Record Retention Period & Documents under retention scope


Dear Team,

This is my first post here. I'm Mohan, responsible for managing MR at our company, which is certified to AS9100 and ISO 9001 standards. We supply to both aerospace and ISO customers. One of our AS customers mentions in their quality manual a retention period of 30 years, while another specifies 15 years, etc.

My question is, which documents fall under the scope of the 30-year retention period? Is it only final inspection documents or do in-process documents also apply? Additionally, what retention period should I communicate to our raw material suppliers?

I would greatly appreciate your advice on this matter.


Quite Involved in Discussions
Our rule of thumb retention period is "Life of the Product" however you will have to talk to your customer(s) to find out what that realistically is.
We retain our inspection data, design information for the product (spec's and drawings) + material test certificates.

As I have mentioned before, we had a customer come to us wanting to fine us millions, 7 years after we had finished supplying them. If it wasn't for our record keeping we would have been in trouble, however because of our records we could prove there was no issue with what we had supplied.


Starting to get Involved
As Randy has pointed out it is customer requirements. I included retention period requirements on my customer notes on our system.
As for your own retention periods, take a look at EN 9130.

Ron Rompen

Trusted Information Resource
Just to echo the other comments, your customer should be defining what documents require what retention period.

When this is clearly defined, I would definitely recommend you update your document control procedure to include a matrix showing the retention period of ALL documents (customer documents especially). Don't forget to include a 'document owner/responsible person' and a disposal method AND a record of that disposal.


Hi everybody,
I am a new member. We are asked to implement EN 9130. to determine the retention time of quality records.
Could you advice me in which standard, the EN 9130 is required to determine the retention time of quality records.
Many thanks and records.


Trusted Information Resource
Hello July2024,

I can share what our organization does. This may help you.

Our customers have Purchase Order Terms and Conditions, also commonly referred to as Quality Clauses. We retain these documents in our document control system, and during contract review, will often check to make sure we have their latest and greatest. These documents often have requirements for retention. We pick the most stringent of requirements, and set our policy to match.

Many systems retain documented information in a database. That makes it a little easier to agree to '40 years', or 'life of product plus 10 years' that can been seen in these customer documents.

I hope this helps.

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