The Topwood Glossary



The accumulation of historical documents or media usually stored in dedicated archive storage. Archive files may include old HR files, employee details, old bank statements, old hard drives. A retention schedule will determine how long these records are kept in storage for. Often organisations will scan these to electronic copies on a scan on demand basis and destroy the hard copies.

Bulk Clearance

A service that offers large amounts of archive paperwork or media to be destroyed. A bulk shredding service may involve the destruction of anything from just a few archive boxes, up to many thousands of archive boxes stacked on hundreds of pallets. Topwood offer bulk product destruction, bulk document destruction and bulk media destruction.

Certificate of Destruction

A Certificate of destruction (CoD) confirms that a shredding service has been done, with the date, the company, and the director’s signature. A CoD is required by law according to waste legislation. The certificate of destruction is the final stage of the chain of custody process. Topwood will send your certificate of destruction electronically to your email address 24 hours after your shredding has taken place.

Chain of Custody

The Chain of Custody (CoC) is the paper or digital trail from the first enquiry to the control, transfer and last stage of receiving your Certificate of Destruction. When it comes to shredding your documents, media, products or packaging it is important for the data controller to map where data is being passed and to ensure security measures are in place to protect the data. This is particularly important when staying compliant with The Data Protection Act 2018 which incorporates GDPR


A console is a lockable confidential waste bin for paper disposal and is a secure and efficient alternative to using office shredders. Consoles are used to store confidential papers until a shred truck arrives to shred them on-site. Topwood also have a dual shredding console available for media such as hard drives and disks. Consoles are supplied free on loan as part of our regular document or data shredding service.

Cross Cut

Cross-cut shredding (or confetti shredding) is a method of paper shredding that involves cutting the paper in two directions, horizontally and vertically to increase the security level of the shredding process. The BSIA (British Security Industry Association) promotes the shredding standard EN15713 which defines various shred sizes. Our mobile shred trucks contain shredders that can cross cut up to DIN 66399 level P-4 (EN15713 Security level 6).

Data Controller

The individual or company who holds confidential data. This individual or organisation determines the purposes for which any personal data is processed. Data controllers are responsible for making sure that the processing of any data is compliant with the Data Protection Act. Data controllers face increased liability to ensure appropriate security of their data under The Data Protection Act 2018.

Data Destruction

Sometimes referred to as media destruction or media shredding, this is the secure destruction of items that hold digital data. Items such as hard drives, laptops, CD’s, floppy disks, USB’s can all be shredded either on-site or off-site in Topwood’s industrial shredders.

Data Mapping

This is a key step to take to identify where data is processed through the organisation. Some areas of data mapping could include archiving, bring your own device schemes, destroying obsolete data, sharing information with 3rd parties. These examples must be included in the data mapping process to identify who comes into contact with data and where individual personal data may pass through. The is a key step to take to become compliant with The Data Protection Act 2018.

Data Processor

Any individual or company who is subcontracted to process data on behalf of the data controller (office manager). The processing of data includes its storage and handling and destruction, on behalf of the data controller. As a company that offers shredding, scanning and storage, Topwood is a security vetted data processor.

Data Protection Act 1998

The legislation relating to processing and protecting personal data regarding individuals in the UK. This legislation sets out 7 principles of how data can be fairly and lawfully used. The General Data Protection Regulation is set to be enforced on 25th May 2018 which places more liability on data controllers, this is set to be renamed The Data Protection Act 2018.


Using a machine with powerful magnetic fields to permanently remove contained data from the media item. This is not as secure as shredding, and so we advise to always choose on-site shredding as this is the safest option.

Document Management

The process to store, select, track, and log documents and paperwork using computer software. This is a key process to have in place to ensure data mapping can take place. Topwood customers are offered this as part of our dedicated document storage service.

Document Storage

Document storage is space devoted to keeping files. This differs from archive storage where records are kept for their historical value. Document storage applies to keeping files just in case the data contained on them needs to be recalled. When documents are stored away from the main business activity it is known as off-site document storage. It is increasingly common for organisations to outsource their document storage to a third party specialist who has the secure space, expertise, and IT needed for efficient document management. The terms document storage, records management and archive storage are interchangeable.

Dual Console

Dual consoles can provide customers with the benefit of storing both documents and electronic media safely in the same unit (in separate compartments) ready for when Topwood’s vetted staff arrive to empty into our mobile shred trucks as part of our mobile on-site shredding service.


This code of practice replaced BS8470 for managing and controlling the secure destruction of confidential information. Organisations (data contollers) disposing of sensitive data should use the standard to comply with their legal requirements and minimise the risk of a data breach. Any organisation that subcontracts their data destruction is advised to ensure that they engage a shredding company (data processor) that is certified to comply with EN15713.

EWC Codes

EWC stands for European Waste Catalogue. The codes are used to define different types of waste. In regards to EWC there is no difference between regular waste paper and confidential paperwork as they are the same material so you can use the same EWC code for both. The disposal method, however, needs to ensure confidential paperwork is disposed of in a secure manner to comply with legislation. Confidential paperwork should be disposed of using on-site mobile shred trucks to ensure the shortest chain of custody.

