A Records Inventory and Retention Schedule (also known as DGS Form 550-1, Records Retention Schedule, or schedule) is an official document listing and describing the records series of a program or office. It provides authorization to destroy records that are not essential to operations at a specific time period. In the case of archival materials, the schedule assists in identifying records of permanent value or deserving permanent retention. The preferred organizational level to prepare MDH schedules is Program or Administration, Board, or Executive Office. The MDH Facilities and the Local Health Departments will have General Schedules prepared for their records, but individual locations may require supplemental schedules for unique records series.
Creating Records Retention Schedules
Some MDH Agencies may not have a records retention schedule specific to their Agency; however, all MDH Agencies can use Schedule 2913. Before attempting to create a schedule for your Agency, review the MDH Records Retention Schedules list to ensure that one does not already exist.
Click here to review the Maryland State Archives’ detailed guidance on how to create a retention schedule. All desired schedule creations, updates, and changes must be discussed with the MDH Records Management Office and approved by the Maryland State Records Center and Maryland State Archives before taking effect.
Updating Records Retention Schedules
Some records retention schedules may allow for digitizing paper records while others do not. Agencies must have scanning language in their records schedule before scanning can begin. Schedules that do not have scanning language should be amended via the steps listed below:
- Complete a “Records Inventory and Retention Schedule Cover Sheet” as outlined by the “Records Inventory and Retention Schedule Instruction Sheet”
- Under the coversheet, add the following language to a blank Word document:
“If scanning, scan to Maryland State Archives standards and destroy originals. Scanned images must be kept in accordance with the same retention periods assigned to the paper version of the record. A certificate of records disposal request must be submitted to the MDH Records Management Office for review and approval prior to the disposal of any record materials identified in this records schedule. This includes paper records that are scanned immediately upon receipt, paper records that have reached maturity and electronic records that have reached maturity. After disposal, a disposal certificate will be filed with the Maryland State Archives by the MDH Records Office.
- Email the cover sheet, addendum and current schedule to the MDH Records Management Office for review at email@example.com. The Records Management Office will share the amended schedule with the Maryland State Records Center and the Maryland State Archives for review and approval.
All desired schedule updates and changes must be discussed with the MDH Records Management Program and approved by the Maryland State Archives before taking effect.