Change Control Procedure for Record Retention Schedules

For PDF see Change Control Procedure


This procedure sets out the steps to be followed where staff note changes in record- keeping in their area which may affect the records retention schedule.

Where changes are made to records retention schedules, the updated version must be made accessible to the University Archives (UA). This is to ensure that:

  • a complete, master set of records retention schedules may be accessed by the UA;
  • changes may be reviewed by UA to ensure consistency and offer advice;
  • superceded schedules may be saved by UA for record purposes.

Reasons for changes to records retention schedules may include:

  • An activity or function is being added, altered, or discontinued;
  • A new system impacts on how records are stored, managed, and deleted;
  • New legislation, regulations, or practices may affect retention and disposal;
  • An audit, issue, or review of business processes requires or suggests that retention and disposal practices be reconsidered, eg, longer or shorter retention may apply;

Step 1: Determine if a Change to the Retention Schedule is Required

  • Check the records retention schedule presently in use in your unit and satisfy yourself a change may be needed to cover the records in question.
  • Bring the new/amended/redundant records to the attention of area management, explaining why you feel they are not covered by existing records series within your retention schedule, or, the need for any potential changes which may arise
  • Management must satisfy itself that a change is needed

Step 2: Amend the Retention Schedule

  • If a change is required, the retention schedule may be amended, either by modifying, by removing or by adding a records series to cover the new/amended/redundant records

Step 3: Approve the Change to the Retention Schedule

  • The manager of the area where the changes will take effect must approve the amended schedule.
  • Once agreed locally, the area manager may contact the data owner for the relevant functional area to inform them of the proposed change and to seek approval, eg, where the change is judged significant and/or may be relevant to other areas within the Functional Area (eg, other schools/departments within a College).

Step 4: Make the updated Retention Schedule accessible to the University Archives

  • Save the retention schedule to a folder accessible to the University Archives and send an email.

Step 5: Implement the Change to the Retention Schedule

  • The modified schedule is a new version. The University Archives will maintain a record of all approved versions. Online and office copies of schedules must be updated/replaced as required to ensure only the latest version is in use.
  • Units are advised to retain their own copies of all approved versions for reference, and to ensure that disposal actions for records already carried out subject to earlier versions are supported, eg, for audit purposes
  • Where a records series is changed or added under this procedure, and it is known that this will or may affect similar records in other areas, eg, schools, please bring this to the attention of the University Archivist, who may follow up on this with other relevant areas.
  • News of significant changes to schedules (eg, any likely to affect more than one area) may be posted on the Records Management section of the UCC website.
  • Staff are reminded to check the site regularly, and are encouraged to contact the University Archives with any queries. Eg, where it is anticipated that new legislation, regulations, policies, or procurement of systems may have an impact on retention and disposal.

REMEMBER: General queries or requests for guidance on applying the retention schedules in your unit, or on any aspect of records management, may be addressed to the University Archives. (; ext 2753)


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