Division of General Counsel, Governance and Compliance

Master Records Retention Schedule

Although the principles in the Records Management Policy apply to all University records, we also publish additional guidance for the University’s ‘master records’ in our Master Records Retention Schedule.

Master Records Retention Schedule (new version uploaded November 2023)

The Schedule provides specific detail about which records make up the University’s master records, how long these should be retained, and what the recommended disposal action following the end of the retention period is. It applies to master records in all media and formats.

A ‘master record’ is a core University record which has ongoing institutional, authoritative and/or evidential value. Examples include our published policies, audited Financial Statements, official publications, and module Handbooks and reading lists. The University’s records that are master records is assessed by business needs, legal requirements and Higher Education standards and best practice.

Why do we need a Master Records Retention Schedule? 

  • To ensure the University’s key records are kept for as long as they are needed and destroyed or archived confidently when no longer required;
  • To comply with various legal requirements, including Data Protection and Freedom of Information legislation;
  • To provide consistency in record keeping for key records across the University;
  • To avoid duplication of records; and ensure there is a single, master record;
  • To reduce organisational costs by saving space, storage costs and time by reducing the number of unnecessary records; and
  • To identify records of long-term value and secure them from accidental destruction.

Structure of the Master Records Retention Schedule

The Schedule is split into broad sections, with each section then broken down further to detail specific groups and types of records:

Section 1              General Management and Strategy
Section 2              Governance
Section 3              Student Administration
Section 4              Teaching
Section 5              Research and Enterprise
Section 6              Finance
Section 7              Human Resources
Section 8              Estates and Facilities
Section 9              Trading and Campus Services
Section 10            Communications
Section 11            Library
Section 12            IT Services
Section 13            Health and Safety
Section 14            Development and Alumni Relations

Each subject refers to the specific type of master record in question. It is important to note that some records may be held within different or multiple areas – for example, certain Finance records may be generated and stored with Schools or Professional Services Divisions, rather than centrally within the Finance division.

The ‘retention period’ sets out the length of time for which the records should be kept where they are normally located (e.g. within a School or Division), with the ‘action at the end of the retention period’ detailing the action to be taken once that retention period has ended.

If you have any queries about the Master Records Retention Schedule and how it applies to you, please contact the Information Management team. We are also happy to provide face-to-face drop-in sessions.


Last updated November 2023