It’s here, it’s finally here (the GRDS)

Yes, it’s here, it’s finally here. The new and improved General Retention and Disposal Schedule (GRDS) has finally been released.

So what’s new?

The current version of the GRDS issued on 1st September 2016 has a whole lot of changes and new features:

  • The front page and introduction have been revised and updated to make it easier to understand, with less recordkeeping jargon
  • The introduction of a new section called – Common Activities. These activities and record classes can be used with any function in the GRDS as well as core business functions (disclaimer: provided the retention period meets an agency’s specific regulatory requirements and there are no exclusions listed)
  • Equipment & Stores, Fleet Management and parts of Technology & Telecommunications merged into a new function – Asset Management
  • A new function of Collection Management included to cover the records of libraries, museums, art galleries, theatres etc.
  • Community Relations & Government relations merged into a new function – External Relations
  • A new function of Governing Bodies included to cover the records of Boards
  • Information Management has been reviewed and the Publication function has been amalgamated into this function as well as parts of Technology & Telecommunications
  • Legal Services has been reviewed and changes have been made to the retention period for records relating to children
  • Property Management has been fully reviewed and a couple of new activities have been included
  • The Transitory and Short Term Retention and Disposal Schedule has been bought back into the GRDS and the retention period has changed to ‘until business action completed’
  • We have removed the index because there was a clear preference for using search functionality.

In conjunction with the Queensland Government Chief Information Office (QGCIO), we have also updated the implementation advice for Information Standard 31: retention and disposal of public records. The section on documenting disposal of public records now aligns with the new disposal authorisation numbering system that has been introduced.


A new version of the GRDS Lite has also been developed. Depending on your business need, you can use either the full version or the Lite version or combine the two.

Further information about the GRDS Lite can be found on the GRDS webpage.

Interested in knowing the rationale behind the retention periods?

The appraisal log has been uploaded to the GRDS webpage so you can find out about the record classes and the justifications for the retention periods.

Implementation formats

We have created Word, Excel and PDF versions of the GRDS and GRDS Lite for you to use.

But, feel free to create your own implementation versions of these documents in order to make them more meaningful for your agency.  Just be aware that the disposal authorisation number is the authority issued by the State Archivist and must always be referenced as evidence of authorisation when implementing disposal.

So, what does this all mean I have to do?

Now that the GRDS has been approved and released, you should make sure that:

  • no further records are sentenced and disposed of using either the General retention and disposal schedule for administrative records (QDAN249 v.7) or the Transitory and Short Term retention and disposal schedule (QDAN720 v.2). These schedules have now been revoked and should no longer be available in your agency. This may mean you’ll need to communicate the change to a range of affected stakeholders.
  • you familiarise yourself with the new schedule and check the summary of changes to understand the changes to the GRDS, paying particular attention to where retention periods have changed.
  • before you undertake any disposal of records, make sure you’re able to reference the new disposal authorisation.

For further advice, check out ‘What to do when a retention and disposal schedule changes’ section on the Using an RDS webpage.

But wait, there’ll be more!

Just to let you know, it’s not going to be another 3+ years before we release the next GRDS. With the introduction of the new numbering system, we are going to be able to release functions, activities and record classes on a more regular basis. We already have a longish list of record classes to work on which we got from you in the consultation feedback, but do let us know if you have any suggestions for records that are common and administrative across government which are not currently covered.

So, where to from here?

Implement the new GRDS and/or GRDS Lite to your heart’s content. If you are having any issues that QSA might be able to help with or you want to let the RK community know how you have gone, please don’t hesitate to respond below. We want to hear your stories.

Remember, you can contact us at any time via email, telephone, Records Connect, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Elizabeth Harvey and Sharon Mennis

Appraisal Archivists

3 thoughts on “It’s here, it’s finally here (the GRDS)

Add yours

  1. Great news and congratulations on the release of the GRDS.

    I am concerned by the statement “•We have removed the index because there was a clear preference for using search functionality” as none of my team can recall being asked if they found the index in the previous GRDS useful. If they had been asked they would have resounded with a resounding “Yes, the index is extremely useful as we regularly take a paper copy of the GRDS to meetings and workshops and the index helps us to find what we need quickly.”

    1. Hi Michelle, Thank you for your comments about the exclusion of an index in the latest release of the GRDS.

      Our work in Government Recordkeeping is gearing up to support the digital era to help enable the continuity of government records. This means the tools we create will be increasingly focussed for use in a digital environment – this reflects the moves by agencies to increasingly do their business electronically. (When we consulted with agencies through the discussion paper process, there was an overwhelming response from this consultation on not wanting or needing an index.)

      However we’ve released the MS Word and Excel versions of the GRDS so any agency which wishes to supplement the schedule with additional information to help implement it within their agency, is free to do so – for the index purposes, this may mean you could create terms that are most meaningful for your agency.

      1. We have had further comments and queries about the lack of an index for the GRDS. We are currently compiling some advice on how to use the GRDS (and any other schedule) without an index. We’ll publish this soon, along with the other implementation advice which we’ll be publishing over coming months. In the meantime, one suggestion is to use the GRDS Lite when sentencing large volumes of paper records – the GRDS Lite is a much smaller and streamlined version of the full GRDS. We also welcome any other suggestions and tips you may have to implement the GRDS.

Leave a Reply to Michelle.Alcock Cancel reply

Powered by

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: