Wisconsin Historical Society

General Information

Records Schedules

Records Schedules | Wisconsin Historical Society

Records schedules are a tool for controlling the retention of your records. Schedules:

  • Identify the record series
  • Describe the series
  • Identify restrictions on access
  • Identify statutes governing the records
  • Determine how long records need to be kept

Types of schedules 

 The Wisconsin Public Records Board recognizes three primary types of record schedules:

 Functional Record Schedule:

  • Groups several related record series, typically by office or program.
  • Contains multiple record schedules in one document.
  • Are submitted for PRB approval on the PRB-003 form (MS Word, 139 kb).

 Record Disposition Authorization (RDA)

  • Describes a single record series.
  • Are written independently by the municipality which creates the records.
  • Are submitted for PRB approval on the PRB-001 form (MS Word, 123 kb).

 General Record Schedules (GRS)

  • Record schedules created to cover records common across government units; they group similar records and encourage consistency. GRS’s include multiple record schedules within the document.
  • Developed at the request of the Public Records Board.
  • The GRSs approved by the Public Records Board are found here. They cover functions common across government units such as procurement, human resources, and risk management.
  • NOTE:

All record schedules, regardless of type, must be approved by the Public Records Board prior to implementation. Upon approval of the record schedules, local units may also enact the record schedule(s) as an ordinance.

Records Disposition

Records that have passed the time period specified by the record schedules are no longer legally required to be maintained by the creating agency/government unit.

State Agencies: The retention schedule will specify “destroy”, “destroy confidential”, “transfer- State Archives”, or “transfer-other.” For records stored at the State Record Center (SRC), with agency approval, the SRC will handle this step.

  • Destroy/Destroy Confidential- records must be destroyed, so that they no longer remain in the creating agency’s custody.
  • Transfer-State Archives- records must be sent to the State Archives for permanent care and preservation. Records will no longer remain in the creating agency’s custody.

Local Governments: The retention schedule will specify “waived” or “notify”.

  • Waived- Records may be destroyed following their set retention time.
  • Notify- Send written notfication to the WHS 60 days before destruction.