Define the length of storage/archiving of different items in a retention list


In the previous activity adequate storage spaces were created for all the materials stored in the laboratory. To prevent accumulation of stored items, which may overload storage areas, an overview of the duration of storage of all materials is necessary.


In this activity an overview is made of all the stored materials in the laboratory and the duration of their storage and way of destruction will be determined. Examples of items to be included are:

  • All types of formal documents, such as:
    • Replaced SOPs
    • Request forms
    • Copies of reports
    • Equipment files
    • Patient registers
    • Personnel data
    • Contracts of the laboratory with external parties
  • Samples
  • Reagents
  • AFB Smears

NOTE 1: this list is not exhaustive. It is up to the laboratory to determine which items need to be included in the list.

NOTE 2: in phase 2 already a Document Retention List was developed. This could be used/adapted to include other items besides documents.

The retention table must be added as appendix to the quality manual that will be developed in this phase.

How & who

Stock Officer:

  1. Assess which items need to be included in the retention list. Use the various storage registers to ensure inclusion of all types of materials.
  2. Determine, in cooperation with the laboratory manager, the storage time for each item. Note that you must first investigate if there are already local rules available on retention of materials (e.g. when the laboratory is connected to a hospital: does the hospital already have rules regarding retention of materials?).
  3. Make the retention list.

Laboratory manager:

  1. The Stock Officer will make a list of different types of materials and documents in the laboratory for which the storage times need to be defined. Determine in collaboration with the Stock Officer the duration of storage for each type of material. First investigate if such a list is already available when the laboratory is connected to a bigger organization such as a hospital.

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This activity belongs to the QSE Facilities & Safety


ISO15189:2007: 4.13.3 5.7.2
ISO15189:2012: 4.13 5.7.2