Records that need to be captured and looked after at the University under the requirements of the Public Records Act 2002 (Qld), also need to be kept for legally prescribed minimum periods of time. Some may even need to be maintained permanently.

record retention iconThere is no one rule to fit all, for record retention!
 
These are a number of factors that influence how long certain types of records need to be kept for:

  •  the Queensland Government approved records retention and disposal schedules;
  • records associated with litigious or prospective litigious events
  • records associated with Right to Information and Privacy applications
  • records of historical, heritage significance 

To ensure aligned governance practices and the appropriate compliance of all UQ records, it is essential that all personnel create and maintain the records we create for our UQ business units.

Retention

There is no standard minimum period for which records need to be kept. A common misconception is that records need to be kept for 7 years, but this is not the case.   The minimum retention period depends on what activity the record document. This can range from a few months through to permanent status.

All retention periods are determined by Retention and Disposal Schedules issued by Queensland State Archives.

UQ is subject to two Retention and Disposal Schedules:

General Retention and Disposal Schedule
University Sector Retention and Disposal Schedule

How do I find out a records retention schedule?

•    Click on one of the retention and disposal links above
•    Use the index or PDF search function (Ctrl F) to locate the type of record
•    Review the description and select the retention and disposal schedule that most suits your record
The example below shows how your search will be highlighted in the schedule.
The schedule shows the disposal authorisation number (code), description of records, retention period and trigger and the date the retention period was authorised.

GRDS example

Disposal

The disposal/destruction and transfer of UQ records must have authorisation from UQ’s Records Manager

Only AFTER the request to dispose procedure has been completed and you have received official approval notification from UQ’s Records Manager, can these verified time expired records be disposed/destroyed or transferred.  This applies to both electronic and physical (paper) records.

How to Dispose of records?

When you are ready to dispose of time expired records, please use and follow the guides and forms below to complete your disposal request.

It is imperative that you check the value of the record against the retention and disposal schedules so that any high risk, high value (long term and/or permanent) records are not destroyed.

These are the forms and guides that will assist with your preparation for the disposal of records. 

Once you have completed your disposal request, you should attach and email all forms to uqcentralrecords@uq.edu.au

Can I destroy records that have been scanned/digitised?

Unfortunately, you cannot dispose of records before they have reached their specific retention period, even if you have digitised or scanned them.  Scanned copies are useful for reference purposes and allow you to save room in your office by storing hardcopy records off-site, but you must still treat the hardcopies as official public records.
 
If you believe you have physical (paper) records that can be destroyed, and they would usually be temporary records that have already been scanned, quality checked and registered in TRIM (or another authorised UQ record system), please contact the Records Governance Team (uqcentralrecords@uq.edu.au) who will advise and assist you.

Storage Options

There are several options for the storage of your physical (paper) records, from storing them with your business unit, sending them off-site to UQ’s commercial storage facility, Records Governance warehouse or the University Archives.

Unfortunately, Records Governance does not have the physical space or staffing capacity to look after all of UQ’s temporary records, but we are happy to advise about organising commercial storage. 

When storing your inactive physical (paper) records, all records must be placed in a UQ approved archive box. The box must be registered in TRIM and a contents list added to the physical and electronic box.  If you have not been instructed how to create archive boxes in TRIM, or need guidance completing this task, please contact the Records Governance Team for assistance at uqcentralrecords@uq.edu.au.

Purchasing Archive boxes from UQ eMarket

Below is the list of items numbers for the archive boxes purchased from UQ eMarket.


*C3 Archive boxes are the preferred size to use.

Instruction to access UQ eMarket (more information is available at UQeMarket user guide - staff login required)

Storing inactive records/files On-site

All inactive physical (paper) records that are being stored on-site must be placed in a UQ approved archive box. The box must be registered in TRIM and a contents list added to the physical and electronic box.  If you have not been instructed how to create archive boxes in TRIM, or need guidance completing this task, please contact the Records Governance Team for assistance at uqcentralrecords@uq.edu.au.

