Records Retention Guide

Lakehead University
Office of the Registrar
Effective Date: March 1, 2008
Revised Date: April 6, 2011
Approved By: Brenda Winter - University Registrar


Introduction - Section 1

Academic Records-Section 2
Biographical Records-Section 3
Additional Qualifications Application Package
Immigration Documents
Applications to Graduate
Name Change Forms
Academic Standing Assessments
Convocation Ticket Replies
Course Section and Student Marks
Graduation Assessments
Graduation Binder Exceptions/Substitutions
Petition Reappraisal Requests
Special Exams and Exam Applications
Graduate Student Files
Exam Accommodation Forms
Communication Records-Section 4
  Registration Records-Section 5  
Background Check Authorization Forms
Athletics Registration Reports and Rosters
Confirmation of Enrolment Requests
Change in Registration Forms
Convocation List of Approved Graduands
Co-operative Placement Information
Degree Parchment Requests
Enrolment Reports
Letters of Permission
First Aid Certificate Copies
Letters of Successful Completion
Program Change Forms
Qualifications Evaluation Council of Ontario
Timetable Information
Registered Education Savings Plan Forms
Transcript Requests

Record of Destruction-Section 6
List of Records Destroyed and Method of Destruction


At the end of 2007, the University and Associate Registrars recognized the need to adopt a Records Retention Guide in order to formally state how, where, and for what length of time all record types would be retained by the Office of the Registrar (the Office). The need for this policy rose from the acknowledgement that excessive volumes of paper were being retained in the Office for unspecified periods of time and that physical space for retaining records was limited.


Office members were asked to submit the names of all the different types of records retained in our workspace. This list was then reviewed by staff members and decisions were made as to the length of time that records would be retained, based on the mandate of the Office of the Registrar and in compliance with Provincial and Federal laws.


** In 2011 a review of the Records Retention Guide occurred to include electronic records and to ensure compliance with information-related legislation (specifically Ontario's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act).



Records will be kept in the Office of the Registrar as required by law. If the law does not address a record retention period then the record will be kept for a rational period of time as defined by those that use it. While individual records will need to be brought to individual work stations in order to perform various functions, these records must be returned and stored with the group at the next available opportunity once a break in the task occurs or the work is completed. With a few exceptions, groups of records must not be stored in employee offices as access may become limited when the employee is not present in the workplace.


One Academic Session:
Retain until the end of the term received (either F/W or SS/G)
One Year:
August 2010 to August 2011
Fiscal Year:
May 1, 2010 to April 30, 2011
Current Year Plus One:
If currently October 2011, then records kept back until January 2010
Records will be kept indefinitely
Academic Records - Section 2
2.0 Additional Qualifications Program Application Package - AQ packages will be kept on file alphabetically by surname for one year since students must submit a new package for each AQ course they wish to take. It is unnecessary to retain these packages for longer than the time period outlined as the information is a registration request and therefore will be kept for the same period of time. **2010 Application/registration online, very few paper AQ packages


2.1 Applications to Graduate - Hardcopy applications will be stored alphabetically by last name in binders until the following year's application deadline date is reached. This allows ample opportunity for both the Office of the Registrar and potential graduates to review the application after the graduation has occurred. **2010 Application online, very few paper applications.


2.2 Academic Standing Assessments - Academic Standing assessments will only be kept for one year as new codes are assigned annually in the spring, thus making the previous code less relevant. The assessment sheets from the department will be kept alphabetically by department.


2.3 Convocation Ticket Replies - Electronic replies will be recorded in the SIS.


2.4 Course Section Marks and Student Marks - These records will be kept permanently. Course section marks and student marks are kept together by term then alpha/numeric by course with student specific marks attached to the course section with which they are associated. Due to the ever increasing volume of these documents, it may be necessary to store these records outside of the Office of the Registrar in a secure location or scan the submitted grades to be stored electronically. Grades that have been submitted electronically through Marks Management, have been verified, and signed by Instructor, Chair and/or Dean will be permanently retained.


2.5 Graduation Assessments (Cover Sheets, Degree Audits, Substitutions Memo, etc.) - All information related to graduation assessments will be kept on file for one year. This retention period will allow ample opportunity for unsuccessful applicants to obtain information as to how final decisions were reached. These records will be kept first by ceremony/year, then by Department in an area accessible to all office staff.


2.6 Program Substitutions/Exceptions - Once substitutions are recorded on a student's electronic record they are destroyed. If it is not possible to record the substitution on the student's electronic record then these documents are kept alphabetically by surname until the graduation assessments have been completed. Following the fall and spring convocations each year, the substitutions/exceptions are reviewed. The expired documents will then be destroyed.


