Records Retention Schedule Creation/Update

The industry’s most advanced, compliant and easiest-to-execute Records Retention Policy and Schedule

The Challenge of Records Management in a Complex World

Today organizations are inundated with both paper and especially electronic information. At the same time, they face increasing pressure to properly classify and manage this information to meet legal and regulatory record retention requirements, privacy rules, and security needs. Furthermore, the continued accumulation and clutter of older, low-value information with records within high-value information is sapping employee productivity.

Traditional, paper-centric, complicated and detailed Records Retention Schedules that are hard for employees to understand and difficult to maintain do not work well in today’s complex world. The failure to properly manage and dispose of records and non-records can have significant consequences on litigation, and courts and regulators are showing little patience for companies that cannot demonstrate compliant records management practices. As these older, traditional Schedules sit on the shelf, older files and documents continue to pile up as companies are stuck trying to simply get their employees to follow their record retention Policies. A better approach is needed.

A Smarter Approach to Records Management

Contoural offers the industry’s most advanced Records Retention Policies and Schedules. Contoural has worked with hundreds of companies to develop Schedules that are not only compliant but also easy for employees to understand and use, and are focused on execution.

Advanced Schedule Design

Our smarter approach starts with a better schedule design:
Comprehensive: Contoural Records Retention Schedules incorporate all types of records across all media. Our data collection surfaces all relevant records, not just the traditional or obvious ones.

Integrated: We consider the need for integration into your overall Information Governance program. A well-designed schedule should be a useful tool when used in conjunction with data classification, privacy, security, litigation readiness and employee collaboration to understand what types of records exist and if any confidential information, PII/PHI or IP needs to be protected.

Contoural’s Records Retention Schedule Creation and Update Service

Identifies new and unique record types across all media  
Integrates with privacy, security and other compliance frameworks    
Easier to maintain with evergreen always-up-to-date capability  
Captures both legal requirements and business value    
Open format, not locked into propriety system, allows full customization  
Research based on database of over 35,000 citations
Global research across over 70 countries  
Consistent with vertical industry best practices    
Attorney legal review of schedule  
Builds consensus across all key stakeholders    
Simplified design easier for employees to follow    
Supports electronic archiving and content management systems    
Incorporates key elements to increase user adoption    
Focus on execution increases defensibility    

Customized: Simply taking a generic, industry-generated Schedule or a using simple survey doesn’t work. Our experience allows us to create a customized schedule that fits your organization’s risk appetite, litigation profile, and company culture. Using small group interviews and follow- up surveys for data collection results in an accurate and comprehensive set of records, regardless of media format.


Captures Business Value: Effective records retention schedules not only capture legal and regulatory requirements, but also business need and business value. They identify what information is important and valuable, better allowing organizations to identify and delete low-value information.


Open Format: Contoural schedules are provided in a variety of open, flexible and customized formats including worksheets, Access databases or content management systems. Unlike being locked up in a propriety web site or system, this open format allows the Schedule to be a living document that both can be tailored to each organization’s environment and is significantly easier to maintain.

Industry’s Most Compliant Schedule

Contoural produces the industry’s most compliant schedule, which can stand up to scrutiny of both courts and regulators.

Complete Citations: Contoural’s deep industry knowledge, in-house research and databases containing over 35,000 laws and regulations across industries and jurisdictions provide the foundation for our schedules. Citation listings are tailored to company locations and industry classes.

Global Research: A good schedule must include records from all operations, functions and locations. For many companies, that includes international locations with different retention laws and regulations. Contoural’s approach combines research from our extensive legal databases as well as on-the-ground data collection.

Industry Vertical Best Practices: Having worked for numerous companies across all industries, Contoural understands both specific regulatory requirements as well as typical and customary practices within a specific industry. We know the level of maturity regulators expect.

Defensible: in the event retention and disposition practices must be defended in court or to regulators, companies must have a current policy and schedule as well as a process demonstrating employees are adequately trained and programs are being audited for compliance. Defensibility comes from showing you have followed your policy.

Legal Citation Reports

For those clients who want detailed legal citations, Contoural offers legal citation linkage reports, which provide detailed citations linked to the schedule’s record classes. Citation listings are tailored to company locations and industry. Potential report formats include legal research index reports, and records retention schedule listings with legal citations.

Attorney Legal Schedule Review

Contoural offers as part of our service attorney legal review by an experienced, national outside law firm. Clients have assurance that the schedule is legally compliant with all laws and regulations.

Focused on Execution

Full compliance comes not only from having a compliant and up-to-date schedule, but perhaps more important from demonstrating the schedule is being followed.

Build Consensus: A consensus-driven Schedule development process engages with business stakeholders across the enterprise, making the case for why a policy and schedule is needed, and gaining support for implementation and enforcement.

User-Friendly Format: Schedules listing every single record type and exhaustive lists of examples are long, confusing and ultimately unusable. Contoural produces employee- friendly schedules that are easier to follow. They focus on showing the right information to the right employees, avoiding overwhelming and non-relevant detail.

Clear and Concise: Defining key concepts and clearly stating how long information should be saved will ensure more employees follow the schedule. Our schedules use understandable and relevant terms, making it easier to classify information.

Supports Technology-Enabled Execution: Contoural has worked with nearly every type of archive, SharePoint system, enterprise content management system, or cloud-based system. We know how to design a schedule that facilitates the configuration of these systems.

Maintainable: Out-of-date schedules are often not trusted to be accurate by employees. Contoural develops schedules in a variety of formats that make implementing changes and updates easy and consistent.

Evergreen Option Ensures Schedules Are Always Compliant and Up to Date

Contoural’s Evergreen Records Retention Schedule option provides regular, scheduled updates of the schedule to reflect changing legal and regulatory requirements. The updates also identify any new record types or changes. Companies are assured they are compliant even with ongoing rule changes.

For more information, call Contoural at 650-390-0800 or email us at

About Contoural

Contoural is the largest independent provider of strategic Information Governance consulting services, including records management, litigation readiness, privacy and control of sensitive information. Contoural is truly independent. We do not sell any products or records storage services so the advice you get is unbiased Contoural sells no products. We serve as a trusted advisor for more than 30% of the Fortune 500, mid-sized organizations and public sector clients. Our seasoned consulting team, averaging over 20 years of experience, are passionate about driving clients’ success.

Contoural offers a range of record management and Information Governance services:

  • Records retention policy and schedule development
  • Records retention policy and schedule refresh
  • Records schedule citation development and legal review
  • Records management and Information Governance maturity assessments, and strategic roadmap development
  • Enterprise behavior change management
  • Legal hold and discovery
  • Technology requirements and adoption
  • Legacy paper and data disposition
  • Email and unstructured data placement
  • Records management and Information Governance
  • organizational development and governance
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Creating Modern, Compliant, and Easier-to-Execute Records Retention Schedules In this white paper, Contoural outlines the best practices for creating and maintaining a records retention schedule that is modern, compliant and eas... 2018-01-01
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Creating a California Consumer Privacy Act Action Plan Part 1 This white paper is part one of a two-part series, and provides an overview of CCPA requirements,  defines personal information under the new law... 2018-10-01
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