Disposition of Records - Describe HOW records are being disposed of?



Hi all, need help

"define the controls for disposition of records" as stated in the Standard ISO 9001:2000, does it mean explicitly that you need to also describe HOW records are being disposed of ???

e.g by shredding, reuse as recycled paper, etc which are some common mode of disposition.

All comments are most welcome !

:frust: ::confused:

David Hartman

We have defined that requirement to mean, "Define when records will/can be disposed." Just because you have already defined "retention" times, does not automatically mean that records will be disposed at the end of those retention times. We in-fact intend on keeping some records for as long as possible, but at a minimum for the period identified as the retention time.

Mike S.

Happy to be Alive
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Our doc. control procedure states via a table which records must be retained, by whom, and for how long. Once the required retention time is past, we can either continue to keep them if we want or dispose of them in any way we see fit. I never said exactly HOW we dould dispose of them but I think this could be an issue for some companies who deal with confidential info. like medical records, credit card numbers, etc. If there is a concern such as this I would define which particular records may need to be disposed-of in "secure ways" in my procedure. JMO.

Randy Stewart

Doesn't seem unreasonable. Since about 98% of our stuff is electronic it is kept 7 years (magnetic tape life) and then written over.
Does shredding mean we have to supply Enron training???
Re: Disposition of records

zhugxian said:

Hi all, need help

"define the controls for disposition of records" as stated in the Standard ISO 9001:2000, does it mean explicitly that you need to also describe HOW records are being disposed of ???

I'm following the crowd here. We often keep records longer than the minimum time stated in our procedures. And no, we do not specify the method to be used for killing them when that time comes.



We use a table, in the disposition column we put either "to suit" or "safeguard". At the end of the table we include the definitions.

To suit - Documents can be recycled or thrown in the trash. No security measures required.

Safeguard - Documents must be unreadable when they are discarded. Examples: shredding or burning


Although we/I still need to update our doc control procedure for our 2000 upgrade, we also have a chart of when things CAN be disposed of.

As far as I can tell we've NEVER thrown any quality records away.
I found some that are about 10 years old, back when our company had never even thought about ISO.

Accounting records (in the US) have certain legal requirements for retention. Our accouting department attempts to dispose of them within the first few months of every new year. (Its a dirty/dusty job).


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Disposition vs Disposal

In my opinion (and no one asked for it, but I'll throw in my 2 cents anyway), disposition and disposal are two completely different meanings. We're all interpreting those two words as our registrar interprets it. Not right. The ISO people should clarify it. Disposition may include disposal but disposition does not mean that we HAVE to dispose of records. Disposition (to me) means that we have to decide what to do with the records at some point in the process or system or time.

Arguements? :argue:


I got hit with this on an audit years ago. I added to our record retention procedure a statement to the effect of "all records may be disposed of in the most efficient manner, such as simply throwing in the trash or deleting of electronic records, unless specifically stated otherwise in record retention guidelines". I had a table showing all of the records, their retention times, responsibility, etc. For anything sensitive I just added "Shred" to the comments field. Truthfully probably a good idea due to the sensitive nature of some documents.


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I can't believe that you got hit with that because there is nothing in ISO saying that you must define how disposal is accomplished. In fact, there is nothing mentioning "disposal". That is why I am challenging it. Disposition is mentioned and required but that is an ambiguous term that could mean a lot of things....including disposal. I cannot see in writing where "disposal" is a direct requirment in ISO 9K2K.
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