Contents and Location of File

Contents of File

Only information which is required for the purposes of the board of education (board) as an employer should be collected in the employee file. The file must relate directly to the employment of the individual. Board policy and procedures should set out what information should be included on the employee file.

The board should advise employees what personal information it will collect and the purpose for which it is being collected. The board has a duty to ensure that any information collected is accurate, complete and up-to-date. In most circumstances the best way to do this is to collect the information directly from the employee

In addition to statutory requirements, employers are advised to, at a minimum, keep copies of documents and letters provided to employees as well as copies of evaluation reports and assessments.

Location of File

There may well be more than one employee file. There may be a payroll file kept at central office, a supervision file kept by the Superintendent or Director, and another file kept by the principal at the school covering matters dealt with at that level. In addition there may be separate files for medical issues or other specific topics related to the particular individual.

Board policy on employee records should set out what types of records will be kept in each file or at each location. It should also set out which employee of the board may use the information contained in each of these files.

Guidelines for Employee Files Maintained by Principals & Supervisors


The following principles are intended to guide the development of administrative procedures regarding the creation, maintenance and disposition of employee records maintained by principals and supervisors.

Collection of Ongoing Employee Records

Personnel Files

Employee personnel files are generally maintained in the central office of the school division. This central office file will contain information related to the employment relationship including, but not limited to a resume, education verification, employment contracts or letters of offer, formal performance appraisals and disciplinary reports.

Employee records should only contain information that is relevant to the purpose for which they were created. They should be factual and objective and free of hearsay, gossip, speculation and personal commentary or opinion.

Principal or Supervisor Files

It is common for a principal or a supervisor to also maintain an employee file. In general, this file will include information such as everyday performance observations, documents and notes outlining the employee’s goals and performance improvement expectations, and documentations of conversations and verbal warnings. Ongoing records should only be kept in one location, such as the personnel file, therefore the supervisor file may include temporary copies of those records while the employee is under their supervision.

Medical Files

Employee medical records contain sensitive and confidential information and must only be accessible to those who are required to access the records for their job. They must not be kept in the principal’s or supervisor’s file. These records must be maintained in accordance with the STF Provincial Collective Bargaining Agreement for Teachers which requires a separate medical file to be maintained. Board procedures and/or collective agreements for non-teaching staff may have similar requirements. .

Access to Employee Records

An employee has the right to request access to any record relating to themselves, including emails and records in the principal’s or supervisor’s file. When an employee requests access to their “file”, this means that access must be given to the principal’s or supervisor’s file, the central office personnel file as well as any other records such as emails, meeting notes, reports, etc.

The employee has the right to a copy of any record that pertains to themselves but they do not have the right to remove any (delete: ongoing or permanent) record. They do have a right to request a correction or a notation that the correction was requested.

It is also important to screen all records on the file before the employee is given access to them to ensure that personal information of others is not shared.

Use and Sharing of Employee Records Within the School Division

The protection of employees’ personal information is mandated by LAFOIP and is an important obligation of principals and supervisors. Therefore, careful consideration needs to be given to who must have access to that information. Information may be shared within the school division only with those (including colleagues) who require the information in order to do their jobs.

Storage & Security of Employee Records

School divisions must ensure they establish a secure location for storing employee records. For paper records, most often this location is a locked filing cabinet and/or office. For electronic records, information stored on devices such as smart phones, computers and tablets must be password protected.

Retention of Employee Records

Employee records should be retained in accordance with:

  • Legislation – The Saskatchewan Employment Act, section
  • board policy/procedures (and/or Records Retention and Disposal Guide for Saskatchewan School Divisions)
  • collective agreements

Email should not be used as a method of records management. If an email is required to be retained, that email should be moved to the central office or principal’s or supervisor’s file.

When an employee no longer works under the supervision of the principal or supervisor, it is recommended the supervisor’s file be sent to human resources to be kept centrally with the employee’s central office file. (delete: For records located in a supervisor’s file,) The Superintendent of Human Resources or designate will review the contents in the file and determine what ongoing or permanent records should be retained, passed on to the new principal or supervisor or destroyed in accordance with the school division disposal guidelines.

In no case can principals or supervisors retain any personal information of employee once the principal or supervisor leaves the employ of the school division. This includes information that might be stored on personal electronic devices.

In determining the retention period for files, a distinction can be made between transitory or temporary records, which can generally be disposed of after a relatively short period of time, and non-transitory records that will have longer retention periods.

Transitory/Temporary Records Non-Transitory Records
Definition Records of temporary usefulness and needed only for a limited period of time to complete a task Records that are scheduled for retention in accordance with the records and retention guidelines
  • Telephone messages
  • Setting of appointments or meetings
  • Information that is collected for the purposes of preparing a subsequent record such as report
  • Temporary copies of ongoing or permanent records
  • Emails that are required only for a limited time:
    • Messages that are duplicate copies
    • Informal messages or drafts
    • Notices of employee meetings, holidays, etc.
  • Performance observations
  • Notes outlining an employee’s goals and expectations
  • Original disciplinary letters
  • Personal observations that you have seen yourself or that someone has seen who is required to report to you
  • Emails that include information such as:
    • Original messages of directives where the information does not exist in another form
    • Final reports and recommendations
Retention Period Destroy when the record is no longer required for the purpose for which it was collected ( in accordance with board policy procedure) In accordance with board policy/procedures and/or the Records Retention and Disposal Guide for Saskatchewan School Divisions