The Retention Schedule, which forms part of the document retention policy, sets out the length of time that records should be retained and extends to all records identified in the Schedule, irrespective of the media on which they are created or held including:
- digital files (including databases, Word documents, spread sheets, webpages and e-mails)
- photographs and videotapes.
Retention periods are determined based upon the nature of the information held, not the medium in which it is maintained. For example, information which is held in a digital format should only be retained for the same period as it would be kept if it was in paper form. However, it is not necessary to retain both paper and digital versions of the same record, nor to retain duplicate copies of records. Retention arrangements for digital records should ensure that they will remain complete, unaltered and accessible throughout the retention period.