There is a line here

Have you ever been at a shop and there is a line but someone pushes in? Story of my life! Well the same could be said with the new General retention and disposal schedule (GRDS). The new GRDS has turned up and it’s bigger and better than before and your agency/sector schedule is blinded by the light and is singing to itself, what about me?

With the release of the new GRDS, there have been a lot of changes made which we know will overlap with some record classes in your agency/sector schedule.

But which schedule should I use?

Well …. this depends.

If your core/sector schedule has a record class which is the same in intent and scope as a record class in the GRDS with the same retention period, the GRDS disposal authorisation reference takes precedence as this has the most current disposal authorisation.

If a record class in the GRDS seems to have the same scope but has a different retention period in your core/sector schedule, your core/sector schedule takes precedence, but only if your schedule is current and up-to-date. The reason there may be a difference is usually because there’s a regulatory requirement relating to those specific records or because the records created by your particular agency are considered to have a different level of value, particularly when assessed at a whole-of-government level.

Need to update your core business schedule?

Where does that leave you if your schedule was developed more than five years ago or is out of date and there’s a difference in retention periods between the GRDS and your schedule? Or even, if you know your agency has some specific regulatory requirements but you don’t have a core/sector schedule? Or you just want to remove duplicated classes from your core schedule.

Well, it’s best you contact us. If there’s a need to update your schedule, we can explore options for how best to update the schedule. The best approach will depend on a range of factors but in particular, when your schedule was approved. If you want to update your schedule, please contact us at

But I’m still confused?

Don’t worry, we are here to help. We do realise that this release of the GRDS has a lot of new record classes which may duplicate classes already in your agency/sector schedule. If you would like some help to work out which record class or schedule you should use for specific records, please contact us at With time we see that we’ll be ironing out the duplication as schedules get reviewed.

Remember, you can contact us via email, telephone (3037 6630), blog, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Elizabeth Harvey

Appraisal Archivist

Featured image: Troops line up for a cup of tea at the YMCA and Australian Comforts Fund depot in Kaiapit Village, New Guinea, c1942-1945, Digital ID 23897

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