What are the Documental Retention Tables? (DRT)

Archival tools are made to strengthen and support document management strategies within companies. These instruments have different functions encharged to determine the document’s value and the information it contains, in order to establish the priorities of archiving, the information production’s control, the categorization and, also, the optimization of processes.

One of the most useful instruments offered to your company’s document management, are the Document Retention Tables or DRT, which are characterized by being a tool that allows, through identification serial of the information and its respective typing, establish the times of permanence of the documents, as well as their final disposition.

Through control and recognition of information and its organizational structure, the different documents are categorized, selected and organized in order to establish their preservation times on file and the processes to follow when their life cycle is over.

Reconocer la vida útil de la información ayuda a llevar un mayor control de la producción documental de la empresa.

The aforementioned allows you to:

  • Control the life cycle of your documents.
  • List in series and types your documents, making recognition of its organizational structure.
  • Understand and correctly manage the cycles by which a document goes through and how long has to take in each one.
  • Aknowledge the information classification according to the needs and importance it represents to the company.

Benefits of its use

Each company produces (at its own pace) different types of information in different formats. In this way, if a correct document management is not carried out, the company could lose control over what it produces. This is reflected in the expenses related to the documentary handling, as well as the time that is invested in the search, filing and modification of the documents.


The backbone of each company is undoubtedly the information it produces daily.


That is why, within the strategies proposed from the document management and the handling of the Document Retention Tables, the order and correct use of the information is prioritized, all with the purpose of optimizing times, automating tasks and improving efficiency, and in this contributes to the company’s economic growth.


In this order of ideas, the benefits of DRT are:


  • Easy information management.
  • Correct management of documental production.
  • Efficient ways of documental management and checking.
  • Control over the information’s access and its security is increased.
  • Document’s preservation is guaranteed based on its information and typind importance.
  • Implementation of the information’s integral management.


Document Retention Tables can help you understand the bases of your company’s documentary production, making it easier for you to control the volume of information growth, through prioritization, classification and efficient administration.


When the time of life of each document is not known, the management process hinders and fails.

Characteristics of a Documental Retention Table


Documental Retention Tables contribute to the strategies proper functioning related to document management, and this is reflected in:


  • Documental produccion that goes hand in hand with the administrative processes.
  • Documental terminology optimization.
  • Document management strategies application.
  • Business structure knowledge.
  • Effiency
  • Order and control.
  • Document’s checking and uptdating.
  • Documents identification and their validity over time.
  • Recognition of archival structures.
  • Prioritization of information from administrative processes.
  • Prevent the mishandling of documents, regardless of their query format.
¿Qué son las Tablas de Retención Documental (TRD)?

The Documentary Retention Tables characteristics focus on their functional structure. Thus, the table is determined as a template document in which the management and categorization of the documents is specified.


To start filling the table it is necessary to review, evaluate, organize and describe the documents, in order to assign them correctly in the established series.


To do this:


  1. The company’s review and preliminary analysis, organizational structure and level of documentary production.
  2. Information analysis and categorization.
  3. Documental Retention Table creation.


Also, it is needed to acquire resources and the basic information to the Table’s creation, such as:


  • Positions and dependencies creation
  • Creation of collegiate bodies and working groups.
  • Changes in the organizational structure (organizational charts).
  • Creation of headquarters, manuals and procedures.

DRT’s structure

The DRT’s general structure is composed by a series of elements that allow detailing the layout and specifications of each document, so pay attention.


  • Code: Specifies the location and family to which the document belongs.
  • Series and documental types: allows to identify the type of document and the category to which it belongs, for example:


Series: administrative.

Type: record, agreement, resolution.


  • Retention and final disposal: Establishes the document’s life cycle and its management location, which can be: management file, central file or historical file (if applicable).
  • Support: If the document is physical or in electronic media.
  • Procedure: Description of what will be done with the document once it has completed its life cycle.