It would be beneficial to group your inactive files in archive boxes that reflect the same retention periods, for example, you should group all inactive files with a 5-year retention schedule, this would allow the entirety of the archive box to be destroyed, rather than having to remove files that have a longer retention schedule before destruction.

Using the General Retention and Disposal Schedule (add link) and the University Sector Retention and Disposal Schedule (add link) will assist you in this process.

Off-site Commercial storage facility (GRACE)

Departments that require temporary storage for inactive records can store their records with commercial providers like GRACE Records Management.  The costs associated depend on the size of the box, length of retention required, retrievals and eventual destruction.

Records sent to GRACE Records Management will be stored across several warehouses in Brisbane.  These are secure and climate-controlled. It is very important that you label storage boxes carefully with your department name and a unique record number and retain a record of what you have sent to storage. This will be essential when you need to retrieve your records.

You should discuss with your manager (or financial delegate) regarding the inactive records you wish to send to off-site storage, in particular the length of time you wish to store the records.
It is highly recommended that you consider only sending to off-site storage facilities, inactive records that have a short to medium term retention schedule (eg 3 to 5 years).  This is a budgetary initiative as the cost of storing a box for 5 years is obviously a lot less expensive that storing on off-site for 15 years.

Please click on this link for information regarding the services provided by GRACE Records Management.

Transfers to Records Governance warehouse

Unfortunately, Records Governance does not have the physical space or staffing capacity to store all UQ’s temporary records, at present we will be accepting records with long-term retention value, for example contracts, deeds, personnel files (prior to them being transferred to UQ Archives).

Please refer to GUIDE TO - Requirements prior to transferring physical records to UQ Central Records before requesting or sending archive boxes or files to the Records Governance warehouse.

All inactive physical (paper) records that are transferred to the Records Governance warehouse must be placed in a UQ approved archive box. The box must be registered in TRIM and a contents list added to the physical and electronic box.  If you have not been instructed how to create archive boxes in TRIM, or need guidance completing this task, please contact the Records Governance Team for assistance at uqcentralrecords@uq.edu.au.

Transfers of permanent records to the University Archives

The University has an extensive Archives collection dating back more than 100 years.
If you have any records which have historical value or are identified as permanent, please contact Bruce Ibsen, our University Archivist  b.ibsen@library.uq.edu.au or archives@uq.edu.au

This would include records like signed committee minutes, photographs, and annual reports.

Moving office? - Records relocation guidelines

What do you have?

Records in your area can be broken down into several broad categories.  There are those you use regularly, those you use infrequently (semi-active), those you use rarely or not at all (inactive), and in many cases, those you didn’t even know you had.
This guideline applies to all records not just those created in TRIM or other UQ approved records systems.

Records

Action

Regularly used

Take the records with you to keep near your work area.

Used infrequently

(Semi-active)

Place in storage close by in your new area (where available) or transfer to a commercial storage provider. 

When transferring to storage, records must be appropriately:

boxed

Group similar records together

Use Grace C3 or C11 boxes

Boxes should weigh no more than 14 kilos

Number boxes

listed

file number, description of the records, box number, Grace barcode number, owner of record, date record sent to Grace, retention code and date due for destruction

Make sure the list is available to your team

sentenced (how long records need to be kept for). 

Use the retention and disposal schedules to determine retention period

This ensures that the records can be retrieved when required and that they are not kept longer than necessary.

Inactive with heritage/archival value

Contact the University Archivist - archives@uq.edu.au

Inactive but NOT eligible for destruction

Transfer to secondary storage.Refer to storage options above.

Inactive AND eligible for destruction

Complete a request for destruction.

Don’t forget to -

Use the current retention schedules to determine how long you need to keep your records.

University Sector Retention and Disposal Schedule

General Retention and Disposal Schedule Administrative Records

Check all filing cabinets and desks to ensure files are not abandoned or accidentally destroyed.

Use UQ approved archive boxes which are available through UQ eMarket

Remember that records destruction should be:

documented and authorised (Use the approved forms);

secure/confidential (Use a Shred-X bin)

Advice and information requests

uqcentralrecords@uq.edu.au

Extension 53361