Retention and Disposal Schedules

When applied to your business they minimise risk, reduces cost, supporting excellence and quality frameworks.

What is a Retention and Disposal Schedule

"A Retention and Disposal (R&D) schedule is a range of processes associated with the authorised retention and disposal of records based upon the value of the records to the organisation, legislation and organisational accountability and community expectations. It is a systematic listing of RECORDS SERIES created by an organisation, which plans the life of these records from the time of their creation to their disposal, either by destruction or transfer to archives."
Gail E Murphy, Information Enterprises Australia Pty Ltd.

A retention and disposal schedule should reflect the classification applied to the records. The supporting notes and guidelines should clearly outline the organisation’s need for access as well as the legislative requirement for the retention and protection of the records. Schedules and guidelines will detail the format, location and period of retention as well as the need for duplication in the case of vital records.

The purpose a Retention and Disposal Schedule is:

  • To destroy records which are no longer useful to the organisation or which may be a commercial burden to the organisation to retain.
  • To ensure that records required for operational, legislative or legal purposes are retained for the appropriate period of time.
  • To identify and preserve records which may be of historical or evidential importance.


Why do you need to develop a Retention and Disposal Schedule?

  • To fulfill the objectives of a retention and disposal programme.
  • To ensure consistency across departments and organisations.  
  • To fulfill requirements of the State Records Act 2000 if you belong to a public sector agency.


Information Enterprises Australia Pty Ltd (IEA) owns and publishes the Australian Record Retention Manual (ARRM) which was developed for the private sector.

The Australian Record Retention Manual is a records compliance tool that tells you what records to keep, how to manage them and when to destroy them. When applied to your business it minimises risk, reduces cost and supports excellence and quality frameworks.

To see the content of the manual, please download a copy of the sample pages

The ARRM includes a Retention and Disposal Schedule for administrative records. This is also available in electronic format for the TRIM system.

The TRIM 7 Schedules will not overwrite your own schedule, but will fill in the series numbers you don't have. Of course if you don't have an online R&D Schedule, this will provide you with an excellent starting point for creating a schedule for your own organisation. As you know, the ARRM Schedules are administrative in nature and apply to all organisations.

If you would like more information on creating a Retention and Disposal (R&D) Schedule for your organisation please contact our offices on 08 9335 2533 or email