The panel considers selection issues, including:

  • revisions and updates to the Acquisition and Disposition Strategy and the Appraisal Policy
  • Operational Selection Policies (new and substantially revised)
  • Appraisal Reports (new and substantially revised)
  • selection decisions which deviate from current policy
  • collections where further advice is needed on whether to select
  • termination of records series accrual and destruction of records under s.6
  • deposit of records series to places of deposit under s.4(1) of the Public Records Act which raise policy issues
  • transfers of records from The National Archives to places of deposit under s.4(3) of the Public Records Act
  • offers of non-public records of historical significance
  • records in unusual formats that are likely to cause preservation issues, be difficult to give access to or store, including electronic records

Read the meeting summaries of the Records Decision Panel.

Selection decision tree

Under section 3 of the Public Records Act it is the responsibility of public records bodies to appraise their records and select those worthy of permanent preservation. The National Archives is responsible for coordinating and supervising this work and provides advice, guidance and training to departments on how to carry out appraisal and selection and what to select.

The decision tree to the right illustrates the selection decision process and the role of the Records Decision Panel. The decision process applies to both public records and to records offered to The National Archives under section 2(4)(h) of the Public Records Act. Click on the image to see the decision tree.

Footnotes to the selection decision tree

1 Factors considered will include whether the records fall within The National Archives' selection criteria, are of national/international significance, whether records are already held at The National Archives, resource implications for The National Archives and whether there is another suitable archive.

2 Information on The National Archives' selection criteria can be found on our website on our Selection and disposition pages.

3 Some collections may have a specific research value. In cases where there is uncertainty concerning research value the view of the Records Decision Panel may be sought.

4 Factors considered by the panel will include whether The National Archives has the capability to preserve the format, whether it can provide access and whether it has the resource to store and maintain the records. This will be weighed up against the archival (historical) value of the records.

5 The National Archives may already hold the records, for example the records may have been previously transferred or captured via the web archiving programme. They may already be preserved at another archive, for example, published material may already be held by the British Library.