Retention & Disposal Schedules

Disposition authorities that govern the removal of records from operational systems are applied to records on a systematic and routine basis in the course of the normal business activities of Records Services. No disposition actions are taken without first ensuring that the records are no longer required.

Disposal authorities outline the minimum retention period for certain documents, which are classified as either being permanent (never to be destroyed) or temporary (to be destroyed at a later date). Some records have very long temporary retention periods (e.g.up to 70 years), and others are very short (e.g. 6 months).

Griffith operates under two main disposal authorities, along with associated governing legislation.

NOTE: It is preferable not to print these documents but rather refer back to the online copy as the retention periods are reviewed and changed from time to time.

If you have files that you believe can be destroyed, permission must first obtained to do so. Please complete the Disposal Authorisation Form and forward to Record Services.

Changes to the University Sector General Retention & Disposal Schedule

Record ClassDescription of ModificationDate Originally Modified
601.2/C285Retention period for Course Outlines changed to Permanent (for electronic documents stored in the Course Outline system).29/08/2005
601.2/C180Applications for scholarships, prizes, awards, bursaries and fellowships changed from "Retain until end of appeal period" to "Retain for 6 months from close of the application process" as the University has only a 1 month appeal period.08/05/2007
601.2/C246Retention period for completed assessment items increased from 3 months to 6 months in accordance with University's Assessment Policy13/12/2007

What do I do if I think I have records due for destruction?

  1. If you believe you are holding records that are no longer required, please consult the appropriate Retention & Disposal Schedules. If your class of record is identified as being due for destruction, please complete the Disposal Authorisation Form, including obtaining approval by the head of element and send to the Manager, Productivity and Information Management for authorisation.
  2. Once authorised, the form will be returned to you. It is only when you have received this authorisation that are you permitted to destroy the records in the most appropriate manner (eg: confidential bin for sensitive records).
    Once you have destroyed the records, the form will be signed that you have destroyed the records and should be returned to Records Services for filing. All signed destruction requests are required to be kept by law.
  3. If you have any questions about this process, or need assistance in the initial appraisal of your records, please contact the Manager, Productivity and Information Management.

Implementing disposition

Disposition of a file or record may include any of the following actions:

  • physical destruction of the file (include overwriting or deletion of electronic records)
  • retention for a further period within the business unit
  • transfer of files from Record Services to archives (either onsite or offsite), depending on the nature of the file (temporary or permanent)
  • transfer to an external archives authority (e.g. Queensland State Archives).

Whenever any of these actions are taken, this action is entered into HP Records Manager (RM8), Griffith's Electronic Document and Records Management System.

Governing principles of destruction

The physical destruction of records is governed by the following principles:

  • Destruction is authorised by the Manager,  Productivity and Information Management on behalf of the Vice Chancellor and President of Griffith University.
  • Records pertaining to pending or actual litigation or investigation are not destroyed.
  • Destruction of records is carried out in a manner that preserves the confidentiality of the records (e.g. locked confidential bins are used).
  • All copies of records that are authorised for destruction, including security copies, preservation copies and backup copies, are also destroyed.