Building Your Records Retention Policy

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1. Do you have a successful Records & Information team in place in your organization?
2. Are your policies and procedures in place that work?
3. Where should your team of Records Management and IM live in your organization?

Educate your self on key areas for your records management program. Help from a consultant or outside 3rd party can be helpful.

A key component to your records and information management program is a retention policy

Records Retention Policy, where does it start? Creating a records retention policy is a process that needs to be well thought out. It also requires the involvement of everyone within an organization. Where do you begin? It all starts with research about the organization, history, culture, and the future of the organization. Researching the laws, best business practices and latest trends. Researching the design process, audit process, and compliance of the records retention policy outsider records.

What is a records retention policy? A records retention policy is a system organization policies that dictate: The information that is retained in an organization. How long that information should be retained. Who can access the information and where that information is kept. How accessible the information is. Ensures that there is uniformity especially with the ever changing personnel and the issues left with an organization when an employee leaves the organization. What makes a good retention policy? Processes and procedures that have been implemented in your organization proven to work via an audit.

Involvement from everyone in an organization. Assuring compliance and training of employees. This will leave employees with the proper knowledge of the procedures in the event of litigation or legal hold. To make sure the retention policy in place really works, AUDIT. Throughout any policy,be simple.

Why is a records retention policy needed? Having a policy in place will ensure compliance with law, enable accessibility of your records, reduce cost, and provide uniformity within the organization.

Important topics when planning your design, audit process and compliance of your records retention policy:

1) State & Federal laws Best Business Practices & latest

2) Company history, culture, employees, future of the company

3) Off site storage vendor

4) Responsibility

5) Company Policies & Procedures

6) Life Cycle of a document

7) Inventory and filing


1. Initiate – research, plan & designate
2. Lay the foundation – Write your retention policy,
3. Processes – Begin implementing the policy, audit and update

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