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Document Retention Requirements


Randy Lefferts

Hello everyone. :)

According to QS9000 requirements, production part approvals, tooling records, purchase orders and ammendments shall be maintained for the life of the part plus one calandar year. Quality performance records, internal audits and management review records shall also be maintained, from 1-3 years depending on the record.

In our level 2 documentation, we have provided a schedule for record retention periods for different types of documents. According to our schedule, job instructions/quality inspection standards are maintained for at least one year after they are superceded. We show that this is a GM requirement.

My question(s) are, is this a GM Requirement? If so, where is this requirement located? If not, is there some other requirement that regulates the retention of these types of documents? If there is, what/where are the requirements?

Any help is most appreciated!

[This message has been edited by Randy Lefferts (edited 22 August 2001).]


Document retention

The retention period of the documents unless otherwise stipulated by any statute or any standard explicitly can vary depending on the nature of the document.

For technical documents ISO 9000 does not stipulate the retention period. The organisation can decide to have it for x number of years. Generally the customer requirements and other technical documents can be retained for two /three years.

On the other hand the central excise and taxation law stipulates that the records to be maintained for a specified period. In that case the records have to be maintained for that period.

Documents retention period for ISO is purely decided by the management. Generally the management would like to retain for a minimum period of three years or even lesser if the document is no longer required.


Captain Nice
Staff member
I haven't looked through the specific GM requirements, however I know each of the b3 do define explictly retention times for a number of specific records. You have to review each.

Maybe someone here will be able to tell you where GM specifies what records to keep and for how long. For certain records 3 years after end of product production rings a bell - but as I say - I can't off hand remember specifically what and where.

Do check the PPAP Manual 3rd Edition - they may be in there.

Al Dyer

Both QS-9000 and TS-16949 contain the text of what records need to be retained for certain time periods.

QS = page 54
TS = OOPS, book at work, but is the same.

Don't limit yourself to the minimum requirements, it is good to define them based on your type of business structure and type.
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