Records Retention Schedule (Records Containing Personal Information)

The following minimum retention periods relate to all personal information, regardless of the format in which it is stored. The list is not exhaustive, but provides guidance as to best practice. This retention schedule should be read in conjunction with the University’s Data Protection Policy and guidance on Student Records Management in Academic Departments, Student Records Management in Support Services and Staff Records Management.

For further detailed advice on document retention see the JISC publication "Study of the Records Lifecycle".

 

Health and Safety Records

Type of Record Minimum Retention Period Location Reason for Length of Period
Pre-employment health screening questionnaire During employment plus 3 years Occupational Health Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
Occupational Health Records - health surveillance and medical records relating to risk assessments or incidents occurring at work

40 years Occupational Health/Health, Safety and Environment Office Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 Noise at Work Regulations 1989
Occupational Health Records where reason for termination of employment is connected with health, including stress related illness
During employment plus 3 years Personnel, Occupational Health Limitation period for personal injury claims (there may be circumstances where it is not practical to separate these from other Occupational Health Records)
Health surveillance and medical records plus air monitoring and/or biological monitoring etc. kept by reason of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002


5 years or 40 years in respect of specific individuals Health, Safety and Environmental Office Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002
Records relating to asbestos, medical records, training records, suspect incidents of potential exposure


40 years Estates, Health, Safety and Environmental Office Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2002
Ionizing Radiation Records 50 years after last entry Radiation Protection Officer Ionizing Radiations Regulations 1999

Employee Records

 

Type of Record Minimum Retention Period Location Reason for Length of Period
Facts of employment (dates of appointments, positions held etc) Perpetuity Personnel Services, HoD/ HoS Provision of references and requests for confirmation of employment.
All personnel files EXCLUDING information on disciplinary and/or grievance proceedings (but including health information, application forms and references) 6 years from the end of employment Personnel, Staff Development, HoD/HoS Provision of references and potential litigation.
Staff Discipline   HoD/HoS - copied to Personnel if appropriate  
  Oral/verbal warning - brief note on file (subject to satisfactory conduct and performance)    
  Academic & Related Staff 12 months   In accordance with University Statutes and Conditions of Service
  Other Staff 6 months  
  Written warning - including notes of disciplinary hearings kept on file (subject to satisfactory conduct and performance)      
  Academic & Related Staff 2 years   In accordance with University Statutes and Conditions of Service
  Other staff First Warning Final Warning 12 months 
2 years
  In accordance with Conditions of Service
Documentation relating to grievance hearings (notes, reports etc) NOTE: Grievance Committee members must hand in all paperwork at the end of a meeting/hearing to avoid retention of duplicate documents 2 years HoD/HoS - copied to Personnel/ Registry if appropriate Allows for appropriate appeal mechanism and monitoring future grievances
Application forms and references for unsuccessful candidates      
  Ordinance VI posts 3 months 
12 months
HoD/HoS Personnel Feedback to applicants Time limits on litigation
  Other posts 12 months HoD/HoS Feedback to applicants Time limits on litigation
Interview Notes (all Appointment Committees’ members’ notes to be handed to single person at end of interview)      
  Ordinance VI posts 12 months Personnel Feedback to applicants and time limits on litigation
  Other posts 12 months HoD/HoS Feedback to applicants and time limits on litigation
  Facts relating to redundancies:      
  Where less than 20 redundancies 6 years from the date of redundancy Personnel Time limits on litigation
  Where 20 or more redundancies 12 years from the date of the redundancies Personnel Limitation Act 1980
Income Tax and NI Returns, including correspondence with tax office 6 years after end of the financial year to which the records relate Payroll, Finance Income Tax (Employment) Regulations 1993
Statutory Maternity Pay records and calculations 6 years after end of the financial year to which the records relate ] Payroll, Personnel Statutory Maternity Pay (General) Regulations 1986
Statutory Sick Pay records and calculations 6 years after end of the financial year to which the records relate Payroll, Personnel Statutory Sick Pay (General) Regulations 1982
Wages and salary records 6 years Payroll, Finance Taxes Management Act 1970
Accident books, and records and reports of accidents 3 years after the date of the last entry HoD/HoS, Health & Safety Officer Social Security (Claims and Payments) Regulations 1979; RIDDOR 1985

