Destruction of Records

Records should be disposed of in accordance with The United Church of Canada’s Records Retention Guidelines.

Documentation regarding destruction of records should be retained permanently. Units must prepare destruction form. Destruction of records must be approved by the Executive Minister/Officer. Copies of the Records Destruction and Authorization form must be sent to the Records Coordinator.

Disposal of records must be done in compliance with records retention schedules and destruction authority. Shredding paper files or deleting electronic records is ideal. Any electronic equipment or storage media no longer used will be reformatted using security software that includes data-destruction to ensure all sensitive personal information data is completely destroyed using methods that will prevent any type of data-recovery.

The following are the procedures for the secure destruction of records:

  1. Records which have fulfilled their retention requirements — specified in the Records Schedule — should be removed from active files; it works well if this is done annually. For retention requirements see the Classification and Retention Schedule, which controls the lifecycle of the documents
  2. Records for destruction must be listed using the destruction form.
  3. Fill out only the “Temporary Box No.”, “File code”, “File #, and “file Title/Contents Description” columns.
  4. Ensure that the date range of the files contents is included in the File Title/Contents Description.
  5. If an electronic format of the list is available, please include it along with the Destruction Form.
  6. Have the Executive Minster of the working unit and the Legal Counsel sign off on the form.
  7. Records are to be packed in bankers boxes in the same order as they were in the filing cabinet.
  8. Files containing sensitive and /or personal information must be indicated as restricted in the listing. The symbol RR should be placed beside the file number in the Destruction List to denote as such. See below for example:
  9. All records to be transferred to the Records Centre for destruction must be accompanied with this form. Please remember to number all boxes in the order in which they were packaged.
  10. Once the Destruction Form is fully completed, please turn it over to the Assistant Archivists, who acknowledges receipt by signing the form. At this time a unique control number will be assigned to the records. No records will be sent for destruction without the signature from Archives staff, and a control number.
  11. The control number assigned will include the year and a number, e.g. 2006-003. This indicates that this batch of records is the third batch for the year 2006.
  12. Once the Destruction Form has been completed and records have been properly boxes and labeled, the records are ready for transfer to a staging area at the Records Centre. Please get in touch with the Assistant Archivist for this purpose.