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Coroners service retention schedule

Version 2.0, adopted May 2022, expires end May 2024.


A pdf version of this retention schedule, including full version history, is held in the EDRM Retention Schedules folder.

See an explanation of the 6+ Rule and all other standard disposition codes.

Important note

The Infected Blood Inquiry is an Independent public statutory Inquiry established to examine the circumstances in which people treated by health services were given infected blood. Retention and destruction of records is one of the major issues under investigation. On 5 July 2018, the Chair of the Infected Blood Inquiry wrote to the NHS requesting that no documents of relevance to the Inquiry be destroyed. A similar request has been made to coroners, central government departments and other bodies. All record destruction is therefore suspended. This suspension will be reviewed following the conclusion of the Inquiry's work (predicted to be mid 2023), in light of any recommendations it may make.

The usual retention rules are provided in the information that follows. However in each and every case the following factors must be considered and if any apply the file is to be marked for permanent retention and a clear note is to be placed in the file to explain the decision:

  • Death of a child (a person who has not attained their 18th Birthday at the time of death)
  • Unsolved homicides
  • Homicides where there has been a conviction (murder, manslaughter, infanticide, corporate manslaughter)
  • A person convicted with a criminal offence in connection with the death (body destruction, falsification of records, statements)
  • Death due to terrorist action
  • Deaths where an exhumation has been ordered by a coroner.
  • Deaths where a Judicial Inquiry or Public Inquiry will or is likely to take place.

Public investigations or inquest leading to Judicial Review where the findings of Judicial Review have created new precedent or changes to coronial law.

There may be files where the need for further retention needs to be considered at the end of the specified retention period (for example where there is an ongoing public inquiry and a hold has been put on record deletion). In these cases a clear note or marker must be entered onto the retention record detailing those matters that require consideration for longer retention. A coroner will review the specified retention period once the retention period is reached, and extend if necessary.

Reporting of deaths

COR 1.01: The statutory recording of reported deaths

The regulations require a register to be kept of all deaths reported in the coroner area. In Derbyshire, the register does not take a physical form: the electronic case management system (section 2) fulfils this requirement.

Rationale: Coroners (Investigations) Regulations 2013

Storage Location: Case management system

Investigating the circumstances of deaths

COR 2.01: Case records of deaths requiring neither investigation, nor inquest, nor post-mortem

Example(s):

  • Form A

Retention: ACTION+15

Rationale: The Coroners Rules 1984 (Rule 56)

Location: Coroner's office, Offsite storage, EDRM, Case management system

COR 2.02: Case records of deaths deemed to have a natural cause, requiring neither investigation nor inquest

Example(s):

  • Form B

Retention: CASE+25 (closure point: closure of case file)

Rationale: The Coroners Rules 1984 (Rule 56)

Location: Coroner's office, Offsite storage, EDRM, Case management system

COR 2.03: Case records which do not result in issue of Form A, Form B, investigations or inquests

Example(s):

  • Cases transferred to other coroner's areas
  • External enquiries resulting in advice and No Further Action

Retention: ACTION+15

Rationale: The Coroners Rules 1984 (Rule 56)

Location: Coroner's Office, Offsite storage, EDRM, Case management system

COR 2.04: Case records of deaths requiring investigation

Example(s):

  • Investigation

Retention: PERM. Note: offer to Derbyshire Record Office 21 years after closure of file

Rationale: The Coroners Rules 1984 (Rule 56)

Location: Coroner's office, Offsite storage, EDRM, Case management system

COR 2.05: holding an inquest to determine the circumstances of a death

Retention: PERM

Example(s0):

  • Inquest

Rationale: Public Records Act 1958

Location: Coroner's office, Offsite storage, EDRM, Case management system

Treasure

COR 3.01: The determination and management of finds reported as treasure

Retention: ACTION+15

Example(s):

  • Treasure records

Rationale: Treasure Act 1996 Code of Practice.

The British Museum keeps a permanent record of significant treasure finds.

Location: Coroner's office, Offsite storage, EDRM, Case management system