CRS User Guide Step 4: Dispose of Records


The Disposition field of the CRS describes what is to happen to records once they have reached the end of the retention period. University records should not be destroyed or otherwise disposed of without the authority of the CRS or other approved schedule.

Disposition Methods

There are several ways for records to be disposed of.

Archives Review: a disposition of “Archives review” indicates that the University Archivist has identified the records to be of potential long-term historical value to the University. Units should contact the Archives at to notify them that records are ready for their review.

The Archivist will appraise the records and may decide to retain some or all of the records in the University Archives. Once the records have been reviewed, the Archives will direct the unit regarding disposition.

Transfer to Archives: a disposition of “transfer to Archives” indicates that all of the records should be sent to the University Archives at the end of their retention period. For records transferred to the Archives, units must:

  1. Complete a Transfer to Archives Approval Form, obtain appropriate sign-off from a senior person within the unit, and retain the form for their records.
  2. Pack the records to be transferred in bankers boxes.
  3. Place a copy of the Transfer to Archives Approval Form within each box of records slated for transfer.
  4. Provide the University Archives with an electronic copy of the Transfer to Archives Approval Form as well as any additional listing of the contents of the boxes.
  5. Contact the University Archives at to arrange box delivery.

For transfer of records in electronic or non-standard format, contact the University Archives at

Destroy: a disposition of “destroy” indicates that the records can be disposed of by a number of different means: overwritten, recycled, shredded, or placed in a confidential bin. For all records destroyed pursuant to the CRS, units must complete a Records Destruction Approval Form, have it signed by a senior person within the unit, and retain it for their records. The contents of completed destruction forms should not contain personal information or matters sensitive to the University. For example, if destroying files with student names, do not list each name but rather give an alphabetical range within each box (e.g. “Students A-B”, “Students C-F”, etc.).

Records that contain personal or confidential information must be destroyed in such a way that their contents cannot easily be reconstructed. At York University, acceptable methods of confidential destruction are as follows:

  • Shred documents in an office paper shredder. Cross-cut shredders are recommended over strip shredders.
  • Place documents in a locked confidential disposal bin obtained from York’s Grounds, Fleet and Waste Management area of Campus Services and Business Operations (CSBO).
  • For electronic media such as floppy disks, CDs, USB keys, personal digital assistants (PDAs) and hard drives, destroy electronic records using overwrite software or physical destruction of disk, drive or other digital storage media. Note that overwriting may not irreversibly erase every bit of data on electronic media.

For more information on the confidential destruction of records, see Tip Sheet 7 on Secure Destruction of Records.

Important Note: The CRS must not be used to destroy any records pertaining to an ongoing or reasonably anticipated investigation, legal action or proceeding, Freedom of Information (FIPPA) request, audit or program review. This is so even if the retention period or disposition date specified for the records has already expired.


User Guide Contents | Introduction | Step 1 Classify | Step 2 File and Maintain | Step 3 Retain | Step 4 Dispose | Special Issues | Appendix