Welcome Spring and goodbye QDAN numbers

Digital Image 16771

Image ID: 16771 – Toowoomba carnival of flowers 1965

With spring comes the release of the GRDS and a new approach to disposal authorisation. We are very excited about the benefits and opportunities this new approach will offer:

  • authority to dispose records at the record class level
  • greater consistency and stability – a number that only changes when the class it is linked to changes and not every time the schedule is reviewed and modified
  • a number that will never be re-used
  • changes to a record class can now happen outside of a comprehensive schedule review
  • individual updates, by records managers, to specific record classes within their recordkeeping systems instead of renumbering all classes following a change to a record class.

What is the new disposal authorisation approach?

All disposal authorisations issued by the State Archivist from the 1st of September 2016 will be assigned to a class of records. A specific number will be allocated to a class and used to demonstrate disposal has been authorised by the State Archivist.

To realise the full benefits of this new approach, retention and disposal schedules (RDS) will no longer be published with a QDAN number. A RDS can now be considered a package that groups disposal authorisations by either sector, agency, function, common functions and activities (GRDS) etc. The important number, within a RDS under this new approach, will be the disposal authorisation number assigned to a record class (see table below for further information).

To support this change the documenting disposal section of Information Standard 31: Retention and Disposal  has been updated to clarify what, at a minimum, disposal documentation should include.

Disposal Authorisation References Table

Until all retention and disposal schedules have converted to this new form of disposal authorisation, we are in a state of transition. So, continue using QDAN, QDAN version and the record class reference number when documenting disposal decisions under your core, sector, or functional schedules until these are updated with the new disposal authorisation approach. But in the GRDS you only need to use the single disposal authorisation number.

Sample record class

Sample Disposal Authorisation

How will disposal authorisation work?

As disposal authorisation is assigned to a specific record class, a new authorisation number will need to be issued each time the scope of the record class or its retention period changes.

Why is a new number issued

When a new disposal authorisation number is issued following an amendment to an existing class it will supersede that previous number. The superseded number can no longer be used to authorise the disposal of public records.

A new disposal authorisation number will be issued by the State Archivist for the following reasons, but not limited to:

Disposal Authorisation Vin Diagram

Editorial changes can be made to a record class and may include amendments to references, spelling and grammar, which may not result in the need for a new authority by the State Archivist. These changes will be undertaken at the discretion of QSA.

Using a disposal authorisation number

You have the flexibility to implement the disposal authorisation number into your systems for the range of business needs you may have, for example:

  • Supplemental data can be added to your systems if you also use numbers for other purposes, such as, reference to a series or group of records over time, or to identify which function the record class relates to.
  • However, if other references or supplemental data is used always use our number as your means for disposal authorisation, as that forms the disposal authority by the State Archivist.

Sharing this change experience

We realise this approach to disposal authorisation is a change, it is for us too. Along with other changes made to the GRDS, our intention is to make managing records, where we can, easier now and into the future. Let us know how you have implemented the new numbering; have you made changes when documenting disposal? Let us know your experiences and feel free to share these as your challenges, solutions and practices may assist a colleague in another agency.

Pop over to the Recordkeeping Spot for more information on disposal authorisation. There’s also frequently asked questions and scenarios. Also, look out for an upcoming blog on making updates to an existing record class and requesting a new record class.

How to contact us

You can contact us via email, telephone, blog, Twitter.

Kylie Good

Appraisal Archivist

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