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Offsite storage

Brief overview of offsite storage


The relocation of several departments to Sighthill in late 2010 identified a large volume of records the University needed to retain for business and legal purposes. The limited amount of space available at the then new Sighthill campus meant that alternative storage solutions needed to be considered. Offsite storage offered the best and most cost effective solution and as a result of competitive tendering exercise, Governance Services awarded a contract for offsite storage to Restore Document Management.  This is now a corporate resource which is available to all University departments.


The storage contract is managed centrally within Governance Services but each Department using the storage facility will be required to budget for the records they store offsite.  There is no central budget for offsite storage and Departments are asked to make provisions within their own budgets for the storage and retrieval of records. 


Benefits of offsite storage


Our University's Estates Strategy assumes efficiencies in space requirements which will require less space to be taken up by physical records. One way of helping Edinburgh Napier deliver its Estates strategy is by opting for offsite storage for records that are required to be kept but are no longer in use. 


The benefits of offsite storage at the strategic level include:

  • Compliance with and delivery of our Estates Strategy which assumes efficiencies in space requirements and assumes less space being taken up by physical records
  • more effective and efficient management of information thereby enhancing our response delivery, transparency and customer care
  • good corporate records management ensures that we can respond to the trend towards "one stop shop" delivery of services, transparency and customer service
  • contributes towards meeting our environmental and sustainability objectives through the efficient management of resources

From a day to day perspective, users of offsite storage have found that: 

  • It has freed up valuable space
  • records are stored in an safe and secure environment
  • records are no longer over retained and that they are destroyed securely onsite
  • records are easily obtainable

.........and all for a few £s/month!


Before any destruction of records takes place, Restore notifies the University 2 months prior so we can review our decision to either destroy or keep any records


Courtesy of freedigitalphotos.netConditions/eligibility for offsite storage


There are 3 basic conditions which Departments must meet if they opt to go for offsite storage: 

  • Departments must have an up-to-date retention schedule
  • Records stored offsite must no longer be "live" i.e. they are not in constant demand.  It is not cost-effective to keep recalling files/documents on a weekly/monthly basis
  • Offsite storage as a short term solution for storage is not a viable option i.e. for records which will be destroyed within a matter of a few months


Roles and responsibilities: how Governance Services can help you


Governance Services arranges: 

  • the delivery and pick up of boxes
  • ordering offsite storage boxes
  • bar-coding
  • inputting data onto the Restore database
  • recalling files
  • the initial payment of Restore storage invoices 

On occasions, and resources permitting, Governance Services can also assist colleagues in marking up the boxes.


Departments and Records Co-ordinators are responsible for recompensing Governance Services every 6 months for the storage costs.  They must also do their own packing.


Further advice can be provided by Governance Services.


How do you arrange for records to be sent off-site (guidance for staff)


Please read the following guidance document which contains information relating to offsite storage, including costs and how to arrange to use this facility: Guidance document - how to use the offsite storage facility.pdfGuidance document - how to use the offsite storage facility


Please complete and return the Request for Archive Boxes for OffSite Storage (V1.1 Apr16).docxRequest Form for Archive Boxes for Offsite Storage to Governance Services, who will be happy to answer any queries you may have and assist with arranging the transfer of records off-site. 


Governance Services are now keeping the off-site record inventories for each School/Service area in a secure SharePoint site. Permissions for these files are strictly controlled so that only the records co-ordinators and Governance Services team have access.

  • Why are we doing this? So that there is a central inventory which can be referred to when records need to be retrieved or when the records need to be reviewed for destruction.
  • Why keep a central inventory? When records are destroyed in future the person who packed the box may have left the University...keeping a central record means that the appropriate colleagues will have sufficient information to make the necessary decisions. It also means less emailing around to find out what records the University holds off-site.
  • Can another team records co-ordinator see your team inventory? No.


Courtesy of freedigitalphotos.netHow many files do we currently store offsite?  Who uses offsite storage?


Restore presently hold just over 1100 boxes from a variety of users including IDEA, Finance Services, Governance, the Principal and Vice Principals offices, Student and Academic Services, Human Resources, the Office of the Vice Principal, FECCI and the School of Arts and Creative Industries.  Items which fall into the category of the "University Archive "are also stored offsite.


Retrieving files from offsite storage is quick and easy.  Colleagues are asked to contact Governance Services when a box is required and these can be delivered the following day for £18.50 plus £1.24p/box.  Same day delivery £30.84 plus £1.24p/box, same day requests need to be made before 10.30am.


To date we have only had to recall a few boxes.  As mentioned above, only those files which are not in day to day use should be stored offsite.


Off-site storage costs


It presently costs the University approximately £370/month to store all 1,167 boxes; boxes cost up to 27p/box/month to store.  Restore invoice Governance Services monthly and we pay on behalf of the University via Governance Services budget. We are then reimbursed by Departments every 6 months. 


Nothing could be simpler and we're minimising the amount of time and effort on internal administration.


Testimonials from Edinburgh Napier Restore users


Courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net"The service was very easy and effective to use for off-site file storage and retrieving information was surprisingly simple, quick and efficient.  Having laboriously scanned files to disc in the past, we will definitely not be doing that again but will opt for the much more cost effective storage solution!"  Student & Academic Services: Disability & Inclusion


"Seems a small price to pay for the lack of clutter...they certainly give plenty of notice that things are due for destruction..." Office of the Vice Principal 


Courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net 

"This facility saved us a huge amount of time, effort and space. Knowing the storage facility was keeping our old files confidentially and securely and would destroy them at the appropriate time was just what we needed." Student & Academic Services: Student Funding


 "...Alleviates space problems, is easily accessible yet securely stored. Is compliant and cost effective and creates a sensible discipline and forms an important part of our business continuity and risk mitigation"  Finance, Planning & Commercialisation Services