Filing Records

Filing records

Mount Royal University’s records management filing system encourages departments or areas within the University to file (or sort) file folders in a way that best suits the needs of their daily business operations.

For example, with the Mount Royal University filing system, a department or area has the freedom to chose to file (or sort) folders either alphabetical by last name or numerically by contract number to name only a few possible filing methods.

At the same time, the records management filing system also facilitates governance over the records being managed through the Mount Royal University Records Retention Schedule. The retention schedule provides retention codes that outline how long to keep a category of records based on federal and provincial legal requirements.

  1. Filing Records Overview
  2. Creating a file system for your department
  3. Retention Code Summary by Function
  4. How to file your records 
  5. Sorting file folders – using labels
  6. Filing supplies
  7. Indexing Tool Spreadsheet 
  8. Mount Royal University Records Retention Schedule

Filing Records Overview
The Retention Schedule provides retention codes for the entire University that can be specifically assigned to the folders that are being managed by your department or area.

Retention codes: are a single alpha-numeric code (Examples: HR008 or AA004) assigned to a folder that provides a reference back to the University Records Retention Schedule.

The retention schedule provides a summary of what documents are associated under that particular code and, most importantly, how long a coded folder that contains all of the identified documents can be legally retained.

Generally, a department or area should take the time to recognize how they need to sort their folders and then assess what specific retention codes apply to their business operations. This analysis will help create folders that are labeled in a way that readily identifies when a folder is required to be either sent offsite or destroyed.

The RIM Assessment Tool has been designed to help departments or areas create, design, analyze, and document their proposed filing system prior to any implementation.

It is highly recommended that a department or area contact the University Information Management Advisor after completing any assessment tool in order to provide further analysis or insight on best practices relevant in your unique objectives.

Notably, because records retention schedules directly reflect business needs, a retention schedule may need to be formally revised, on occasion, in order to document any changes in the business.

Recommendations in regards to changes to the Mount Royal University Records Retention Schedule can be forwarded to the University Records and Information Management department through the Contact Us page

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Creating a file system for your department

Step 1 – Determine a filing system

A department or area should agree on a common filing system that facilitates functionality and accessibility for their operations.

For example, a department or area may find it advantageous to file either alphabetically by last name or numerically by MRU ID number or contract number depending on their unique business requirements.

Examples of possible filing systems:

  • Alphabetical
    Last Name, First Name
    First three letters of Last Name and first letter of First Name [if there are privacy concerns]
  • Numerical
    Mount Royal ID Number
    Contract Registration Number
  • Yearly
    *Optional Filing Method – a department or area could implement a file creation process where the current year label is always placed on a folder every time it is created.

If the folders were always labeled by the year they are created, for example, the folders can then be easily identified by their label at the time of their scheduled retention.

Step 2 – Determine what records retention codes apply

Identify and assign any records retention codes that apply to your categories of folders (one retention code per folder).

Retention codes: are a single alpha-numeric code assigned to a folder that provides a reference back to the University Records Retention Schedule.

The University Records Retention Schedule provides a summary of what documents are associated under that particular code and, most importantly, how long a folder that contains all identified documents can be legally (formally) retained. Examples of retention codes found in the retention schedule are HR008 or AA004.

The alphabetical portion of the retention code represents a function or activity related to the overall operations of Mount Royal University.

The three-digit number contained within the retention code represents a particular Record Series or Record type within the overall functional category.

For example, HR is currently broken into 42 subcategories (HR001-HR042). Always note that only one alpha-numeric retention code should be assigned to one folder.

Typically, a department or area will only need to utilize a limited number of retention codes for their specific activity. In short, typically departments or areas will only use certain retention codes for their daily business. 

The Mount Royal University Retention Code Guide summarizes the alpha-numeric retention codes currently available for the University.

If your department or area is not sure what alpha-numeric retention code to use or believes that a new retention code is required for your operations, contact the Information Management Advisor to inquire about making formal revisions to the Mount Royal University Records Retention Schedule.

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Retention Code Summary by Function

  • AA = Academic Affairs

Pertains to records related to the planning, development, delivery and evaluation of academic programs

Examples: Academic Programming, Instructional Delivery, Examinations, Grades, Attendance

  • AD = Administration

Pertains to records related to administrative activities of the University that are not covered in other functional classifications.

Examples: Committees, Associations, Meeting Minutes.

  • BP = Buildings and Properties

Pertains to records related to the acquisition and construction of new buildings, leasing, and/or renting of facilities, allocation of space, altering and expanding existing facilities, and the maintenance or repair of University buildings or property.

Examples: Physical Resources, Grounds, Engineering.

