Records Retention and Destruction

Updated:Sep 21,2012

AHA Records Definition .  A record is information created or received by the AHA, regardless of the type of media (i.e., print, electronic or other), that provides evidence of corporate and operational activities, and contains information relevant to AHA’s mission, goals, plans and ongoing operations.  A record has strategic, operational, legal, fiscal, and/or historical value.

Ownership of AHA Records .  AHA is the owner of all records created, received, and/or maintained by AHA’s employees and volunteers in support of the Association’s operations and activities worldwide.  AHA is the owner of all records created for it by third parties.  AHA is solely empowered to establish policies and procedures for the creation, distribution, control, protection, storage, retrieval, retention, destruction, and other management and use of AHA records in accordance with any applicable laws.

Responsibilities .  All AHA employees, volunteers and third party contractors who create, receive, use, maintain or store AHA records are responsible for the following:

  • Maintaining AHA Records in a manner designed to ensure their accessibility, integrity, appropriate confidentiality, authenticity, and usability for any and all business purposes.
  • Maintaining proper security and protection of AHA records. 
  • Maintaining AHA records for the length of time specified in the AHA Records Retention and Destruction Schedule.
  • Effecting the regular and systematic disposal of AHA records in accordance with the AHA Records Retention and Destruction Schedule, this Policy and any applicable procedures.
  • Halting immediately the disposal of relevant AHA records upon notification of a ”Legal Hold” by the AHA Legal Department.  Records identified in the Legal Hold must be preserved and not destroyed until subsequently authorized in writing by the Legal Department.  A Legal Hold overrides the Records Retention and Destruction Schedule with regard to those records subject to a Legal Hold.

    Records Retention and Destruction Schedule.   The Records Manager shall develop and maintain the AHA Records Retention and Destruction Schedule in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, sound business and records management practices, and this Policy.  The Records Retention and Destruction Schedule, and any amendments thereto, shall be approved by the EVP Corporate Secretary & General Counsel upon recommendation of the Records Manager.  Compliance with the AHA Records Retention and Destruction Schedule is mandatory for volunteers and staff.