DATA RETENTION POLICY
Dull and Weem Parish Church of Scotland
Scottish Charity Number SC 001465 Congregational Number 271608
1.1. Church of Scotland congregations gather personal information from individuals and
external organisations as well as generating a wide range of personal data, all of
which is recorded in documents and records, both in hard copy and electronic form.
1.2. Examples of the types of information accumulated and generated are set out in Appendix 1 of this policy and include but are not limited to minutes of Kirk Session
meetings; membership rolls; baptismal information; employment records;
newsletters and other communications such as letters and emails.
1.3. In certain circumstances it will be necessary to retain documents to meet legal requirements and for operational needs. Document retention is also required to evidence agreements or events and to preserve information.
1.4. It is however not practical or appropriate for congregations to retain all records. Additionally, data protection principles require information to be as up to date and accurate as possible. It is therefore important that congregations have in place systems for the timely and secure disposal of documents that are no longer
1.5. This Data Retention Policy was adopted by the Congregation on 1st May 2018 and will be implemented on a day to day basis.
2. Roles and Responsibilities
2.1. Congregational office bearers and those involved with safeguarding will adopt the
retention and disposal guidance at Appendix 1 of this policy and strive to keep
records up to date.
2.2. Advice will be obtained from the Law Department or Safeguarding Department of
the Church Office at 121 George Street if there is uncertainty about retention
3. Retention and Disposal Policy
3.1. Decisions relating to the retention and disposal of data should be guided by:-
3.1.1. Appendix 1 – Document Retention Schedule – Guidance on the recommended and statutory minimum retention periods for specific types of documents and records.
3.1.2. Appendix 2 – Quick Guide to document retention.
3.2. In circumstances where the retention period for a specific document or category
of documents has expired, a review should be carried out prior to disposal and
consideration should be given to the method of disposal.
4.1. Documents containing confidential or personal information should be disposed of
either by shredding or by using confidential waste bins or sacks. Such documentation is likely to includ financial details, contact lists with names and addresses and pastoral information.
4.2. Documents other than those containing confidential or personal information may
be disposed of by recycling or binning.
4.3. Electronic communications including email, Facebook pages, twitter accounts etc
and all information stored digitally should also be reviewed and if no longer required, closed and/or deleted so as to be put beyond use. This should not be done
simply by archiving, which is not the same as deletion. It will often be sufficient
simply to delete the information, with no intention of ever using or accessing it
again, despite the fact that it may still exist in the electronic ether. Information will
be deemed to be put beyond use if the Congregation is not able, or will not attempt,
to use it to inform any decision in respect of any individual or in a manner that
affects the individual in any way and does not give any other organisation access to
4.4. Deletion can also be effected by using one of the following methods of disposal:-
· Using secure deletion software which can overwrite data;
· Using the function of “restore to factory settings” (where information is not
stored in a removable format);
· Sending the device to a specialist who will securely delete the data.
Illustrative Data Retention Schedule
This Schedule is provided as a guide to common types of documents but is not exhaustive.
NOTE: There may be an historic interest in the Congregation’s records. Kirk Session minutes are archived after 50 years. If you think that
archiving other records is preferable to destruction, you should be in touch with the Department of the General Assembly, which will organise
archiving where appropriate.
Avoid retaining information if there is no reason for doing so. Consult with the Law Department if you are unsure.
RECORD RETENTION PERIOD
Minutes of meetings 6 years
Kirk Session meetings 50 years
Pre-employment enquiries/applications/notes/letters/references 6 months after completion of recruitment (unless data to be retained for a future similar opportunity, in which case 1 year)
Safeguarding Service confirmation of advice, emails, letters 100 years
Confidentiality Agreements 100 years
Covenants of Responsibility (managing those who pose a risk) 100 years
Safeguarding Service Risk Assessments 100 years
Complaints concerning people 100 years
Congregational Register 100 years
Safeguarding Audit for Congregations and Presbyteries 100 years
Transfer Forms 100 years
Employee records including: contracts, time records etc Duration of employment + 6 years
Volunteer records Duration of placement + 6 years
Databases for mailing lists/distribution Reviewed annually, delete out of date information
Miscellaneous contact information Delete once there is no longer a requirement to hold such information
Arranged accommodation/placements (e.g. overseas visitors) 3 years following end of event/placement
Documents relating to litigation or potential litigation Until matter is concluded plus
Hazardous material exposures 30 years
Injury and Illness Incident Reports (RIDDOR) 5 years
Pension plans and retirement records Permanent
Salary schedules; ranges for each job description 2 years
Payroll Records Minimum, 6 years. No maximum
Contracts 6 years following expiration
Construction documents Permanent
Fixed Asset Records Permanent
Application for charitable and/or tax-exempt status Permanent
Sales and purchase records 5 years
Audit and review workpapers 5 years from the end of the period in which the audit or review was
OSCR filings 5 years from date of filing
Records of financial donations 6 years
Accounts Payable and Receivables ledgers and schedules 6 years
Annual audit reports and financial statements Permanent
Annual plans and budgets 2 years
Bank statements, cancelled cheques, deposit slips Minimum of 6 years
Business expense records 6 years
Cash receipts 3 years
Cheque registers Permanent
Electronic fund transfer documents 6 years
Employee expense reports 6 years
General ledgers Permanent
Journal entries 6 years
Invoices 6 years
Petty cash vouchers 3 years
Tax records Minimum 6 years
Filings of fees paid to professionals 6 years
Environmental studies Permanent
Insurance claims/ applications Permanent
Insurance disbursements and denials Permanent
Insurance contracts and policies (Directors and Officers, General
Liability, Property, Workers' Compensation) Permanent