Records Management

New Storage and Retrieval Service

We will retain non-current records only that the University has a statutory, regulatory or administrative requirement for. Records for the current academic, financial, calendar year or work cycle are defined as current records and are therefore not suitable for transfer to the records centre.

It is acknowledged that departments face pressures on space and that it may not be possible to retain both a current active record and a previous year’s record within storage space (as is good practice). There may be exceptional circumstances where it is appropriate for such records to be transferred, but it is stressed that these are often exceptional circumstances and only undertaken once discussions have taken place between the department and the records management staff to agree the transfer.

How to use

1. Departmental visit

Before departments use the storage service for the first time they should:

  • Check if any records can be disposed of immediately by referring to the Advice and Guidance page on how long to keep records, or if you are still uncertain ask for advice.
  • Arrange a visit to the record store with the Records Management team. We will provide a brief overview of transferring records. After this boxes of records should be transferred in batches of tens or twenties on a regular basis to avoid backlogs.

2. Access to the New Online Storage and Retrieval Service

Make sure you can access the system by following the instructions on getting access through MUSE.

Please contact us first if you have not used the Storage and Retrieval Service before.

3. Complete a transfer form online

Records should be listed on the ‘NEW TRANSFER FORM,’ using one form per box entering the following details:

  • Details of records transferred: Most file names are self explanatory e.g. Evaluation papers. Some filenames may not be recognisable in the future e.g. Matt’s meetings. Where file codes are used make sure you or your colleagues will be able to recognise them in years to come.
  • Covering start and end dates: This is NOT the date that you are archiving the boxes. It is the first and last date of all the records in each box. For example, if they are student files from the year 2012/2013 then the start date will be 2012 and the last date will be 2013.
  • Dispose/Review date: Specify the retention or review date., e.g. Retain until October 2010, or review December 2012. Records must have a date assigned for them to be transferred.
  • Please justify your desired disposal date: For example finance records should be kept for 6 years + current academic year, so the reason for detaining these records would be financial. The disposal date will be applied to the last date of the records in each box.

When your transfer form is complete click the submit button. If your box details are accepted you will receive an email asking you to print a copy of the transfer form. Place the completed form on top of the records inside each box. Do not sellotape the form to the box lid or use sellotape on the transfer form (we will advise you if any boxes are rejected after submitting).

4. Order and pack boxes

We will accept records in either of the boxes listed below from either supplier:

  • LYRECO
    Lyreco storage box (1 x pack of 10)
    250H X 327W X415D - 122.898
  • OFFICE DEPOT
    A. Easy assembly archive boxes (1 x pack of 10)
    250H X 333W X 383Dmm - 487 5726

Records transferred in any other sized boxes WILL NOT be accepted to the Records Centre. Odd size boxes do not fit on the shelves properly and wastes space and defeats the purpose of providing efficient and economical storage.

Boxes should not be packed too full or too heavy. Leave a small space between the last records and the box lid for easy retrieval. You should leave enough space to get your fist in either end of the box.

Box Example

Photo 1 - box is too heavy and papers are hard to retrieve as they are so tightly packed

Full

Photo 2 – There are not enough records in this box to justify its retention within the records centre.

Empty

Photo 3 – This box has the correct amount of records in it to be able to lift it comfortably and retrieve files.

Right amount

Tips for packing boxes

  • Dispose of any unwanted duplicates, drafts etc., before moving into storage.
  • Remove papers from hanging file folders, lever arch files, box files, plastic folders and plastic wallets. Where papers are removed from files and folders etc. place a sheet of paper on top of the first page and write the file details and dates. Use elastic bands to secure.
  • It is easier to pack boxes whilst listing the files at the same time.
  • Bag files may be packed into boxes.
  • Where possible keep a small range of dates per box. EG 2004 – 2006 rather than 1996 – 2006. We will dispose of the whole box as a unit, meaning some files could be retained well over their retention period.
  • Use one transfer form per box and place it inside the box when complete.
  • There is no need to show details of records on the outside of the box.

5. Transfer of boxes

Once your transfer form and details are accepted we will issue delivery labels for the boxes and organise the transfer of your boxes via the Estates Planon database. The porters will then collect your boxes and deliver them to the record store.
On receipt of your records we will check the contents match the form and allocate a box number. You will be able to see the details of all the boxes we hold for your department on the RM online database.

6. File retrievals

If you require a file or box once they are in storage, please enter the details of the request in the ‘Retrieval’ section on the online database. Our aim is to retrieve and deliver the file/box to you within 2 working days. A retrieval sticker will be placed on the file showing the date the file has been removed from storage. Retrieved files should be returned to storage as soon as possible. An automated email from the database will be sent to departments to remind them of any outstanding files that have not been returned to the record store.

7. Disposals

When a box is due for disposal, an automated email (1 per box) will be sent to advise this two weeks prior to the due date. To summarise the disposal process:

  • Records that have been assigned retention periods and the retention periods have now expired. This means that the records are no longer required to support current administrative processes.
  • We are informing you that these records have reached the end of their retention periods and will now be disposed of via confidential destruction.
  • Any records which might be worthy of permanent preservation will be identified and transferred to the University Archives.

8. Departmental Moves

Departments who are undertaking office moves and planning to transfer boxes of records should inform the records centre staff as soon as possible to ensure adequate preparation and transfer time. The records centre will not necessarily be able to accept or accommodate transfers of boxes within your timescales unless adequate communication, planning and preparation of material has taken place.

As soon as you are notified that you will be moving offices/buildings start to plan ahead and sort your records out. Contact us and arrange a meeting. We can let you know what records you can dispose of, what you can transfer to us and what you will probably need to take with you. We can also tell you how you need to prepare your material for transfer to the records centre. Keep in touch and communicate often rather than leaving it until the final stages."

9. Leaving the University

Please contact us if colleagues using the service move departments or leave the University so that we can update our contact and access information. If new members of staff taking over the archiving are known please notify RM staff.
For more information please see our terms and conditions:
http://www.shef.ac.uk/cics/records/terms