIGIBILITY OF RECORDS WITH ANNUAL TRIGGERS

An annual retention trigger occurs at the end of the year. This may be the academic, calendar or fiscal year depending on the records series. Finding the trigger date for annual files will be straightforward. Check the actual files to make sure they are split correctly at the end of the year. Some files may need to be split if file cut off has not been strict in the past.

Check the from dates of all annual record types. If a from date is before the Retention Threshold, it has a range of eligible records. Evaluate which lines have eligible records. 

DETERMINE ELIGIBILITY OF RECORDS WITH EVENT BASED TRIGGERS

An event based retention trigger is tied to a specific event and could occur at any time. This may be the end of a project, publication date, student graduation date, etc. For event-based files, you may need to refer to the contents of the file, or an alternate records system (e.g. Student Information System) to find the trigger date. 

If possible, use an existing records system to obtain a report of trigger dates. This will work if a spreadsheet or database system tracks close dates or last activity dates. Evaluate the entries on the report to determine which meet the retention threshold. Attach the report as a supplement to the Disposition Authorization Form.

If there is no system in place you will have to track manually. Complete a file tracking sheet listing the name of the file, the records series code and the trigger date. The file tracking sheet is part of the Inventory and Classification Form. Use the retention threshold to determine eligibility. 

Fill out a Disposition Authorization Form

Once you have determined which files are eligible, see Destroying and disposition of University Records for information on how to fill out a disposition authorization form.

For assistance, please contact RecordsManagement@uoit.ca