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Recordkeeping: Retention and Disposal of University Records Procedures

Parent Policy

Recordkeeping: Retention and Disposal of University Records Policy

The Monash University Retention and Disposal Authority must be used to decide how long university records are kept and when they can be destroyed or deleted. The Retention and Disposal Authority contains instructions with legal force issued under the Public Records Act 1973 about minimum retention periods for records.

 

The retention periods in the Retention and Disposal Authority are based on Public Record Office Victoria Standards, including the Authority for Records of Higher & Further Education Institutions (PROS 02/01) and the General Disposal Schedule for Common Administrative Records (PROS 07/01), as well as decisions made by Monash University governance committees.

The Monash University Retention and Disposal Authority is available to staff from the Records and Archives Services website.

Definition of terms

Record: Any recorded information made or received by a staff member of the university in the course of undertaking university duties. Records are evidence of or information about university activities. They can be any format (electronic documents, e-mail, paper, plans, photographs etc)
Disposal: The removal of records from an active recordkeeping system for: 1/ destruction or deletion immediately or at a nominated future date; OR 2/ retention and preservation in an archives.
Retention and Disposal Authority: A legal instrument giving instructions on how long records should be kept and when they may be destroyed
Retention period: The length of time a record must be kept to satisfy the university's administrative, evidentiary and financial requirements

Retention and Disposal of University Records Procedure

The Monash University Retention and Disposal Authority must be used to determine how long university records are kept and when they can be destroyed or deleted.

 

When assessing records for disposal or retention, take the following steps:

 

  • Identify whether the records are duplicates or copies held for reference.
  • Copies distributed for reference may be destroyed when no longer required
  • The Retention and Disposal Authority is used for original records created within administrative and academic departments, or by university boards and committees.
  • Assess the records to identify their content
  • Find the description in the Retention and Disposal Authority that matches the records
  • Take the relevant disposal action
    • If records are to be retained permanently, contact the University Archives about transferring the records to the Archives
    • If the records are to be destroyed at a time in the future, store them. Make it clear when they can be destroyed eg label boxes with the date to be destroyed and relevant disposal authority reference or add this information to the electronic folder
    • If records are due for destruction, arrange for secure destruction
  • Ensure records are accessible and readable for the entire time that they are held prior to transfer to University Archives or destruction

 Destruction of records must not be carried out where:

  • There is current outstanding action that relies on the records, or
  • The records are reasonably likely to be required in evidence

The Crimes (Document Destruction) Act 2006 and the associated Evidence (Document Unavailability) Act 2006 create formal and specific penalties for destruction of documents that are known to be reasonably likely to be required in evidence, where the destruction is intended to prevent the documents from coming into court, in situations where no litigation has actually commenced. For more information see advice from the Public Record Office Victoria

Responsibility

All staff creating or managing university records

Content Enquiries: Execserv Policy

University Policy Use Only:

Version Number: 1.0Effective Date: Contact: adm-PolicyBank@monash.edu