WatClass Planning & Updates

Planning is underway to update the WatClass records classification and retention schedules, simplifying the classification structure and making it easier for University employees to find the appropriate retention schedules for their records.

The planned changes include the following:

  • Reduce the total number of records classes. Records classes for similar processes/activities, with similar records retention periods, can be consolidated into a smaller number of records classes with expanded scope so there are no more than 10 to 15 records classes and retention schedules in each of its 12 functional categories.
  • Make this simplified classification structure and draft retention schedules available for review. See the tables, below.
  • Upload draft records retention schedules for functional categories which currently do not have approved retention schedules (e.g., for  Information & Technology Management).
  • Revise records class ID numbers to eliminate gaps and inconsistencies in numbering which have arisen since WatClass was first introduced.
  • Reclassify records of faculty councils and their committees as Governance (GV) rather than Administration (AD) records. The re-classified records retention schedules are currently labelled as “Drafts” but there are no changes to the retention periods for records.


WatClass provides a 3-level classification structure for University records:

  • The top level is the 12 functional categories: e.g., Administration (AD).
    • The second level is the records classes within the functional category, with their corresponding records retention schedules: e.g., AD20 – Administrative Committees.
      • The third level is the sub-categories of records within a records class described in the “Retention” section of the records retention schedule (e.g., “Constitutions and terms of reference”, found in AD20 – Administrative Committees).

The 2nd level is the most important for managing records: the records retention schedules document the information stewards, information confidentiality classification, units responsible for official records in that class, and the information needed for the disposal of records at the end of their retention period.

Finding the appropriate retention schedule is unnecessarily difficult when there are too many records classes within a functional category. For example, the Health, Safety, & Security section currently contains 44 records classes: almost 30% of all currently approved records retention schedules.

The redesigned 2nd level of the classification will be simplified by combining similar, related, records classes into one records class with broader scope. For example, the five records classes for appointments and recruitment authorization in the Human Resources functional category are easily consolidated into a single records class for recruitment and appointment records. The 3rd level of the classification essentially remains unchanged, but it becomes easier to reach this level when there are fewer options to review at the 2nd level.

WatClass was originally designed to have approximately 250 records classes across all twelve functional categories. The new WatClass will have less than 120 records classes by establishing new records classes with broadened scope.

Retention schedule draft updates

The following tables present the current plans for updating the WatClass classification structure and links to draft retention schedules for the new records classes. The tables will be updated as new drafts are completed.

The second column in the tables lists the current records classes and retention schedules which will be replaced under the new classification structure.

Contact the University Records Manager if you have any comments or questions about the updated records classes and draft retention schedules.

Please keep in mind that the draft records retention schedules have not yet been approved for use in managing University records. For current records retention schedules, follow the links in the 2nd column, below, or go to the main WatClass Records Classification and Retention Schedules page.