To shred or not to shred?
That is the question. “We only need to keep them for seven years then we can shred them” This may be the case for many people but let’s not forget the destruction of any document is industry specific. Whether you work in the healthcare industry, at a legal firm, or you are an accountant there are different legal obligations that need to be adhered too.
An effective records retention policy is a document that outlines an organisations legal record keeping requirement. An effective policy can save you time, money and space in your office, whilst ensuring you stay compliant.
Whilst trawling through the internet I came across this useful check-list on the National Archives website. You have to ask yourself a number of questions about the records before making a decision. Every document that passes through your organisation should have a retention period.
Managing & controlling the growth of paper records in your office offers many benefits. Not having an effective policy can be a vicious circle; if you do not stay on top of the growth then storage items are purchased, cupboards and filing cabinets all taking up expensive office space. You are effectively paying for space you do not need and could be doing something with.
Document your policy and review it periodically, legal requirements change and often so does your business. Making time to set out an effective plan may take a little time but ask yourself these questions, How much does it cost to store the paper I have in my office or offsite? How much would a missing document cost and affect my business?
It may be a dull subject, but the importance of an effective records retention policy should not be overlooked.