Frequently Asked Questions - Transfer of records

I have records to transfer, what do I do?

For information about transferring records to State Records, see Transferring Permanent Records.

If you are still unsure about where to start, contact the Archive Team, providing information about the type and quantity of records that you have, the disposal schedule that makes the records permanent, the date range, and the system of arrangement of the records. We will contact you with any further enquiries and to guide you through the process.

How often should I transfer records?

You should generally aim to transfer records no more than once or twice a year. This is the most efficient and cost-effective way to manage transfers because:

  • you will have less paperwork to complete
  • transport of the records can be arranged at one time.

Conducting an annual transfer of older, inactive records ensures that:

  • reactivated records are not transferred
  • records can be returned to their number or date sequence
  • records missing from sequence can be located prior to transfer
  • loose filing can be completed.

What is sentencing?

Sentencing is the process of determining the disposal action that applies to a record using either an agency specific Records Disposal Schedule (RDS) or a General Disposal Schedule (GDS) covering common and administrative records.

Sentencing usually involves:

  • determining if the record has temporary value or is required to be retained permanently
  • if temporary, identifying the date when the record may be destroyed at the earliest  
  • recording the date for destruction or requirement to retain the record permanently, and the RDS or GDS reference, on the record itself or in a recordkeeping system such as an EDRMS.

How long does it take to get records transferred?

Approximately 18 months, from when a transfer proposal is first received. An Archivist reviews the paperwork and will let you know whether your transfer is in the queue or requires further amendment. 

If you have an urgent need to move records from your workplace, you can obtain an exemption from transfer which enables you to store records at an Approved Service Provider (ASP).

Is there a minimum or maximum amount of records I can transfer at one time?

You should transfer as many eligible records as possible at the same time, up to a maximum of 250 boxes.

The records I have are mouldy or damaged, what should I do?

If the records are wet, mould-affected, or in need of repair or other conservation treatment, contact the Archive Team.

Do not attempt to repair records.

How do I transfer hybrid records?

Hybrid records are those that have both a physical and an electronic file.

State Records is reviewing its policy about the transfer of hybrid records into State Records custody, but current advice is that the hard copy and electronic components of the hybrid file should be closed at the same time. Please record the disposal schedule on the file cover, and note details and location of the electronic records (consider generating a screenshot or screen image showing the electronic files) on the file. The physical file can be transferred to State Records using the usual process but when you submit transfer paperwork you must indicate that the consignment contains hybrid files.

Permanent electronic records must be retained within either the agency’s Electronic Document and Records Management System (EDRMS) or business system with recordkeeping functionality, and metadata added that indicates that the physical file has been transferred to State Records.

Agencies that do not have an EDRMS and use a ‘print and file’ approach should ensure that all electronic records have been printed and placed on the hard copy file before transfer to State Records.

For information about the management of hybrid files, see the Management of Hybrid Files information sheet.

For information about the management of electronic records within business systems, see the Management of Official Records within a Business System standard.

Where do I buy State Records boxes?

For information about suppliers of State Records boxes, see Preparing Records for Transfer.

For advice about packaging of records that do not fit in State Records standard sized boxes, contact the Archive Team.

How do I label boxes?

For information about how to label boxes, see Preparing Records for Transfer.

Can I store temporary records at State Records?

No. If temporary records cannot be accommodated on-site at your agency, make arrangements to store them at an Approved Service Provider (ASP).

For information about the management of temporary records, see Storage.

What does it cost to transfer permanent records?

State Records does not charge for the transfer of permanent records to our custody.

However, your agency is required to cover the costs involved in preparing records for transfer:

  • staff resources (or contractors) to sort, sentence, box and list records and prepare transfer paperwork
  • treatment of any mould-affected or badly damaged records
  • purchase of standard type boxes
  • transport of the records to Gepps Cross or Collinswood.

If you need to loan a record back once it has been transferred, you must pay for the agency loan request service which is subject to State Records’ regulated fees and charges.

How do I request records for loan?

For information about how to request records for loan, see How to request records for loan.

How do I add documents to files held at State Records?

Generally, you should not add to files already transferred to our custody.

The best option for dealing with documents that relate to files in our custody is to create a new file in your current records system and link the file to the previous, closed file.

I have found a record that appears to belong with records already transferred to State Records, what do I do?

If the record comes from the same recordkeeping system and fits within the number or date sequence then it may be transferred as a consignment of the series.

I have found records that were created by another agency, what do I do?

If the records were created by a predecessor agency and were inherited by your agency then your agency is now responsible for them and they can be proposed for transfer along with your agency's records. 

How do I sentence files with multiple parts?

If the parts all relate to the same activity then it is most likely that they will have the same sentence.

You should sentence each part as a separate item and either destroy or keep files according to instructions in the disposal schedule. However it may be that parts you plan to destroy contain information needed to understand the parts of the record that will survive. In this case, retain those file parts until the part with the longest retention period is due for destruction.

My agency is about to close, merge, gain or lose some functions, how do I manage the records?

For information about managing records during administrative change, see the Managing Records During Administrative Change guideline.

Ensure that your agency has allowed sufficient time to prepare records for transfer or for destruction, as per the relevant disposal schedule.

Contact State Records if you have questions about managing records during administrative change that are not answered by the Guideline.

Back to the top