Records within an office fall into two categories - active or inactive - and these can be in paper or electronic form.

Active records are documents and current information used on a regular basis. They are referenced frequently and should be stored in a location that is easy to access.

Inactive records are documents and information which are no longer current and are no longer referenced on a regular basis. They are not required for the daily conduct of business and are maintained only for reference purposes or to meet the requirements of a legally-approved records retention schedule.

When a record has reached its cut-off, the countdown on the retention period is triggered. For records with event-based retention periods, it is a good idea to add the date (year) to the document or folder title when the records reach their cut-off to make deletion easier. For more information on how to integrate cut-offs into your folder structure, see our Best Practices for Folder Structures.

You can find the retention period including the cut-off of a record on the UW General Records Retention Schedule or your office's Departmental Retention Schedule.