Once you have decided what information you want to keep and for how long, it is essential that you design processes to enable the schedules to be implemented. This requires close collaboration with IT and the Senior Information Risk Owner (SIRO).  You will need to:

  • appoint someone to maintain and review the schedules
  • decide whether the system currently used to store the information is sufficient to ensure it remains complete, available and usable for as long as required
  • decide on the 'trigger' for disposal. Earlier in the process a decision should have been made about how long to keep information for or 'retention period'.  However a point from which to start this retention period needs to be set
  • ensure that all staff are aware of the schedules that apply to them and use them
  • ensure that information due for disposal is either deleted by the system administrator in conjunction with the business owner or transferred to The National Archives if it is of archival value
  • check that schedules are being kept up to date
  • track business benefits, as identified in the business case, in terms of time saved, server storage reduction, and legal cost reduction etc in order to demonstrate the value of this work to senior management
  • ensure that the schedules are applied to any legacy systems. All departments will have legacy digital information, for example, EDRM systems, shared drives, datasets that are no longer in use. The 'What to keep' schedule should be used to search legacy data and applied accordingly, allowing trivial data to be deleted and archival data to be stored securely. This is a separate project in itself, as it also requires research to be done retrospectively for important functions carried out by the department in the past

Further advice

For further information on how to do this see Records Management Code Implementation Guides and The National Archives' guidance on digital continuity.