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Durham University

Information Governance

Staff Leavers

Staff who will be leaving the University are responsible for ensuring that their records are sorted and disposed of before departure to ensure that:

  • Their work can be carried on by a successor, and without delay.
  • The University can be accountable for their work after they have left.
  • The University complies with data protection legislation.
  • The University can respond to Freedom of Information and Subject Access Requests accurately and within the legal response times.
  • The University does not incur unnecessary expenditure on records storage and staff time sorting out others' records.

Recommended Steps

  1. Destroy or otherwise remove all documents that do not constitute a business record. This includes electronic documents such as emails.
  2. File all paper business records into the current shared paper filing system. If none exists, ensure that the records are filed into folders with well-described titles then notify retained staff and/or line management of their location.
  3. File all electronic business records into the current shared electronic filing system. If none exists, either print the records out and file as per paper records or save them into well-described folders within the shared area of the network. It is unacceptable for staff to merely dump unstructured electronic records onto a CD or DVD.
  4. Ensure any business records held off-site in paper or electronic form, or any records held on a portable electronic device, are dealt with as above.
  5. Use the University Records Retention Schedule to identify those records that can be destroyed and those that are likely to be of interest to the University Archive. Please liaise directly with the University Archive over records transfers.
  6. Destroy records confidentially. Paper records should either be incinerated or shredded. This is particularly important for personal data.
  7. Ensure that your email account is either closed or re-directed with a suitable message.
  8. Return any borrowed records to the University.

For further advice please contact the Information Governance Unit.