Guidelines for Preparation of Records Retention Schedules Pertaining to Substantive Functions



Every organisation produces records to carry out its various functions. These records are to be closed (recorded) after action on the issues considered thereon has been completed. While the files of purely ephemeral nature, containing little reference or research value, need not be formally recorded and may be destroyed after one year. The other categories of records are, however, required to be retained for different specified periods, according to their importance and reference values.

One of the prerequisites of a good Records Management is to ensure that records are neither prematurely destroyed nor kept for periods longer than required – at the cost of economy and efficiency. Thus, in order to prescribe judicious retention periods to different categories of records, a Records Retention Schedule (RRS) needs to be drawn by the concerned organizations.


Types of Records Retention Schedules


Records Retention Schedules are of two types, viz.


  1. Retention Schedule for Records pertaining to Facilitative Functions.    
  2. Retention Schedule for Records pertaining to Substantive Functions.