  • FI = Financial

Pertains to records related to the financial activities by the University such as, budgeting, financial planning, managing funds and investments, and the receipt and control of expenditure.

Examples: Supply Chain Services, Financial Services.

  • GO = Governance

Pertains to records related to the overall management and direction of the University.

Examples: Presidential Meetings, Board of Governors, Executive Committee.

  • HR = Human Resources

Pertains to records related to personnel administration activities of faculty and staff such as, hiring, training, development, and performance evaluations.

Examples: Human Resources, Payroll Services, Benefits.

  • IA = Institutional Analysis

Pertains to records related to the analysis and assessment of student demographics, academic disciplines, departments, institutional performance, and trends/issues impacting institutional performance.

Examples: Institutional Evaluations and Assessment Reports.

  • IT = Information Technology

Pertains to records related to the overall management of Information Technology Services provided at the University.

Examples: Information Technology Services.

  • LR = Legal and Regulatory

Pertains to records related to legal and regulatory matters in the operation of the University and meeting its mandate.

Examples: Litigation, Contracts, Agreements.

  •  ME = Materials & Equipment

Pertains to records related to the procurement of services and material, leasing and/or renting, maintenance and repair, and ultimate retirement or disposal of materials, furniture, equipment, and supplies.

Examples: Tenders and Proposals, Equipment Purchasing.

  • PR = Public Relations

Pertains to records related to the University’s efforts in building positive relations with the public, developing fund raising campaigns, and marketing and advertising the University and its programs.

Examples: Alumni, Foundation, Marketing and Communications.

  • SA = Student Affairs

Pertains to records related to student affairs, from application to graduation.

                         Examples: Registrar, Counseling, Residence Services, Career Services.

  • SS = Support Services

                         Pertains to records related to support services provided to the University.

                         Examples: Wellness Services, Bookstore, Recreation Services.

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How to file your records

Use the following guides and materials, and processes to file records:

Mount Royal University Records Retention File Codes

Filing records Guide

Closed File Template

Folder Label Template - Avery 5161

Steps

  1. Obtain folder label template (label sheets Avery 05161)
     
  2.  Enter the following into the folder template

    •  File Title:

      Enter a description of what the documents contained in the folder are about.

      If the folder has a unique identifier (Student number, last name) enter that data first so you can always sort your files and facilitate access

      Examples

      • Doe, John
      •  Doe, Jane – Faculty
      • Bell Telephone Invoices 2011 – Accounts Payable
      • 190353 Contract #
      • 111111111 MRU Student ID #
      • Duffin, Jeremy – Employee File
    • Volume:

      Enter the Volume number to the right of File Title.

Examples:

      • VOL 1
      • VOL 2
    • File Code – Retention Code:

      Enter the alpha-numeric retention code assigned to the folder.

      Examples:
      • SA008
      • HR001
      • SS012
      • AD003
      • LR004
    • Retention Code Series:

      Enter the retention codes series name (in Capitals) that matches the alpha-numeric retention code as according to the Mount Royal University Records Retention Schedule.

      Examples:
      • If retention code is SA008, then enter STUDENT RECORDS
      • If retention code is SS011, then enter SECURITY
      • If retention code is AA005, then enter INSTRUCTIONAL DELIVERY 
    • Start Date:

      Enter the date of the first document that is contained in the file folder.

      Examples:
      • Feb 1, 2011
      • Mar 12, 1909
      • Apr 3, 1999
    • End Date:

      This field can be left blank until either the folder becomes filled to capacity or the matter of the business activity is formally closed.

      Examples: 
      • Feb 1, 2011
      • Mar12, 1909
      • Apr 3, 2015

 When closing a file folder enter, or write, the end date on the label to help your area quickly evaluate the retention of the folder throughout your collection.

The end date field consists of the date of the last document placed in the folder.

Upon closing a file folder, place a “Closed Volume” sheet in the folder so that other documents are not added.

  1. Print your labels using an Avery 005161 label sheet and place the labels on the folder(s)
     
  2. Place your folder(s) in your cabinet or shelf.

    Use the labels to help your area quickly access the records by grouping the folders alphabetically-numerically by Retention Code and then by File Title.

    The dates on the labels can also be used to identify the retention periods for the folders.

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Sorting file folders - using the labels

The white label for the file folders has been designed to allow employees to physically sort their file folders using visual cues formatted on the label.

Sort the file folders in your cabinets or shelves by:

  1.  Grouping the file folders together by Alpha-Numeric Retention Code

Example = Group all of the Folders assigned SA003 together

  1. Sorting the file folders alphabetically-numerically-yearly within the groups above

Example = Bell Telephone Invoices
Example = 111111111 Student ID #

Colored labels can also be used at a department or area’s discretion (see filing supplies)

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Filing suppliesIn addition to using white file folder labels to sort and organize file folders, a department or area can also utilize colored labels if deemed necessary by their business in situations where a file room is required.

