Step 3: Sensitivity reviews of selected records

Departments should have effective arrangements to determine which records should be retained in the department, designated as open on transfer or transferred as closed for a period of time.

Similarly, bodies which transfer to a place of deposit should undertake sensitivity reviews to identify those records which contain sensitive information. They should also provide advice on any Freedom of Information or Environmental Information Regulation exemptions that should be applied and which would restrict access.

You can find guidance for the sensitivity review process on our Access to public records page.

We have published guidance for records listed below and specific subject matter expert guidance may be available directly from the appropriate lead government department.

While this guidance applies to records in all formats and media, there is additional guidance available about closure on transfer for digital records.


Sensitivity Review Overview (PDF, 0.26 MB)

Security report: guidance for departments (PDF, 0.42 MB)

Closure periods (PDF, 0.08 MB)

Personal information – a guide to justification wording (PDF, 0.28 MB)

Redaction toolkit: Guidelines for editing exempt information from paper and electronic documents prior to release (PDF, 0.15 MB)

Process for sending previously retained pieces or extracts to The National Archives (PDF, 0.26 MB)

Access Update Form (DOC, 0.05 MB)

Go to the next stage: Cataloguing and preparation for transfer