The Archives and Records Association (ARA) has a strategic priority by 2013 to promote the 21st century archive workforce, based on equality and diversity. It will do this by enhancing its programme for developing and supporting professional standards.

The ARA is responsible for and committed to working for high standards in providing and caring for archives, and managing record systems, by developing the archives sector workforce through its members.

ARA provides support to the workforce by:

  • setting the standards of professional conduct and maintaining a professional register
  • providing, monitoring and developing training and continued professional development for the current and future workforce
  • providing professional help and advice
  • promoting the exchange of expertise and experience among its members through a community for open discussion
  • identifying employment opportunities and marketing the skills of its members to potential employers
  • representing the interests of the record-keeping profession nationally

The National Archives also works directly and in partnership with other organisations and government bodies on current initiatives that bring archives together and develop innovative practice.

One of these initiatives, Opening up Archives, is diversifying the archives profession by providing an entry into the sector for those who have not followed a traditional qualification route.

Find out more about routes of entry into the archives profession below.

Current shape of the workforce

In partnership with the Learning and Skills Improvement Service, the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Management Professionals and the Scottish Library and Information Council, The National Archives has published a 2012 survey of the Library, Archive, Records and Information Management Services workforce. It gives a picture of the current demographics and qualifications of the workforce, and will act as a tool to help in succession planning and thinking about the future design and make-up of the archives workforce.

Archive Service Accreditation defines good practice and agreed standards for archive services.  It can also be used as a tool to help with workforce planning and development.

More information and practical advice is available in our case studies section and in our research reports.

2012 survey of the Library, Archive, Records and Information Management Services workforce (PDF, 0.90Mb)

Routes of entry to the archives profession (PDF, 0.07Mb)

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