Student Records

Type of Record Minimum Retention Period Location Reason for Length of Period
APPLICATIONS, ADMISSIONS & INDUCTION
Records documenting the handling of enquiries from prospective students Current Academic Year + 1 year Admissions Office and/or Admissions contact in dept. Good practice
Records documenting the handling of applications for admission: unsuccessful applications Current Academic Year + 1 year Admissions Office and/or Admissions contact in dept. Good practice
Records documenting the handling of the clearing process Current Academic Year + 1 year Admissions Office and/or Admissions contact in dept. Good practice
Records documenting the administration of induction programme and events for new students Current Academic Year + 1 year Admissions Office and/or Admissions contact in dept. Good practice
GENERAL STUDENT FILES COLLATED DURING ACADEMIC CAREER
Facts of registration and academic performance (dates of study, progression, programme of study, marks, final award etc) Perpetuity [Post 1995] Registry (but accessed by dept)
[Pre 1995]
Departmental Office, Registry
Provision of references and confirmation of registration/final award etc.
Full student records, including documents relating to application/admission; academic achievements and conduct; transfer, withdrawal or termination of studies; 10 years for personal and academic references. Departmental Office, Registry Permits university to provide references for a reasonable length of time. Also, limitation period for negligence.
Records documenting the handling of individual students’ requests for statements of results/transcripts and third party requests for confirmation of student status etc. Last action on request + 1 year Departmental Office, Registry Good practice.
PROGRAMME & EXAMINATION ADMINISTRATION (inc Work/Study Placements)
Class/Tutorial lists & Schedules for submitting/marking work. Current Academic Year Programme Tutor, Personal Tutor Good practice.
Records documenting individual students’ attendance, and submission of coursework. Current Academic Year + 1 year Programme Tutor, Personal Tutor Good practice.
Documents referring to coursework marks/grades and assessment. Completion of studies + 1 year Programme Tutor, Personal Tutor, Departmental File Good practice.
Records documenting organization of students’ work/study placements Completion of studies + 1 year Registry, Programme Tutor, Personal Tutor, Industrial Tutor, Socrates Co-ordinator Good practice.
Records documenting organization of examination facilities (inc. special arrangements); attendance at examinations; handling of impaired performance claims; collation and notification of results. Current Academic Year + 1 year Registry, Exams Officers in depts., HoDs. Good practice.
Pass Lists/Award Lists Perpetuity Registry Formal record, forms part of archive.
STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC WORK
Undergraduate Coursework (including projects & reports, all years) Nil - handed back to student after marking (unless Note 1 or 2 applies). N/A (NB. In the event of an appeal, or a request from an examiner, it will be student’s responsibility to provide the coursework for consideration.)
Postgraduate Taught Coursework (including projects & reports, dissertations, all years) Nil - handed back to student after marking (unless Note 1 or 2 applies). N/A (NB. In the event of an appeal, or a request from an examiner, it will be student’s responsibility to provide the coursework for consideration.)
Research Theses Maximum of 2 copies retained indefinitely (unless Note 1 or 2 applies). One copy to be retained in Library and one copy to be retained with Departmental collection. University Regulations for Higher Degrees by Research
NOTES: 1. Samples of coursework, dissertations, theses etc should be retained in department for external audit requirements. Retention for this purpose is, therefore, determined by the date of any forthcoming audit. 2. Samples of coursework, dissertations, theses etc may be retained indefinitely in department as exemplars only with the consent of the author. Supervisors wishing to retain copies of Research Theses must also seek the consent of the author.
Examination Scripts from Year One Can be disposed of in Year Two Departmental Office Assuming it doesn’t count towards final mark.
Examination Scripts from Year Two onwards. Duration of studies and 6 months after awards are promulgated. Departmental Office Relevant time to let students exercise right of appeal or in case of any other dispute.
Examination Scripts for students who have withdrawn or had their studies terminated. 6 months from the withdrawal/ termination date Departmental Office Relevant time to let students exercise right of appeal or in case of any other dispute.
DISCIPLINE, APPEALS AND COMPLAINTS (held separately from main student file)
Records documenting the conduct and results of disciplinary proceedings against individual students. Last action on case + 6 years. Registry (and relevant HoD) Limitation period for negligence.
Records documenting the handling and results of academic appeals by individual students. Last action on case + 6 years. Registry (and relevant HoD) Limitation period for negligence.
Records documenting the handling of formal complaints made by individual students. Last action on case + 6 years. Registry (and relevant HoD) Limitation period for negligence.
Records documenting the handling of complaints made by individual students where formal complaints procedure is not initiated. Last action on case + 3 years. Registry (and relevant HoD) Good practice.
GRADUATION CEREMONIES
Records documenting the organization of award ceremonies Completion of ceremony + 1 year Registry Good practice.
Records documenting the production, collection and mailing of award certificates. Completion of ceremony + 1 year Registry Good practice.
MISCELLANEOUS
First Destination Surveys: Individual responses. Completion of analysis of responses (unless used for historical statistical or research purposes). Careers Service Good practice.

External Examiner and Invigilator Records

Type of Record Minimum Retention Period Location Reason for Length of Period
Records documenting the selection and appointment of external examiners. Termination of appt. + 1 year Registry, HoD, Faculty Board Good practice
Records documenting liaison with external examiners on administrative matters. Current academic year + 1 year Registry, HoD, Dean, VC. Good practice
Records documenting the selection and appointment of examination invigilators. Current academic year + 1 year Registry Good practice
External Examiner reports and departmental responses. 5 years

Indefinite
(electronically scanned)
HoD

Registry
Institutional Audit, Internal Programme Review and Accreditation purposes.

For further guidance, please contact the University's Data Protection Officer.