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.

Categories within the schedule

The Schedule is split into categories, each of which can be accessed via the appropriate link from the list below; alternatively, the full document can be viewed and searched via the link at the bottom of this page.

A Teaching and Research      

1          Teaching        

2          Research       

B Student Administration & Support    

3          Student Administration           

4          Student Support         

C Commercial Enterprise     

5          Related Companies Management     

6          Commercial Services Management 

7          Retail Trading

D External Relations  

8          Public Relations Management           

9          Media Relations Management           

10        HE Sector Relations Management    

11        Community Relations Management  

12        Alumni Relations Management         

13        Fundraising    

14        Publishing       

E Corporate Management     

15        Strategic Planning & Performance Management (including Statutory Returns)      

16        Governance   

17        Risk Management     

18        Quality Management 

19        Audit   

20        Legal Affairs Management    

21        Government Relations Management

22        HE Regulator Relations Management           

23        Students’ Union and Postgraduate Association Relations Management      

24        Organisational Development 

25        Health and Safety Management       

26        Environmental Management 

27        Estate Management  

28        Finance Management

29        Human Resources     

30        Information Resources Management

F Resources Management

31        Intellectual Property Management    

32        Information & Communications Technology (ICT) Systems Management 

33        Equipment and Consumables           

34        Insurance Management         

35        Procurement  

36        Internal Services Management         

G Students’ Union and Postgraduate Association      

37        Keele University Students’ Union      

38        Keele Postgraduate Association        

Full Records Retention Schedule

PDF (9,983 KB)