Signing Authorities


To identify individuals authorized to review university administrative records for disposition (secure destruction or transfer to the University Archives).

All university administrative records as identified by DalCLASS are to be reviewed prior to disposition to ensure that they are dispositioned with proper authorization in accordance with the University Records Management Policy.

The Records Signing Authority is a senior leadership level position, as identified by the unit (Faculty or Department) that is able to identify circumstances to which records may, or may not (as listed under responsibilities) be able to be dispositioned.  The signing authority can be the Faculty or Department head or an appropriate senior leader designated by the Faculty or Department head


Signing Authorities will:

They are to identify records that may:

  • Be subject to an audit that is underway or pending
  • Be subject to legal discovery in a legal matter that is underway or anticipated
  • Be subject to a pending or ongoing investigation or review
  • Pertain to an open application for access to records made under the FOIPOP Act
  • Document financial obligations that have not yet been completed
  • Document contractual obligations that have not expired or been fulfilled
  • Have operational requirements for retention that have changed since records schedule approval

Records Contact or Signatory will:

  • Submit Signing Authority Forms to the Records Management Program
  • Ensure the Records Management Program is aware of any changes in the signing authority

Records Management Staff will:

  • Review forms every three years and alert the faculty or departmental records contact or signatory when updated forms are required
  • Communicate with the records contact or signatory if there are concerns with the disposition documentation
  • Assign a unique and persistent Office ID. Record the ID in the “Records Management Office Use Only” box at the bottom of the signing authority form.
  • When signing authorities are renewed, determine if the requesting unit is a new office that requires a new Office ID. Name changes do not necessarily indicate new offices. Consult with the Records Manager for guidance.
  • Ensure that the Signing Authority Form master record is maintained in accordance with the University Records Management Policy

Records Management Office Procedures

Each faculty or department will have a designated signing authority for the authorized disposition of records.  The signing authority can be the faculty or department head or an appropriate senior leader designated by the faculty or department head.

All units dispositioning records require a completed a Signing Authority form. These forms are the reference point for Records Management staff to review when administrative records identified for disposition.

If there are records identified on the inventory, that are not authorized for disposition, they are to be removed from the inventory and set aside as a ‘Record Hold’. A Records Hold form completed should be competed and submitted to the Records Management Office. 

A signing authority form will identify:

  • The official name of the faculty or department
  • The name and title of authorized individual(s)
  • A faculty or department witness (name, signature, and title—preferably Records Champion or Records Contact)
  • Date authorized

All signing authorities will be valid for three years. When there is a change in signatories, or after three years, an updated signing authority form is to be competed.

Completed Signing Authority Forms are to be submitted to the Records Management Program and will maintained by the Records Management Office for the life of the institution.

Signatures submitted can be penned, as well as digital or electronic as long as identified with the signors’ NetID.

Signing Authorities are to be submitted to the Records Management Office by email or campus mail.



Dalhousie Libraries
6225 University Ave.
Killam Memorial Library 5th Floor
Dalhousie University
PO Box 15000
B3H 4R2