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Updated on
10 January, 2017

Records File Plan

A file plan seeks to identify how records are organized and how they may be efficiently maintained. File plans provide guidance on how to more effectively manage and organize records. The file plan helps to eliminate unnecessary files and to document records. The plan will help to decrease the following issues:

Constructing a File Plan

File plans are an attempt to provide organization to a department’s record keeping plan. The department-appointed Records Coordinator should create a file plan. While each department may have different file plans, they typically consist of the following:

The record description should include the following:

Records File Plan Process:

The file plan process will not include:

The file plan will include:

Conducting the Inventory

The Records Coordinator should begin by visiting the supervisor of the office being inventoried. If the supervisor is unaware of the project, then the person conducting the inventory should explain what he or she is doing and why it is being done.

The Records Coordinator must have access to all of the records; although, encourage records holders to be present for the survey of their area. Always begin in the active office area before reviewing storage areas.


The records should be inventoried in a systematic manner, beginning at one part of the room and proceeding in a logical manner. Open every file drawer and box. Do not assume that the label on the box or file cabinet is accurate.

Records Destruction

Destruction or purging of records requires pre-approval (see Request for Records Destruction Approval). Creating and maintaining documentation of records destruction is one of the responsibilities of Records Coordinators.