Retention Talk- A few thoughts about updating your retention schedules

Rebekkah Shaw Records Management

When it comes time to update or create retention schedules, it can be overwhelming as you think about all the records your agency creates and maintains. Here are three tips (in no particular order) from our experience with records officers around the state!

1- Learn who actually deals with the records, and form a team in your office to discuss the functions of your office and the records related to those functions. Include people who actually manage and use the records to help you visualize the impact of the retention schedules on day-to-day work, how the records are used and shared.

2- Creating a spreadsheet of retention schedules or the functions of your office is a great way to start the conversation. This way you can work together on one document. Here’s an example. On one row you can see the title, the general retention schedule that applies, and other useful elements. Find out what works for your office culture, but remember if you have too many series to manage, it would be more difficult to maintain.

3- Attend records management training! There will be a Records Management 101 class taught at the Archives building in Salt Lake City on December 5th. RIM (Records and Information Management) Specialist at the Division of Archives and Records Service can also visit your office to help you train staff in records management practices, and work with you and your team to update your retention schedules!