2.7 Petitions/Reappraisal Requests - Due to the nature and implications of these documents they shall be kept permanently. Unresolved requests are retained with the Registrar's Confidential Secretary and are sorted according to their stage in the process, then alphabetically by last name. Requests that have been resolved are sorted by last name.


2.8 Special Exams and Exam Applications - The special exams and their applications will be retained in the Scheduling Office for one year according to term and then alphabetically by surname. This retention period was selected as the need to verify the application or exam will subside once a year has passed.


2.9 Graduate Student Files - These files are kept alphabetically by last name. The files will be disposed of one year after the student has graduated. Students that have submitted transcripts from institutions in unstable countries will have their documentation returned to the Office of Graduate Studies.


2.10 Exam Accommodation Information- Forms are kept alphabetically by department by term for one year.
Biographical Records - Section 3
3.0 Exemption Forms- Immigration documents will be stored alphabetically by surname until the student graduates at which point the information is no longer relevant. Those students who do not graduate will have their immigration documents stored until their program is made inactive.


3.1 Name Change Forms -Hard copy forms will be destroyed once the change has been made to the student's electronic record.
Communication Records - Section 4
4.0 Background Check Authorization Forms- These forms, signed by the current/former student, are sent to the Office of the Registrar by various agencies looking to verify information about the student. Once the request has been fulfilled or the request has expired, the form is destroyed.


4.1 Confirmation of Enrolment Requests - Confirmation of Enrolment requests are stored electronically on the student's record. Hardcopy requests are stored alphabetically for one academic session.


4.2List of Approved Graduands - Prior to every Convocation ceremony a list of successful Graduands will be published on the Office of the Registrar Website. All prior lists will be displayed permanently on the Office of the Registrar's website under the Graduation webpage. The information on these lists is considered public, unless the student requests otherwise. Copies of the convocation program will be retained in the Office of Registrar.


4.3 Degree Parchment Requests - Once a written request is processed and a new parchment has been produced and sent, an electronic notation will be added on the database and the hardcopy destroyed.


4.4 Letters of Permission (Requests, Copies of Letters and Dean/Chair permissions) - The electronic version of the Letter of Permission will be kept by year issued. Electronic Letters of Permission records will be kept for two years. Students who do not receive their transfer credit within the two years will be required to reapply.


4.5 Letters of Successful Completion- Copies of these letters are retained in electronic form.


4.6 Qualifications Evaluation Council of Ontario Copies -These letters will be kept electronically for one year. The requests for the letters will be destroyed once the request has been fulfilled.


4.7 Registered Education Savings Plan Forms - *No longer required, forms are not collected, an Enrolment Verification Letter is provided at students request.


4.8 Transcript Requests:


Electronic Data Interchange - EDI transcript request log is stored on the shared drive by report date for one month. This is to have the ability to review the data in case of a processing error.

Hardcopy Requests: Transcript requests that fall under this category include hard-copy forms, faxed and emailed requests submitted to the Registrar's Office. These records will be kept alphabetically by last name in the for one year according to the month that the request was made.

Online Requests-Transcript requests are automatically assigned to the individual student record unless request is designated "pending.' Pending requests are stored in the SIS in XF.TRANSCRIPT.REQUESTS until assigned to requesting student.

Sponsorship Letters/Transcript Release Forms - The transcript release form is to be attached to the transcript request and kept on file. (see Hard Copy Requests above).

Transcript Sign Out Sheet - Transcripts released to students or pre-authorized third parties are tracked with sign out sheets. These sheets will be kept according to date for one year in order to confirm details surrounding the release of a transcript.
Registration Records - Section 5
5.0 Athletics Registration Reports and Rosters- Unsigned copies of the registration reports will be retained electronically according to date produced for the current year plus one. Signed copies of the Rosters will be kept in binders by year in the Academic Records Specialists Office for the same time period.


5.1 Change in Registration Forms - These forms will be kept alphabetically by last name according to academic session for one year or until the completion of the enrolment audit.


5.2 Co-operative Placement Information/Paleo DNA Information - These records will be kept alphabetically for one year


5.3 Enrolment Reports - These reports (including all spreadsheets and Ministry audits) will be kept permanently. They will be stored in a secure location with limited access.


5.4 First Aid Certificate Copies - Copies of documentation showing successful completion of a student's first aid certificate will be destroyed once the information has been recorded on the student's transcript.


5.5 Program Change Forms - The program change forms will be kept in alphabetical order along with the "change in registration forms" by surname for one year.


5.6 Timetable Information - Information pertaining to the timetable, along with all examination schedule information will be kept for one year. These records will be stored according to term and then by Department within the Scheduling Office.
Destruction of Records - Section 6
6.0 List of Records Destroyed and Method of Destruction- A master list of records will be maintained electronically indicating the type of record, details of the record and the date which the documents were destroyed or deleted and the method of destruction or deletion. This list will be updated when student record information is destroyed or deleted.