TL30 – Academic Program & Course Management [DRAFT]

Records of the management and administration of academic programs and courses.

Related Records | Responsible Unit | Information Steward | Information Confidentiality Classification | Retention | Disposition | Archival RecordsAuthority | Retention Rationale | Version Information

Content & Scope

Records of the management and delivery of academic courses, managed in the enterprise learning management system (currently, LEARN), in other externally hosted and on-premises systems used in courses, and by course instructors.

This records class excludes graded student work, such as course assignments and tests, and schedules for classes and final examinations.

The records include: course outlines; class enrolment records not required as individual students’ academic records; course communications (e.g., announcements, discussion fora, email, and social media content); students’ verification of illness forms or equivalent documentation provided to course instructors; examination/assignment questions and instructions; exam lists and attendance records; records of incidents occurring during exams; records of exam conflicts, relief, and alternative arrangements; instructors’ lists of assignment, test, final exam grades, and final grades for the course; records of the preparation, maintenance, quality assurance and delivery of course content (excluding those which are the intellectual property of the instructor); aggregate records of teaching assistant allocations to courses; and, system-generated data on the use of course/learning management systems.

Related Records

  • For individual students’ academic records, see ST20 – Student Records.
  • For graded student work, see TL40 – Student Work, Examinations & Theses.

Responsible Unit

  • Unit responsible for the course.
  • Registrar’s Office, for records of final examinations administered by the Registrar’s Office.

Information Steward

Dean of the relevant faculty, or the information steward responsible for the academic support unit offering courses.

Information Confidentiality Classification

  • Public: course outlines and other course content made available to the public by the University or another IP rights owner.
  • Restricted: class lists, instructors’ grade records, verification of illness forms, and other records containing the personal information of students.
  • Confidential: all other records.


  • Class enrolment, examination administration, and other routine course management records not required for subsequent iterations of a course: 1 year after the end of the term in which the course was offered.
    • Note: exam incident records retained as evidence of student misconduct under Policy 71 – Student Discipline are classified with ST90 – Student Discipline, Grievances, Appeals & Petitions.
  • Accommodation due to illness records: 2 years after the end of the term in which the accommodation was requested.
  • Instructors’ grade records: minimum of 1 year after the end of term, and no more than 7 years after the student’s graduation or last registration.
  • Course outlines: 15 years.
  • Course content, including records managed in on-premises or hosted information systems: minimum of 1 year after the end of the term in which the course was offered, and then until superseded or obsolete.
    • Units should document the specific retention periods within this range that they are using for records (contact the University Records Manager for assistance, if required).
    • Course materials are typically retained in the enterprise learning management system for 3 years after the end of the course, available to the course instructor and for other administrative purposes (e.g., for academic program reviews or accreditation).


Archives Selection.

Records which are not selected for the University archives should be destroyed at the end of their retention period. All confidential – including restricted and highly restricted – records must be securely destroyed.


Responsible Units should document the disposal/destruction of official records using the University records destruction form or equivalent documentation, to verify that we are following our records retention rules.

Archival Records

Course outlines are of long-term historical value to the University. Please contact the University Records Manager for assistance with these records at the end of their retention period.


  • University of Waterloo Act, 1972
  • Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.R.O. Reg. 460, s. 5 (1)
  • University of Waterloo Undergraduate Studies Academic Calendar: Assignments, Tests, and Final Exams.

Retention Rationale

Retention is based on operational use and regulations to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act requiring that personal information be retained for a minimum of one year after its use, unless the individual to whom the information relates consents to its earlier disposal (RRO 1990 Reg 460, s 5(1)).

The retention period ensures the availability of course materials while students are allowed to access final examinations. Some records are of long-term historical value.

Under Review Date

11 May 2022

Previous Version

26 July 2010

(This records retention schedule replaces TL25 – Accommodation Due to Illness, TL30 – Class Enrolment, TL35 – Course Outlines, TL38 – Online Courses, TL52 – Examination Administration, and TL60 – Instructors' Grade Records)