General Records Retention Schedules

The UW General Records Retention Schedule is organized by sections, based upon the function of the record. For example, all of the records related to students, such as student folders, exams, or advising files are found in Section 09, Student Records. Personnel and payroll records, such as personnel folders, timesheets, or applications for employment are found in Section 08, Personnel and Payroll Records. Therefore, before reviewing a General Records Retention Schedule, it is best to first determine the function of the records you maintain.

Once you look in a section of a General Schedule, you will see that there are often two different retention periods listed for each record.  The "Official Copy" designation identifies the office with the primary responsibility for that record at the University. The "Other Copy" designation refers to additional copies of the record which may be held in University offices and departments other than the official copy holder.  If your office is not specifically listed as the “Official Copy” holder by name, the retention period approved for your records is listed under the “Other Copy” designation.

Because of the size of the University community, there are several General Records Retention Schedules available to meet your record-keeping needs.
 
 
For most records, such as grant or state budget financial records, personnel folders, or meeting records, you will want to refer to the 
UW General Records Retention Schedule.
 
For records that are created only by libraries, such as patron records or library card applications, you will want to refer to the
UW Libraries General Records Retention Schedule.
 
For records that are created only by the School of Dentistry dental clinics, such as gold slips or treatment contracts, you will want to refer to the
UW School of Dentistry General Records Retention Schedule.
 
For records that are created by offices found on all three campuses, such as International Programs & Exchanges or the Registrar's Office, you will want to refer to the
UW Multi Campus Common Office General Records Retention Schedule.
 
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@u.washington.edu.
 
As always, be aware that all records pertaining to ongoing or pending audits, lawsuits (or even reasonably anticipated lawsuits), or public disclosure proceedings must not be destroyed, damaged, or altered until the issue is resolved and you are specifically advised that such records may be destroyed.

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