HEIs - and, indeed, most organisations - have documents that
1. are kept for professional archive purposes;
2. are needed for a specific and defined length of time;
3. may be destroyed routinely.
The Data Protection Act means that not only is it costly (in terms of both time and space) to retain “old” documents that have outlived their original purpose, but illegal. Academic Registry documents are classified into a particular category, based on the JISC guidance. We also define the time period for which each type of document is retained, who “owns” the document, and if it is archived or how it is disposed of.
Broadly, we classify documents according to the following principles:
strategies, policies, names and dates of staff appointments, student award and transcript data, external review reports (such as those of the QAAHE and PSRBs) and responses to them, calendars of events: permanent archive;
completed assessments: date of leaving plus one year;
student files (enrolment information, unfair practice, academic appeals, extenuating circumstances): date of leaving plus three years;
attendance confirmation reports, progression reports: current academic year plus one year;
records that document the organisation of annual events (enrolment, examinations, examining boards, award ceremonies): current academic year plus one year;
financial records: current academic year plus six years;
class lists, tutorial lists, timetables, grant schedules, assignment hand-in sheets: current academic year (only);
committee agendas, minutes and papers: permanent archive. For Academic Board and its subcommittees, these are retained on the UWIC SharePoint site, with access controlled by the committee secretary. The majority of the secretaries are in the Quality and Standards Unit, with the exception of support for the Regulations and Special Cases Committee (which is in Regulations and Research). A paper set of Academic Board minutes, agendas and supporting papers (from 1978 onwards) is retained in the Academic Registry archive room.