Retention and Disposal

Why not keep all records?

It is not in the interest of the University to retain records for longer than they are reasonably required. Generally, records have a shelf life, that is they support identified needs, and then are no longer required. To attempt to keep and preserve in an ordered manner all USP records for all time would be expensive and impractical. And there are certain types of records which individuals and the community would expect us to destroy once they become no longer required (for whatever reason); personal information for example.

Records, each and every one of them, are created for discreet time-based activities. That is, they are “created for an identifiable business or administrative purpose and the majority of these records can be disposed of by destruction once that purpose has been fulfilled and all legal and accountability requirements for their retention have been met.

There are some types of records however, because of the purpose for which they were created, the activity they document and the information they contain that have enduring value; to the University, to the community at large or to individuals or groups within it. These records are identified and kept as the USP Archive.

Appraisal of records is performed to ensure that that the right record is kept for the right amount of time. Appraisal includes creating a record of why a record was destroyed or why it was archived. This allows us to document our actions and properly justify retention and disposal decisions.


The disposal of records is a controlled activity and therefore individuals and business units must not destroy records without prior approval. The Records Management office will assist you through this process. A form, the Disposal_and_Relocation_Notification_Form, is available for you to identify those records you wish to dispose of. Once you have completed your section of the form and you have gained a signature endorsing the request to destroy from an authorised position in your Faculty/ Section/ Campus the form should be forwarded to Records Management for final approval by the Vice-Chancellor.

For further information regarding retention and disposal, or appraisal services please contact the Records Management Helpdesk on (679) 32 31687 or records(at)

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