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.

Guidance

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 Changes Schedule Affected Version Number Changes
April 2015 4 Consumer Affairs 2.1 4.005.009 Amended retention period, trigger,
April 2015 3 Community Safety 2.1 Added 3.003.016. Reduced retention period 3.008.001
April 2015 14 Housing 2.1 Added series 14.005.026
April 2015 15 Human Resources 2.1 Added series 15.003.009.  Corrected reference number errors
April 2015 16 ICT 2.1 Duplicated rows deleted
April 2015 21 Planning and Building Standards 2.1 Removed series 21.002.015
April 2015 22 Procurement 2.1 Series 22.002.013 added
October 2015 3 Community Safety 2.2 Removed sections 3.005 and 3.006
October 2015 10 Education and Skills 2.2 10.002.001 Amended closure period
November 2015 17 Information Management 2.2 Series 17.004.005 and 6 amended
June 2016 10 Education and Skills 2.3 Added series 10.001.003 to 10.001.007
June 2016 01 Adult Care Services 2.1 Added 1.002.001 and 1.002.002
June 2016 02 Children & Family Services 2.1 Added note on Historical Child Abuse Inquiry Scotland
June 2016 12 Finance 2.3 Added function 12.008
June 2016 17 Information Management 2.3 Series 17.004.005 and 6 and 7 amended. Series 17.004.009 added.
June 2016 12 Finance 2.3 Added function 12.008
October 2016 6 Cemeteries and Crematoria 2.1 Added series 06.001.09- 06.001.15 under Burial and Cremation (Scotland) Act 2016 and added notes to related series
Date of Changes Schedule Affected Version Number Changes
October 2016 4 Consumer Affairs 2.2 Merged 04.005.059 into series 04.005.058. Added series 04.005.75 to .79
October 2016 12 Finance 2.2 Amendment to 12.001.01, correction to 12.007.08
January 2017 10 Education and Skills 2.4 Added note on Historical Child Abuse Inquiry Scotland
January 2017 19 Leisure and Culture 2.1 Added Archaeology function 19.014 – Historic Environment Record series
October 2017 2 Children & Family Services 2.2 Added new series 02.001.020, 02.001.021, 02.010.005, and 02.010.006 on Case files
October 2017 4 Consumer Affairs 2.1 Updated citation in 04.005.009 (caravan and camping licenses), but no change to retention schedules
October 2017 7 Criminal Justice 2.1 Updated 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 2017 10 Education & Skills 2.5 Added new series 10.006.011 on Education Maintenance Allowance applications and learning agreements. Suggested retention Financial Years + 6 years
October 2017 11 Environmental Protection 2.1 Updated 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 2017 15 Human Resources 2.2 Updated citations at 15.3.009, 15.1.001 for Equal Pay regulations and ACAS guidance. No change to retention recommendations.
March 2018 19 Leisure & Culture 2.2 Added series 19.001.005