Links all services from here.

E.g. Disposal, RM, Student efile, Storage, etc.

Services section

Disposal

Retention and Disposal

How long do I need to keep records?

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 activities of the University the records document. This can range from a few months through to permanent status.

The retention period is determined by the 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

Use the index or PDF search function(Ctrl F) to locate the type of record and there should be a corresponding retention.  You can keep records beyond this retention, but you can’t destroy them beforehand.

Example:

How long do I need to keep timesheets?

General Retention and Disposal Schedule (As of 1 September 2016)

Disposal Code is 1245

Attendance - Records that document the attendance of employees.

Retain for 7 years after last business action.

Watch Video – How to Use a Retention Schedule

Watch Video – Destroying Records
 

How to Dispose of records

Some records are permanent but most are temporary and can be destroyed at a later date.  Retention Schedules provide the minimum length of time different records need to be kept.  When you are ready to dispose of records please follow this Procedure. (PPL)

Disposal Forms

To help you dispose of common administrative records RAMS has prepopulated Disposal forms which you can download below.
These have a list of records including:  finance, grants, timesheets, R&D forms and contracts with the disposal codes and dates completed.
Please use these to gain approval before disposing of both hard copy and electronic records.

Can I destroy records that have been scanned/digitised?

Unfortunately you cannot throw away records before the stipulated retention period even if you have digitised or scanned them.  Scanned copies may be useful for reference purposes, or 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. 

RAMS currently has permission to destroy hardcopies of some documents with temporary retentions but only after they have been registered into TRIM and quality checked.

Classifying

Classifying

Classifying records

Once identified as a record, the University's Business Classification Scheme (BCS) can be used to allocate a class to the record which can then be used to determine how long the record needs to be kept.

The following list represents the key functions currently undertaken at The University.

  • ASSETS, EQUIPMENT & PROPERTY MANAGEMENT
  • COLLECTION MANAGEMENT
  • EXTERNAL RELATIONS 
  • FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
  • GOVERNANCE
  • HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGEMENT
  • INFORMATION MANAGEMENT
  • LEGAL SERVICES
  • PUBLISHING
  • RESEARCH
  • STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT
  • STUDENT ADMINISTRATION
  • SUPPORT SERVICES
  • TEACHING & LEARNING
  • WORKPLACE HEALTH & SAFETY

Have a look through these functions and work out where your unit fits. You may find that your daily activities support more than one function.

Use these Functions as the top level names of your fit-for-purpose application.  By grouping records under common function names you allow easier access, reduction of copies and improve retention management.  Under each Function is a series of related Activities which are major tasks or areas of service undertaken within each function.  The third level should contain Transactions which are the smallest or most precise units of business activity.

A BCS can be applied to any collection of records at your local level including:  Shared drives, Outlook folders and physical filing systems. 

Ideally all records would be managed in an electronic document and records management system but for a number of reasons this is not available to everyone at the University.  You can however effectively manage records at a local level by following the basic principle that full and accurate records must be managed and kept for as long as they are required for business, legislative, accountability and cultural purposes.  Some records are more important than others so special attention should be given to those which have significant value whereas other records of less value or importance require proportionately less attention.

Watch Video – Business Classification Scheme (BCS)

Document Naming Conventions

Document naming conventions should be used when saving documents – if you name and describe your records consistently, everyone will have a better chance of finding them in the future.

Use language which is commonly understood by the entire team.  A meaningful title could consist of terms like project, process, activity or type e.g. response, request for info, report, or brief description of the content of the document.  Titles should describe the content in as much detail as necessary.

Watch Video – Managing shared drives and Document Naming Conventions

Storage

Storage

Where do I send my records?

Permanent records which are no longer required for business purposes are transferred to the University's Archives. If you believe you have records of legal, historical or enduring value please contact the University Archivist Bruce Ibsen.

Unfortunately, RAMS 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. 

Storing records with GRACE Records Management

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.

Where do stored records go?

Records sent to GRACE Records Management will be stored across a number of 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.

Guide for storing corporate records at GRACE

Types of archive boxes https://www.grace.com.au/blog/information-management/

We generally use the C3 size, because we feel that they’re more robust for records that are accessed periodically (as opposed to records that are just placed in storage).  However, the C11 boxes from Grace are also robust if they suit your purposes.  Grace Records Management (GRM) don’t like taking archive boxes from different providers because they are generally a lot less sturdy, which makes them difficult to store and transport, and unsuited to keeping records secure.

If you send records to GRM you will need to label each box clearly and keep a detailed, accurate record of what you have sent and what is in each box.  This can be done with a spread sheet or even a Word document, but it’s very important. It’s also important to ensure that the necessary staff know where this information is kept so that if you are unavailable the records are still accessible.

Information on the labels should include:

  • Unique box number (generated by you)
  • Summary of contents
    For example: Queensland Centre Intellectual & Developmental Disability (QCIDD) – Box 001 – Research Materials 2015 Professor J Smith

GRM will provide you with a roll of barcode labels that you will also need to attach to your boxes.  This is how they track the boxes in their system.

Information recorded in the spread sheet should include the following:

  • Unique box number (generated by you)
  • GRM barcode label number
  • Owner of the records/researcher
  • Date sent to GRM
  • Summary of the contents

You should also include a sheet inside each box that details the box’s contents.  This allows you to keep track of the contents of each box if you need to retrieve a record.

Although GRM have an online inventory and ordering system which you can use to look up your boxes, you should maintain a separate record.  GRM will only have the information you provide them with as a means of tracking your boxes.  In our case, we only provide our box number to GRM.  We record their barcode number, our record number, contents of the box and when it was sent in our system.  When we want to request something back we do so using either their barcode number or our record number.

GRM provide training on how to use their online inventory and ordering system, if required.

Moving Office? Records relocation guidelines

What do you have?

Records in your area can be broken down into a number of 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.

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. See link below for information for storage options.

Inactive AND eligible for destruction

Destroy securely and ensure destruction is documented.
Use the ‘Records Disposal Approval form’ to document records destruction and forward to RAMS.
 

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

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

If boxing files please use durable boxes which are available through P&F Stores

Disposal

Remember that records destruction should be:

Our State Retention and Disposal Schedule allows for the destruction of some records as soon as they are no longer needed for business purposes. There is no need to document their destruction.  These are ephemeral documents which are items of short term temporary informational value.  These include:  copies, media reports, unsolicited letters, appointment diaries, transitory messages, drafts and superseded manuals.

Disposal of Records procedure

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 archives@uq.edu.au

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

Contact RAMS if you’d like help assessing your files – records_request@uq.edu.au