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Call for volunteers for Archive Service Accreditation Standard pilot in Scotland

Released on 21/08/2012

The Scottish Council on Archives and the National Records of Scotland would like to invite expressions of interest from Scottish Archive services interested in participating in the piloting of the new draft Archive Service Accreditation. If you think your service might be interested in participating in the pilot, please read on.

As you are likely already aware, following the successful co-creation period with over 1000 contributions from across the archives sector, the development of an Archives Accreditation scheme has moved into the pilot stage. Co-creation contributions have now been incorporated into a draft Archive Service Accreditation Standard and the related documentation can be found here. 

Piloting will involve a range of archive services from all home nations and across the landscape of the archives sector, from public to private, from single-professional operations to large integrated heritage services. The draft standard will be continuously reviewed during the pilot process, ensuring that current sector views and priorities inform its development.  

Home nations are each recruiting pilot services to ensure full representation in the pilot from across the UK. The Scottish Council on Archives and the National Records of Scotland anticipate the recruitment of 3 to 4 archive services representative of the sector of Scotland.


How will participants benefit?


  • They will play a critical role in shaping the development and delivery of the Archive Service Accreditation Standard
  • They will have the chance to step back, review achievement and plan for the future, using a model which has support from across the archives sector 
  • Completing an application for accreditation is a development experience for the service and its workforce. 
  • Participants who successfully complete a pilot application and who meet the draft standard will have the option to fast track to accredited status once the scheme becomes fully operational


What will participants need to do?


  • Send at least one and preferably two staff members to a one-day training with Janice Tullock Associates on 11 September at the Wellcome Collection conference centre (http://www.wellcomecollectionconference.org/Location/index.htm). The day will run 11-4, with coffee and tea available from 10.30 beforehand. It would help to have confirmation of who is attending before the end of August, and further information will be supplied in early September 2012 (travel costs may be covered if required)
  • Review their existing policies, plans and procedures against the standard and complete the application process
  • In some cases host a site validation visit to confirm the application content in January 2013
  • Evaluate the process with Janice Tullock Associates and the Archive Service Accreditation partners through a questionnaire and in some cases a telephone interview, feeding into revision of the standard and the future delivery of the archive service accreditation programme
  • Contribute to user requirements gathering for developing an online application system for the programme


I am interested in being a pilot archive service. What do I need to do? 

Send an email expression of interest to info@scoarch.org.uk by 4pm on 25 August 2012

The expression of interest should include:

  •  The name of your archive service
  •  The type of service – please give relevant details which will help us to identify a full range of service types to participate in the pilot. (Examples of relevant       information could include public/private sector, local authority archive, museum, charitable trust, integrated heritage service, business archive, hospital archive, multi-site service)
  •  An approximate indication of service size from available metrics such as volume of collections/number of staff and volunteers
  •  If your collections are designated, please tell us so
  • Please give an indication of the priority audience(s) for your service: are you primarily focused on supporting internal stakeholders; specialist/academic researchers; or developing wider community audiences
  • Please tell us why you are interested in participating in the pilot phase and what you could bring to the process

We know it will be difficult for some interested services to get clearance to participate by the deadline. We are therefore seeking expressions of interest only at this stage. To participate in the pilot, services will need to confirm that they have formal clearance at the appropriate level. 

The definition of ‘archive service’ for accreditation is an inclusive one, encompassing all services which hold significant archive collections. There is no intention to exclude integrated heritage or library services, or other joint management arrangements.

What happens next? 

The archive services selected for pilot participation will be agreed by the Scottish representatives of the archive service accreditation workstream and proceed to piloting in October/November 2012.