Records management

Effective Records Management requires regular review and controlled retention or destruction of records; to assist in this process please consult the University's Records Retention Schedule to determine the relevant retention periods for the various types of records held within the organisation. For advice or further information on records management please contact us:

Records Retention Schedule

The schedule documents the minimum retention periods for Keele University records and applies to both paper and electronic formats. The full PDF version can be accessed via the link at the bottom of this page and its contents can be searched by pressing the CTRL + F keys.

Purpose of the schedule

The Retention Schedule documents the length of time records should be retained in order to comply with legal and regulatory requirements, balanced with the operational requirements of the University. The Schedule describes:

  • The record
  • Examples or descriptions of the record
  • The minimum retention period
  • The recommended disposal action
  • The supporting justification

This information is presented in the following format:


Minimum retention period



Examples or descriptions

The minimum retention period

The recommended disposal action

The supporting justification

'Minimum Retention Period' means that files may be retained for a longer period, should they be required locally, but must not be disposed of before the end of the minimum retention period.

Retention periods are formulated based on a number of factors, such as:

  • The Data Protection Act 2018 – which regulates how the University uses and stores personal information, protects individuals from the misuse of this information and provides individuals the right to access this information. Additionally, this Act ensures that information is not held for longer than necessary.
  • The Limitation Act 1980 – sets out time limits for former students (after their departure from the University) in which they are entitled to take civil action against the University and for which the University may use the files as evidence.
  • Professional, Statutory and regulatory bodies – Courses accredited by professional, statutory or regulatory bodies are required to comply with any specific requirements made by these bodies

Long-term storage of paper records

Some records are required to be retained for several years and may no longer be referenced on a regular basis, such archive records must be stored in a secure environment. Questions regarding long-term storage of records should be directed to the Legal & Information Compliance team in the first instance.

Disposal of records

At the end of a designated retention period, appropriate action should be taken against the record as outlined in the retention schedule. These will be:

  • Dispose – The record can be disposed of using an appropriate method. This may be ‘delete’ for electronic records, or standard disposal for non-confidential paper records. All confidential records, including those containing personal or financial information should be disposed of by shredding where possible and through the confidential waste system in all cases. A record should be kept of the disposal.
  • Review – Documents marked for review at the end of their retention period may be required for a longer period. Therefore, their status should be checked before any action is taken.

Accessing the Records Retention Schedule     

Records Retention Schedule

Or available via the University's Policy Zone: