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Retention and Disposal Authority

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) The purpose of the RMIT Retention and Disposal Authority (the Standard) is to provide the business with a set of consistent rules to facilitate efficient and compliant practices of retention and disposal of records in alignment with legislative and business needs.

(2) The Standard:

  1. defines the minimum retention period for RMIT records
  2. instructs the destruction of records that have satisfied minimum retention period
  3. identifies records that must be retained permanently.

(3) The Standard applies to electronic records only.  The RMIT Retention and Disposal Authority may be used for hard copy or paper records, however business requirements and costs of storage should be taken into account after making this decision.

(4) For further advice on retention and disposal of physical and paper records, please refer to RMIT Archives (

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Section 2 - Scope

(5) The Standard applies to all persons involved in the creation, use and disposal of RMIT records existing in isan electronic format. It includes (but is not limited to) salaried staff, non-salaried staff and contractors.

(6) This Standard is applicable to all RMIT entities operating within Australia. It can be used for RMIT entities operating outside of Australia as a guideline only, with legislation of the relevant jurisdiction taking precedence.

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Section 3 - Authority

(7) Authority for this document is established by the Information Governance Policy.

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Section 4 - Standard


(8) RMIT University has obligations under the Public Records Act 1973 “to carry out a programme of efficient management of public records and information” in alignment with Standards prescribed by the Public Record Office Victoria (PROV).

(9) This standard has been developed with the primary focus to provide staff with a consolidated, simplified and consistent set of business rules, that provide a single point of reference to support the business with implementing and/or undertaking efficient and compliant retention and disposal processes.

Records Destruction

(10) In alignment with Disposal Standard 10/13, the destruction of records must be authorised and documented with the exception of records classified as normal administrative practice (NAP), which can be destroyed without requiring authorisation.  This standard is to be used in conjunction with the Destruction of Information Procedure.

(11) This standard identifies and provides authorisation for the destruction of records not covered by Normal Administrative Practice (NAP). For any other records not covered by NAP or this Retention and Disposal Authority (RDA), please contact the Data and Analytics team.

(12) For current guidance on records associated with contact tracing or drug and alcohol testing, please contact the Data and Analytics team.

Retention and Disposal Authorities (issued by PROV)

(13) The following, lists all the PROV RDAs incorporated into this standard, in compliance with Public Records Act 1973 (Vic):

  1. PROS 07/01 Retention and Disposal Authority for Common Administrative Functions
  2. PROS 16/07 Retention and Disposal Authority for Higher and Further Education Functions
  3. PROS 16/01 Retention and Disposal Authority for Training Function – Accredited
  4. PROS 16/02 Retention and Disposal Authority for Training Function – Non-Accredited
  5. PROS 09/05 Retention and Disposal Authority for Local Government Functions (covers Childcare and Early Education)
  6. PROS 17/03 Retention and Disposal Authority for Records of Museum and Gallery Functions
  7. PROS 17/04 Retention and Disposal Authority for Records of Hospital Administrative Functions
  8. PROS 01/01 Retention and Disposal Authority for Records of School Records
  9. PROS 11/06 Retention and Disposal Authority for Patient Information Records

Other Standards and Legislation

(14) The development of this standard, included (but is not limited to) consideration of retention requirements from the following:

  1. Accident Compensation (Occupational Health and Safety) Act 1996 (Vic)
  2. Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012 (Vic)
  3. Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) (Cth)
  4. Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, 2007
  5. Copyright Act 1968 (Cth)
  6. Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth)
  7. Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010 (Vic)
  8. Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth)
  9. Financial Management Act 1994 (Vic)
  10. Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic)
  11. Health Records Act 2001 (Vic)
  12. Human Tissue Act 1982 (Vic)
  13. Gene Technology Act 2000 (Cth)
  14. Australian Code for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes
  15. Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 (Vic)
  16. Limitation of Actions Act 1958 (Vic)
  17. Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic)
  18. Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic)
  19. Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth)
  20. Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 (Cth)
  21. Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 (Vic)

Special Acknowledgement

(15) Special thanks and acknowledgement to the University of Melbourne for consenting the use and adaptation of University of Melbourne’s Retention and Disposal Authority.

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Section 5 - Schedules

(16) The Summary Schedule provides a summary of the retention periods for the different functions and activities covered by this RDA.

(17) The Detailed Schedule provides the detailed descriptions, examples and minimum retention period after which the records may disposed of.

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Section 6 - Definitions

(18) For the purposes of this Standard:

Disposal The destruction or deletion of records from organisational systems; the migration of records between systems; and the transfer of records to internal retention and discovery systems, and/or to State Archives (PROV).
Normal administrative practice (NAP) Defines ephemeral material of a facilitative or duplicate nature created, acquired or collected which can be destroyed without requiring authorisation.

These include:
  1. working papers consisting of rough notes and calculations used solely to assist in the preparation of other records such as correspondence, reports and statistical tabulations
  2. drafts not intended for retention as part of the office’s records, the content of which has been reproduced and incorporated in the public office’s record keeping systems; and
  3. extra copies of documents and published material preserved solely for reference.
Record Information in any format created, received and maintained as evidence and information by an organisation or person, in pursuance of legal obligations or in the transaction of business.

Records include (but are not limited to) emails, documents, websites, photographs, conversations undertaken via Instant Messaging clients, meeting minutes, research data, posts to RMIT social media sites.
‘University’ All references to the ‘University’ within this standard refer to RMIT Australia entities, unless explicitly stated.