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What is a retention and disposal authority?

Retention and disposal authorities (RDAs) are PROV standards issued by the Keeper of Public Records and are a legal instrument authorising the disposal of public records.


  • set the minimum retention time that different classes of records must be kept and how they are to be disposed of
  • authorise the destruction of records which are no longer required (time-expired records)
  • identify records that are to be permanently retained as state archives.

Disposal authorities ensure the disposal of public records is open, transparent and accountable.


Which RDA do I use?

RDAs can be found in our Document Library.

If your records are covered by a current RDA there is no need to seek further authorisation from PROV to carry out the disposal action outlined in the RDA.

At a minimum all agencies can use PROS 07/01 Common Administrative Functions RDA.

To check if you have coverage of your agency's specific functions, check out our current RDAs in the Document Library and refer to the 'Function' description(s) which specify the functional scope of the RDA. Some of our more recent RDAs may also specify which agencies may use the RDA in the 'Scope' section.

Please contact us:

  • to request that the scope of an existing RDA be expanded upon to include your agency. We will provide you with an appraisal mapping tool to document the request
  • if your records are not covered by an existing RDA.


There are different types of disposal authorities as outlined below. It is expected that agencies will use a combination of these types when implementing a disposal programme.


Types of disposal authorities

Function specific RDAs cover records relating to functions that are carried out by a select number of agencies or those unique to a single agency.

General RDAs cover the records related to functions and activities that are common to many agencies in the Victorian Government.

PROS 07/01 Common Administrative Functions RDA is a general RDA designed for all agencies in Victoria. It covers functions that are common to all agencies such as personnel, finance, property and equipment.

SIDAs may be used when there is no existing disposal coverage and the records relate to a function or activity which is not currently performed by the agency.

Your agency should submit the following forms to apply for a SIDA:

PRO 46A Request for Disposal Authority (Single Instance) Form

PRO 46B Request for a Disposal Authority – Appraisal Report (Single Instance) Form



RDA development step-by-step

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The process of developing Retention and Disposal Authorities

Material in the Public Record Office Victoria archival collection contains words and descriptions that reflect attitudes and government policies at different times which may be insensitive and upsetting

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PROV provides advice to researchers wishing to access, publish or re-use records about Aboriginal Peoples