General Data Protection Regulation

The General Data Protection Act (GDPR) will become effective on 25th May 2018 and will place more liability on data controllers to ensure appropriate security of their data. The definition is broadly the same as the Data Protection Act 1998, but incorporates new guidelines for data controllers such as a shorter response time to Subject Access Requests for the individuals ‘right to be forgotten’. There are steps to take for organisations to be compliant with GDPR before 25th May 2018. After this date The Data Protection Act 2018 will replace the old Data Protection Act 1998.

Indexing and Cataloguing

This process involves the auditing of files to provide a full inventory. We can either index your records at box level or individual file level. We cross reference your reference numbers meaning everything will remain familiar. The indexing and cataloguing of your files makes them accessible online through Topwood’s secure online portal. This makes your data searchable and as part of Topwood’s storage service can be requested to be collected or delivered to your offices.

Information Security ISO27001

A specification for an information security management system. This certification includes specific compliance standards such as Shredding standard EN15713, Scanning BIP008, Storage BS5454 and Staff Vetting BS7858.

Off-Site Shredding

When sensitive data is collected from its place of creation or storage and transferred to a different location where it is destroyed. Within hours of collection by our security vetted staff the waste is weighed and tipped directly into high security industrial shredders. Off-site destruction services can be either regular collection or on a one-off basis.

On-Site Shredding

When the destruction of material is done in a shred truck at your workplace. At Topwood we can offer on-site paper shredding and on-site media shredding. Topwood shred trucks have separate shredders to allow destruction of both paper and electronic media in the same visit. Mobile on-site shredding offers the shortest chain of custody and therefore is the safest option for sensitive document

PAS 7010

The Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure, CPNI, (the UK Governments’ authority for protective security advice), has a new standard that organisations (government, law enforcement, NHS, schools etc) must comply with regarding the disposal of sensitive assets. Organisations will only be able to engage contractors who been approved to comply with 7010 under the CPNI’s Destruction Services Assurance Scheme.

One requirement of 7010, that will replace EN15713, is that paper documents are cross cut to DIN-P3. Strip cutting will no longer be sufficient as the resultant shred size does not comply with 7010. All of Topwood’s shred trucks are MDX – X is for cross cut.

Topwood’s vehicles are well equiped to shred to the PAS 7010 standard, which is the highest level of security, and a requirement for certain industries such as NHS, and Governmental organisations.

Poly Prop Sack

Poly prop sacks are a type of shred sack used to transport confidential paperwork in. Poly prop is a type of durable plastic. Polyprop sacks are supplied free of charge for customers to fill with their confidential papers until Topwood’s shred truck come to shred on-site or Topwood GPS vans come to collect for off-site shredding.

Product Destruction

The secure destruction of products such as packaging, labels, or uniforms. Topwood’s shredders can get through almost anything! Product destruction is important to eliminate the risk of fraud or identity theft from employee uniforms and product packaging which could damage your reputation.

Records Management

Records Management (referred to as RM) is a systematic control in the creation, distribution, storage and destruction of recorded information maintained as evidence of business activities and transactions. Topwood are able to offer a cradle to grave service from collection, storage, scan-on-demand to the final destruction service in accordance to your retention scheduling all through our online secure electronic document management system.

Retention Schedule

A retention schedule is a policy that maps out how long you should keep your data for. For example HR records should be kept for 7 years after termination of employment. Also payroll details should be kept for 12 years. A schedule should be implemented as part of your preparation for GDPR and the new Data Protection Act 2018, in order to comply by not holding data for longer than necessary.


Capturing documents digitally using secure and advanced scanning techniques. Topwood can provide a bulk scanning service which helps with the move towards a paperless office environment. Alternatively a scan-on-demand service, which combined with our dedicated document storage can provide an efficient off-site document management service. Topwood can convert your hard copies on to CD, DVD, USB, PDF, TIFF or via a web based browser, which ever format you prefer.

Security Vetting

To carry out security checks on an individual, such as a DBS check. Staff should be security vetted to BS7858. This level of vetting meets the requirements of shredding standard EN15713 and complies with HM Government Cabinet Office guidelines for Personnel Security Controls.

SIC Codes

SIC stands for Standard Industrial Classification. The code defines what kind of business your company engages in. For example at Topwood, we engage with Retail, Healthcare, Legal, Insurance, Public Sector and Education. You need to know these codes when filling out your Waste Transfer Note, as a data controller this is a requirement if you deal with confidential documents, data devices or uniforms.

Strip Shredding

A common style of shredded fragment generated by office shredders. This method of paper shredding is not the safest option leaving opportunity open for criminals to reconstruct documents increasing the risks of fraud and identity theft. The safer alternative is cross cut shredding, which our mobile shred trucks have on-board.

Waste Transfer Note

Waste Transfer Note or Waste Disposal Note is documentation that, by law, is required for any business that handles waste in order to comply with EU Waste Directive 2008/98/EC. Topwood can provide a waste transfer note for you when we dispose of waste either on-site or off-site, a certificate of destruction is also supplied.

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