Digital transfer form (The National Archives)

1. Foreword


What is a public record under the Public Records Act 1958 (PRA)?

Among other aspects, the PRA defines the following as public records:

  • administrative and departmental records belonging to His Majesty, in the United Kingdom (UK) or elsewhere, in right of His Majesty’s Government (HMG),
  • in particular records of or held in any government department,
  • records of offices, commissions or other bodies under HMG in the UK.

The term ‘records’ is defined in the PRA (at section 10) in a way that suggests it is intended to be technology-neutral – ‘”records” includes not only written records but records conveying information by any other means whatsoever’. 

In line with this, the current online form understands that a public record is defined as all records, data, or information created or held by a public record body regardless of format. Record, information and data are used interchangeably in this form to describe a public record.


Purpose of this form

This form is used to gather detailed information on data having been identified: 
  • firstly, as being due for processing according to the PRA;
  • secondly, as being in scope for transfer to The National Archives.
The form therefore covers different stages along the way, including a selection decision resulting in no transfer to The National Archives and various situations when retention might be required.


Questions marked with an asterisk (*) must be answered. You will not be able to move to the next page of the form, if mandatory information is missing.
You can use the 'Save and continue later' button to save your progress with this form at any time. A new window will open where you can give a name and email address for future completion of the form. Confirming the entries will send a link to the email address provided via which you can access the online survey in its latest status.

You will also be able to print the completed survey for your own records or save it as PDF document.