Our retention schedule


  • Name of service - Corporate Information Governance
  • Directorate - Resources - Law and Governance
  • Date of current version - November 2021
  • Review date - November 2025

The retention schedule sets out the amount of time that Surrey County Council needs to keep certain types of records. It applies to records in all formats, including paper and electronic information. These retention schedules were published in November 2021.

Using the retention schedule: guidance for staff

The retention schedule contains all the retention periods which have been agreed across Surrey County Council. These have been based upon primarily Kent County Council's retention schedules with some additions from the Local Government Association retention schedule.

These are minimum retention periods, so once documentation has reached the end of its retention period you may wish to review it to see if it needs to be retained any longer. If you decide that records should be kept for a longer period of time then this decision should be documented and a new review date assigned.

Retention schedules should identify and describe record collections, series or systems, not individual records. Retention schedules are applied to the subject of the items and not the medium. A photo, video, recording should be treated in the same way as a document or email. Records should be kept in line of business systems or SharePoint. They should not be kept on phones or in email accounts.

Email is a medium and therefore it has no specific retention schedule. The subject of the email is the important element. Services, and in particular staff, should decide which must be kept as records in line with the retention schedule and moved out of the email system into an appropriate storage solution. Please remember when staff have left, the maximum a mailbox is kept is 3 months.

Article 5 of GDPR states that personal information must not be kept for longer than necessary. If you wish to keep personal data beyond the retention period shown in this document, then please contact the Corporate Information Governance team for further advice or assistance.

When records have reached the end of their agreed retention period they should be securely disposed of. If necessary, please use the off-site storage contract for storing records but any sent to the contractor must be registered properly, including a destruction date. If you need to do this, please contact the Records Management Officer.

The schedule is arranged into different sections or classifications. It is not arranged by department but by function. This is to assist in future proofing the organisation. If you cannot find an acceptable destruction date, please contact the Corporate Information Governance team for help.

Corporate Information Governance team

The team can be contacted by email: corporaterm@surreycc.gov.uk

Files available to download

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