SFU Records Retention Schedule and Disposal Authority (RRSDA)
Patient/Client Files

Description | PIB | Authorities | Retentional rational | Rentention and filing guidelines | Status

RRSDA number


Record series

Patient/Client Files

Office of Primary Responsibility (OPR)

Health and Counselling Services

Retention periods

Records Active retention (in office) Semi-active (records centre) Total retention Final disposition
Patient/Client Files CY last entry on file recorded + 4 yrs 12 years CY last entry on file recorded + 16 yrs Destruction
Patient/Client Files of Minors CY last entry on file recorded + # of years left to age of majority + 4 years 12 years CY last entry on file recorded + # of years left to age of majority + 16 yrs Destruction

CY = Current calendar year; CFY = Current fiscal year; CS = Current semester; S/O = Superseded or obsolete; OPR = Office of Primary Responsibility; Non-OPR = All other departments.

Description, purpose and use of records

Records relating to the provision of health care and personal counselling services to members of the university community. Also includes records relating to the provision of health care services to non-university community clientele.

Records may include, but are not limited to, correspondence, intake forms, registration forms, copies of notes written for patients, various consent forms, confidentiality agreements, health histories, progress notes, test and lab results, x-rays, referral requests, and insurance claims.

Personal Information Bank (PIB)

This series is a Personal Information Bank; click here for PIB description.


These records are created, used, retained and managed in accordance with the following authorities:

Retention rationale

Effective June 3, 2013 British Columbia's revised Limitations Act came into force, which included an increase to the retention period of medical records from 6 to 16 years. As such, section 3-6(2) of the Bylaws under the Health Professions Act was amended to reflect the change to the Limitations Act. Registrants are now expected to retain medical records for a "minimum period of 16 years from either the date of the last entry or from the age of majority, which ever is later."

Retention and filing guidelines

All paper files should have a year bar affixed to the edge of the folder to indicate the year of the last visit. This facilitates the identification of files due for destruction. The use of a year bar or some other flag should also be used to identify the files of minors. Retention of the files of minors is calculated from the addition of the year of the last visit plus the number of years to the age of majority (CY last entry on the file recorded + # of years left to age of majority + 16 yrs.).

At the end of the active retention period, box and transfer the records to the University Records Centre (URC). For each box prepare a box contents listing, itemizing all files contained in the box. Always include ONE copy of the file list inside the box sent to the URC taped to the underside of the lid; keep ONE copy for your own records; and send ONE copy (paper or electronic) to the Archives (see Procedures for Transferring Records to the University Records Centre).

This schedule applies equally to electronic medical records. These records are retained for the same total period described above but are purged by HCS directly from its EMR system at the end of the total retention period.


RRSDA is in force.

Approved by the University Archivist: 25 Oct 2004

Last revised: 12 July. 2021

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