Transitory Records

As defined in the Records Management Program Glossary, transitory records are those which are required for a limited time to complete a routine action, used in the preparation of final records or retained as information or convenience copies by offices or individuals who do not have responsibility for them. 

Transitory records have a temporary utility and are not required for statutory, legal, fiscal, administrative, operational or archival purposes. They are not typically filed within a standard filing system, but are retained for one or two years depending on operational needs, although can be retained until the end of the retention period that applies to the primary record.

As transitory records are not essential to the university’s record-keeping obligations and legal requirements, they can be deleted or disposed of without an approved records schedule. Transitory records are not required to be classified under DalCLASS. Despite their short-term value they may contain sensitive and confidential or personal information and should be disposed of in a secure manner. Electronic formats should be permanently deleted, while paper should be shredded.

Examples of transitory records include:

  • Convenience copies retained for reference (e.g., digital copies of the official record in paper form and filed as the official record; “cc,” “bcc,” or FYI copies.
  • Copies of records retained when the original or primary record has been sent to another unit.
  • Routine emails to schedule or confirm meetings or events
  • Announcements and notices of a general nature

A transitory record SHOULD NOT to be confused with supporting documentation. Examples of supporting documentation that are to be classified under DalCLASS include:

  • Working documents, such as drafts and preliminary copies, and supporting materials used in the preparation of final documents that serve as the university record (e.g., reports, contracts, academic calendars, policies and procedures, letters and memos)
  • Printouts and extracts from databases used to support decision-making

If you are not sure contact Records Management Staff for further clarification.