Frequently Asked Questions

Can we send records to the URC if the applicable RRSDA says "Under Review"?


My records fall under several retention schedules. Can I pack them all in one box and send them to you?

Each box needs to contain records that are associated only with one RRSDA. We cannot accept boxes that have different kinds of records in the same box.

Can I send a box that only has a few files in it?

Due to space considerations we can only take boxes that are at least half full. You can collect several years' worth of files, even if some of the early files are past their final disposition date, in order to fill a box. The contents will be processed according to the most recent date. It is fine to send records that were closed in different years.

Can we send records to the URC that are past their total retention period?

You are welcome to box up records that have passed their total retention period and have a final disposition of "Destroy". You can send them to the URC, where they will be destroyed during the next disposition cycle.

Because records management is a shared function between your department and our office, you may also elect to arrange for confidential destruction on your own, depending on the needs of your department. It is advisable to keep a departmental log of what, when, and how/by whom the records were destroyed.

The RRSDA says that the final disposition of the records is "Selective Retention by the Archives." What does that mean?

For records that have a final disposition of "Selective Retention by the Archives" or "Full Retention by the Archives", please transfer any records that fall under the schedule even if they are past their total retention period as soon as you can. If records have been identified for retention, then they are deemed to have some long-term historical value to the University and should be retained in the Archives.

When should I send a file list?

In most cases, you should send a file list of the contents of each box.

In a small number of instances, the file list can be omitted. For example, if the retention schedule indicates that the records are already due for destruction (total retention period has passed), a file list may be omitted.

I am at Vancouver or Surrey campus. How do I get my boxes to you?

You can use a courier for shipments from Surrey or Vancouver. See the list of Perferred Vendors from Procurement for current SFU contracts with couriers. Inform the courier to contact Records Management in advance to ensure delivery of your boxes to the correct location.

What if I have more than twelve boxes to transfer?

Transfers of more than twelve boxes from Departments in the Burnaby Campus need to be arranged through Facilities Services. There is a charge for this service. Inform Facilities to contact us in advance so that they deliver your boxes to the correct location.

What is an "OPR"? Am I one?

OPR stands for Office of Primary Responsibility.

You find the OPR at the top of any RRSDA, in the Basic Information section. In some cases, the OPR will be All Departments. In other cases, only one department is the primary record-keeper for that type of record at SFU. Only the OPR is responsible for storing and transferring records to the URC. Other departments may wish to store local copies of the same documents, but they are free to destroy them when they no longer serve a purpose locally.

Do I need to do anything with all of my electronic files?


Records retention schedules apply equally to electronic records and have the same degree of importance and legal standing. See the Digital Preservation section for more information.

I am feeling really confused and need some help!

Its OK! While we want to encourage you to work independently, we're here for you. Please call or email to get support from the Records Centre Clerk.