Why is a document retention schedule so critical?

The backbone of a defensible records and information management program is a sound retention schedule. One that covers paper records and electronic documents and data. With this cornerstone laid, it’s possible to develop and implement a strong records and information management (RIM) program.

We’ll help you create and maintain a comprehensive, state-of-the-art schedule that meets all applicable regulatory and operational requirements. These will likely include federal and state laws, legal requirements and the retention period associated with specific document types and record series.

Our clients trust us to design and implement document retention policies because:

  • Companies are mandated by law to manage information in a compliant manner
  • Best practices and consumer demand require that organizations maintain tight information controls and retain certain documents, especially when personally identifiable information (PII) is involved
  • Retention schedules help run their businesses more compliantly and efficiently, thanks to consistency driven by governance
  • The retention schedule is the basic framework upon which other RIM/IG processes rely
  • Our IG consultants have developed thousands of retention schedules, both local and global
Woman in front of a white board teaching employees about new record retention policies.

Does your records retention program meet the legal requirements for your industry?

Schedules need to be updated regularly for constant protection in the face of rapidly changing laws and regulations, like GDPR and CCPA.

Given the vast amount of information to be managed (document retention, information protection, secure document destruction, etc.), implementing a records retention schedule requires specialized expertise and software.

How to Review and Document Your Retention Policy

Prepare Your Retention Schedule Project:

  • Review business processes and retention schedules
  • Analyze a sample of existing key documents and develop functional, activity and document-type
    business practices
  • Create a map of the information types and use-cases
  • Review organizational dynamics such as acquisition activity, entity and tax structures, expansion into new geographies or new industries, and more

Develop Your Retention Schedule:

  • Create an optimized set of functional groupings & record series definitions
  • Create a mapping of legal citations to each record type
  • Add retention triggers/file closure criteria (termination of contract, for example)
  • Include specific business cases, risk management, and privacy considerations
  • Review recommended schedule, then draft and approve the final retention schedule
  • Schedule annual updates to the retention schedule using LexiTrac

A Full Range of Information Governance Solutions

Beyond creating and implementing a records retention schedule, Access’s information governance consulting practice includes a broad range of services that work together to secure your business’ confidential data.

The process begins with a comprehensive audit and assessment of existing records management policies, processes, and documentation. We then create and implement a unique information governance program to address gaps, shore up weaknesses, tackle change management, and create a roadmap for successful execution.

Information Governance Policy

A consistent set of IG policies in support of a retention schedule is crucial to effectively control, protect, and manage your company’s information. Feel daunting? It’s easy to get started with the right people in the room.

Retention and Privacy Compliance Software

Simplify retention schedule updates, citations, and more with Virgo. With over 170,000 requirements tracked across 200 jurisdictions worldwide, our legal research team ensures up-to-date retention policies.

Regulatory Compliance

The regulatory environment continues to evolve quickly as privacy concerns amplify. We’ll help you create a centralized document management program that ensures compliance with your IG policies, and with regulations like HIPAA, GDPR, CCPA, SOX, and more.

Your Complete Information Management Solution

We specialize in retention policy and schedule creation, and holistic IG support including compliance and data privacy, coupled with years of expertise in traditional records and information management. This allows us to offer a full-service approach to managing the entire information lifecycle.

Retention Schedule Software to Support Your Information Governance Policy

Virgo Provides The Legal Research For Your Organization

With over 170,000 requirements tracked across 200 jurisdictions worldwide, our legal research team ensures up-to-date retention policies.

Virgo provides:

  • Research Database: Track over 170,000 requirements across hundreds of jurisdictions in over 120 countries & counting
  • Retention Management: Create global, entity, or departmental retention schedules and attach citations to record series to support it

  • Search and Reporting: Search schedules and citations across a variety of metadata points. Print reports and export data in PDF, Word, Excel and CSV
  • Employee Portal: Customize views for each employee group and support a familiar search experience
  • Cloud Access: Available via all major web browsers as a SaaS platform
  • Powerful Security: Manage access with strong user controls and a complete audit trail

Additional Resources on Implementing a Records Retention Schedule

6 Reasons to Consider a Records Management and Information Governance Consultant

Webcast: Retention Scheduling & Policy Review for 2020

How to Build a Records Program – Step 1: Develop a Plan

Peter Anastos - Access, General Counsel

See how Access can help you create and implement a retention schedule that fits your unique needs.