What is a retention schedule?

A retention schedule is a list of the the types of records (record series) created and received by an institution. Records Management Services writes the retention schedules used by the University. Retention schedules provide retention information for each record series.

Why do we need retention schedules?

As a state agency, everything the University community creates - both in hardcopy and electronically - is considered a record, and no record may be legally destroyed unless its retention period is approved by the State Records Committee as required in RCW 40.14.050.

Records Management Services creates two types of retention schedules for those under our jurisdiction - General Records Retention Schedules and Departmental Retention Schedules.

General Records Retention Schedules

The UW General Records Retention Schedule is organized by sections, based upon the function of the record. Because of the size of the University community, there are two General Records Retention Schedules available to meet your record-keeping needs:

These retention schedules are constantly updated as we learn about new records created and received by the University as well as changes to existing business processes that affect current records. If you have any questions, suggestions, revisions, or additions regarding the schedules, please contact us at 543.0573 or urc@uw.edu.

Departmental Retention Schedules

Departmental Retention Schedules are created for a specific office, department, or program that have a specific function and therefore create unique records. Use the Departmental Schedule Search to verify if your office should be using a Departmental Schedule in addition to the UW General Records Retention Schedule.