The final stage of a record’s lifecycle is the disposition of the record, either by destruction or transfer to the University Archives. Records are scheduled for disposition once they have met their operational, fiscal, and legal retention requirements, according to approved retention schedules detailed in the University of Lethbridge Classification System.

The purpose of the disposition process is to obtain the required authorization to move forward with the final disposition of the records, as soon as they are eligible.

Disposition of Records Located in a Department

Note: If you are unsure if your records are eligible for disposition, start by using the ULCS to classify your records and identify their retention period. Only classified records that have met their total retention period are eligible for disposition. Records that have not yet met their total retention period should be transferred to the University Records Centre for storage. 

To obtain required authorization for the disposition of eligible University records:

  1. Contact Records Management to request boxes for the records you have that are eligible for disposition. The boxes and labels are supplied at no charge.
  2. Box the records:
  3. Complete the Physical Records Authorized Disposition form.
      • Watch this video tutorial for using the new form.
      • Unless otherwise indicated, all fields are required.
      • Add all records to the form in the same order as they are in the boxes.
      • Enter dates as a year only, but adjust for fiscal and academic years as applicable. Specific dates or semesters can be entered in the description column to help with future retrieval. Please contact us if you have any questions about which year to use. 
      • Use the ULCS to determine the:
        • Classification code
        • Disposition method (AS or D)
        • Disposition eligibility date
          • If the total retention period is under review, enter '*' for the disposition date. 
    • Label each box using the labels sent with the boxes (use the Word template).
      • Place the label on the short side of the box.
    • Email the form to records@uleth.ca for review.
    • Upon approval from Records Management, print the form and obtain appropriate departmental authorizations:
      • Designated Records Liaison or someone else familiar with the day-to-day operational requirements (e.g. Administrative Assistant).
      • Head of the department/unit, if applicable, to ensure that the records are not required for operational or legal requirements.
      • Senior Administrator to confirm that the records are not subject to any ongoing legal, audit, or administrative action.
    • Place the completed/signed form inside Box # 1, on top of the files.
    • Complete a work request to arrange for transfer of the boxes to Records Management. 

    Disposition of Records Stored in the University Records Centre

    The disposition process is initiated by Records Management for records stored in the University Records Centre once the records are eligigle for disposition. Dispositions are initiated three times per year, in January, April, and July.

    Once records are identified as eligible for disposition, the the file listing is sent to the department for authorization. Departments are responsible for reviewing the record listing attached to the disposition and alerting Records Management if there are any records that need to be retained further for operational, audit, or legal reasons. 

    After the department has signed off on the disposition, it is sent to the University Archivist for review. Files that are scheduled for archival selection (AS) will be physically reviewed by the University Archivist to determine if the records hold any historical value to the institution. Any documents deemed to have historical value are incorporated into the University Archives for preservation. All other files will be shredded by a third-party shredding company, witnessed by Records Management staff.

    Once destroyed, a Certificate of Destruction is attached to the disposition as a permanent record of the destruction of the records.

    Shredding Costs

    Departments will be billed for the actual cost of shredding, according to the fees charged by the shredding provider, at the time the shredding occurs. The cost is currently $0.79 per gallon for paper shredding, which works out to approximately $6.00 for a paper box, $7.00 for a records box, and $50 for a large shredding bin.