Document retention and destruction

Read time: 10 minutes

In Australia, businesses must retain certain documents for specific statutory minimum periods of time and there can be serious consequences for non-compliance.

Architects retain documents for a variety of reasons. Commonwealth and state legislation may require you to retain certain documents, or you may choose to keep documents for heritage purposes, as technical precedents or to facilitate alterations, additions or repairs.

It is also crucial that architects retain adequate documentation and records to enable them to defend possible legal action, or to assist related parties involved in legal action associated with a project. It is important to seek legal advice if you are unclear on your retention obligations, particularly if you consider that a dispute is possible. 

This note is not an exhaustive list of all document retention and destruction requirements in Australia, but instead, sets out some of these obligations to draw your attention to the need to actively consider whether documents should be retained (and for how long) or destroyed.

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