Retention and Disposal of Records Containing Personal Information

Personal records include student records and staff/personnel records and contain information that is likely to be highly sensitive. While disposal of these records, like other types of records, must be authorised as per the State Records Act 1998, there are additional requirements to ensure the privacy and security of personal records.

Remember that personal information is to be kept for no longer than necessary and that minimum retention periods apply for some records. You may wish to consult the General Disposal Authorities below for further information on minimum retention periods:

For disposal of records, please complete and submit the Request to Destroy Records Form.

Central Personnel Files

The RMO is responsible for disposing of all Central Personnel Files. Disposal may mean that the file is destroyed or transferred to University Archives.

Local Staff and Student Files

Local files containing facilitative, ephemeral or duplicate records may be destroyed when no longer required for reference use. Always ensure that any personal information is destroyed by shredding or by using the confidential waste services available.

The following list specifies minimum retention periods for certain classes of records, as determined under the State Records Act 1998. This list is not exhaustive, but seeks to identify the retention periods for original records which may be held at the local level.

Staff Attendance Records

Examples: Flextime sheets
Disposal Action: Retain for a minimum of six years then destroy.
Comments: Excludes staff who work with children.

Attendance Records: Staff Working with Children

Examples: Flextime sheets
Disposal Action: Retain for a minimum of ten years then destroy.

Special Consideration, Deferred Assessment and Extensions of Time

Disposal Action: Retain for a minimum of three years and then destroy.
Comments: All copies or duplicates of applications and related documentation must be destroyed following the final outcome of each application. These should be clearly marked "COPY".

Performance Management

Examples: Records relating to the administration and implementation of the performance management program, including records of individual performance management plans and appraisal reports.
Disposal Action: Retain for a minimum of three years then destroy.
Comments: The minimum time frame is five years for performance records of senior officers of the University, including the Vice-Chancellor, Deputy Vice-Chancellors, Pro-Vice Chancellors and their administrative equivalents.

State Archives

The NSW State Records Authority requires selected personnel data for every staff member to be retained permanently as State archives. This data is recorded on the University's human resource information management system and therefore is not the responsibility of individual staff to retain. The data deemed to be of archival significance includes:

  • Personal details (name, address, date of birth, etc)
  • Period of employment
  • Basis of employment (temporary/permanent)
  • Position/designation
  • Work location
  • Work history details

Personnel files for certain classes of employees are also retained permanently as State Archives. These include the personnel files of senior officers of the University, including the Vice-Chancellor, Deputy Vice-Chancellors, Pro-Vice Chancellors and their administrative equivalents.

University Archives

The personnel files of Professors and their administrative equivalents are required as University Archives. These files will be identified by the RMO and their transfer to the Archives Unit will usually occur at the end of their minimum retention period.

For more information about record retention and disposal, contact us.