Scottish Council on Archives Record Retention Schedules (SCARRS)

SCARRS provides local and other public authorities with up-to-date guidance for the compilation of retention schedules to help manage the records they create and use day-to-day. SCARRS helps to identify statutory and regulatory retention periods for those records where these exist and suggests typical retention periods based on common practice. Before using the schedules, we recommend you read our guidance.

Not Legal Advice

SCARRS offers general guidance and must not to be confused with legal advice. Organisations are always legally responsible for their own records retention decisions and that liability cannot be transferred (in whole or in part) to the Scottish Council on Archives or any other external organisation.


This user guide will help you get the most out of SCARRS:

User Guide PDF version 2.0

Schedules & Updates

The schedules are available in two formats. From this page you can select an individual function to download MS Excel spreadsheets, with both the Business Classification Scheme and the Records Retention Schedule for each. A single PDF document containing the combined schedules is also available to facilitate easy printing and basic text search.  These are the most up to date versions of the schedules.

SCARRS combined schedules PDF version 2.3

Regular Updates

In addition to monitoring both Scottish and UK-wide legislative developments, we listen to the sector.  Your feedback helps to keep SCARRS current and useful. Find out how to improve SCARRS.

Date of ChangesSchedule AffectedVersion NumberChanges
April 20154 Consumer Affairs2.14.005.009 Amended retention period, trigger,
April 20153 Community Safety2.1Added 3.003.016. Reduced retention period 3.008.001
April 201514 Housing2.1Added series 14.005.026
April 201515 Human Resources2.1Added series 15.003.009.  Corrected reference number errors
April 201516 ICT2.1Duplicated rows deleted
April 201521 Planning and Building Standards2.1Removed series 21.002.015
April 201522 Procurement2.1Series 22.002.013 added
October 20153 Community Safety2.2Removed sections 3.005 and 3.006
October 201510 Education and Skills2.210.002.001 Amended closure period
November 201517 Information Management2.2Series 17.004.005 and 6 amended
June 201610 Education and Skills2.3Added series 10.001.003 to 10.001.007
June 201601 Adult Care Services2.1Added 1.002.001 and 1.002.002
June 201602 Children & Family Services2.1Added note on Historical Child Abuse Inquiry Scotland
June 201612 Finance2.3Added function 12.008
June 201617 Information Management2.3Series 17.004.005 and 6 and 7 amended. Series 17.004.009 added.
June 201612 Finance2.3Added function 12.008
October 20166 Cemeteries and Crematoria2.1Added series 06.001.09- 06.001.15 under Burial and Cremation (Scotland) Act 2016 and added notes to related series
Date of ChangesSchedule AffectedVersion NumberChanges
October 20164 Consumer Affairs2.2Merged 04.005.059 into series 04.005.058. Added series 04.005.75 to .79
October 201612 Finance2.2Amendment to 12.001.01, correction to 12.007.08
January 201710 Education and Skills2.4Added note on Historical Child Abuse Inquiry Scotland
January 201719 Leisure and Culture2.1Added Archaeology function 19.014 – Historic Environment Record series
October 20172 Children & Family Services2.2Added new series 02.001.020, 02.001.021, 02.010.005, and 02.010.006 on Case files
October 20174 Consumer Affairs2.1Updated citation in 04.005.009 (caravan and camping licenses), but no change to retention schedules
October 20177 Criminal Justice2.1Updated series description of 07.003.002 to Community Justice Social Work Reports. Updated reference to Circular 18 in series 7.001.006. No change to retention recommendations
October 201710 Education & Skills2.5Added new series 10.006.011 on Education Maintenance Allowance applications and learning agreements. Suggested retention Financial Years + 6 years
October 201711 Environmental Protection2.1Updated citations and series descriptions for several series under 11.003 – Environmental Impact Assessment to reflect the Environmental Impact Assessment (Scotland) Regulations 2017, SSI 2017 No 102. No change to retention recommendation.
October 201715 Human Resources2.2Updated citations at 15.3.009, 15.1.001 for Equal Pay regulations and ACAS guidance. No change to retention recommendations.
March 201819 Leisure & Culture2.2Added series 19.001.005
June 20196 Cemeteries & Crematoria2.1Amendments to reflect Cremation (Scotland) Regulations 2019
June 201917 Information Management2.5Added series 17.001.010 at recommendation of Glasgow City Council
June 201923 Registrars2.1New series for Civil Partnerships added to 23.001 at suggestion of East Dunbartonshire Council