SFU Records Retention Schedule and Disposal Authority (RRSDA)
Audio-Visual Productions

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

RRSDA number


Record series

Audio-Visual Productions

Office of Primary Responsibility (OPR)

Creative Services

Retention periods

Records Active retention (in office) Semi-active (records centre) Total retention Final disposition
Video and audio productions (see Retention and Filing Guidelines for selection criteria) CY + 3 years Nil CY + 3 years Selective retention
Working documents (e.g. work orders, unedited footage, scripts, story boards, billing information, etc.) CY + 3 years Nil CY + 3 years Destruction
Service Request Register Database CY + 3 years Nil CY + 3 years Full retention

CY = Current calendar year; CFY = Current fiscal year; CS = Current semester; S/O = Superseded or obsolete; OPR = Office of Primary Responsibility; Non-OPR = All other departments.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 video and audio services supplied to both SFU clients (internal) and non-SFU clients (external). The types of video and audio productions are diverse, including event coverage (e.g. open forums, lecture series, convocations, conferences, etc.), lecture recordings, job candidate interviews, award recipients videos, tutorials, presentations, promotional videos and features, documentaries, and educational projects.

Records may include but are not limited to work orders, cost estimates, production plans, scripts, story boards, client feedback, b-roll filler, audio recordings, still images, graphics, musical scores, and billing information.

This RRSDA can also be applied to video and audio productions (digital and analogue) created by other university departments.


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

Retention rationale

A total retention period of "CY + 3 years" provides a sufficient time frame in which Creative Services may repurpose segments of video and audio productions for use in other productions. After the passage of three years, staff typically judge the aesthetics and design styles of older productions to be outdated. As a result, the likelihood that older material will be incorporated into newer productions decreases with time.

Retention and filing guidelines


Creative Services has devised its own file naming conventions for its video and audio project files.

Project folders are typically structured with the following elements: date, name of the client or name of the project, and a service request number (e.g. 2012-10-4_DeanOfScience_1007305).

Project folders are subdivided into the following sub-folders:


Creative Services uses a variety of software applications, resulting in the generation of many different file formats. These applications and formats are likely to change over time as technologies evolve. At the drafting of this RRSDA some of the more common applications used by Creative Services included Final Cut, After Effects, Nuke, Cinema 4D, Color, Quicktime, Photoshop, Illustrator, and MS Word. File formats used by Creative Services included .mp4, .mov, .txt, .docx, .png, .tiff, .jpeg, .pdf, .fcp, .aiff, .wav, .mp3.


Transfer video and audio final productions that meet the selection criteria outlined in the Disposition Guidelines table. Contact the Records Management Archivist if this link is broken.

Typically, these records are filed in the deliverables project sub-folder described above. The working documents filed in project sub-folders 1-6 can be destroyed at the expiry of the total retention period outlined in this RRSDA. Production plans, scripts, storyboards and other records used to create a final production are often in rudimentary form with little evidential value in reconstructing the development of a production and therefore have little long-term value.

Consult an archivist if you are unsure whether a video or audio production qualifies for transfer to the Archives.


TBD. Instructions for transferring digital files to the Archives will be formulated as part of Trusted Digital Repository pilot testing activities in 2015. Issues to consider include the selection of appropriate preservation file formats, secure network transfer procedures, and the identification and segregation of final versions of video and audio products from draft versions and other working documents.


RRSDA is in force.

Approved by the University Archivist: 1 Aug 2013

Last revised: 4 April. 2014

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