Colored labels can provide an additional visual tool upon which to arrange the folders to facilitate fast access and provide efficient retention implementation.

Filing supplies are available through the Mount Royal University Bookstore using the Internal Chargeback Form at the desk of the bookstore cashier.

In the Internal Chargeback Form, be sure to also include your FOAP number and the description outlined in the table below.

It is recommended that University Records be contacted for guidance on the acquisition or purchase of filing supplies. 

SUPPLIESDESCRIPTIONUNITESTIMATED PRICE PER UNIT
FOLDERS   
Legal size folders14 point, end tab, undercut100 per box$39.75 per box
Legal size folders 11 point, top tab, straight cut100 per box$27.50 per box
    
Legal size expansion folders 2” OR 4”

End tab OR top tab
 

10 per box$106.25 per box
LABELS - WHITE   
 White LabelsAvery #5161 (4” x 1”)200 sheets (20 labels per sheet)$97.10 per box
LABELS  - COLOR   
Color coded labels for end tab (small)Alphabetic, ½” x 1 ¼ Datamatch
Mini (7701 series)

Or

Numeric, ½” Datamatch Mini

256 per package$1.37 per package
Color-coded labels for top tab (small)Alphabetic, ½” Datamatch horizontal/vertical

Or

Numeric, ½” Datamatch horizontal/vertical

256 per package$1.37 per package
    
STARTER LABEL KITS   
Color-coded labels for end tab (small) starter kit
( alpha A – Z)
Alphabetic ½ x 1 ¼ Datamatch Mini (7701 series) complete alpha starter kit (A-Z)500 each$169.99 per kit
Color-coded labels for end tab (small) starter kit
(num 0 – 9)
Numeric ½ x 1 ¼ Datamatch Mini (7701 series) complete numeric starter kit (0-9)500 each$199.99 per kit
Color-coded labels for top tab (small)
starter kit
alpha or numeric
Alphabetic or numeric ½ x 1 ¼ Datamatch Mini complete starter
Horizontal/vertical
500 each*See bookstore for price
YEAR LABELS   
Year code labels1” x 1.25”, end tab500 per roll$10.75 per roll
FASTENERS   
FastenersOptional200 per box$7.50 per box
Fastener LabelsTip Back Patches (TY1- Patch) White label that holds metal fasteners (SKU# 1702245)2,000 per roll$189.00 per roll
Label protectorsTransparent labels that protect color folder labels – 2” x 4” – 9004 Label Protector [SKU#1083290]500 per box$54.99 per box
CHARGE OUT   
Legal size Charge out cardsColored vinyl or pressboard
End OR top tab
25 per box$78.85 per box
Charge out paper slips (forms)Paper100 per pad$20.50 each
    
 OFFSITE   
Offsite records boxesOrder through University RecordsPer box$2.29 per box
Offsite barcode labelsOrder through University Recordsn/an/a

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Indexing Tool Spreadsheet

If your department or area handles a large amount of file folders, an Indexing Tool Spreadsheet is available (along with drop down lists) to help keep track of your records inventory if you require.

The Indexing Tool Tab provides a way to search in one location for records that:

  • are currently retained onsite in a file room
  • have been sent offsite (containing Box barcode and Box contents)
  • have been destroyed

Use:

  1. When file folders need to be sent offsite, copy the file folder data from the main Indexing Tool Tab into the Offsite Box Template Tab.

Use the Offsite template to print and submit the box inventories that need to be submitted to University Records (see offsiting process).

  1. When file folders are to be destroyed, use Columns S – U to document the destruction for future reference.

Manage the Onsite, Offsite, and Destruction status related to your records using the single
Indexing Tool Tab.

To inquire about the Indexing Tool, contact the Mount Royal University Information Management Advisor.

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 Mount Royal University Records Retention Schedule

The Mount Royal University Records Retention Schedule is a formal institutional document that provides retention codes for the entire University based on function, which can be specifically assigned to folders containing original documents that are being managed by your department or area.

Because operations within an organization can often change over time, it is considered a living document that can be formally revised by contacting University Records if required.

Retention codes are a single alpha-numeric code (Examples: HR008 or AA004) assigned to a particular folder that provides a reference back to the Mount Royal University Records Retention Schedule.

The Mount Royal University Records Retention Schedule provides a general summary of what documents are associated under that particular code and, most importantly, how long a coded folder that contains all of the identified documents should be legally retained according to federal and provincial legislation.

Information contained in the University Records Retention Schedule guide business units on whether to send records offsite and/or when records can be formally destroyed.

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