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  • 1. Draft: Archives Accreditation SchemeThe UK standard for archive servicesJanuary 2012 v.2This document is intended as a DISCUSSION draft only and does not represent a completedstandard. It is intended to enable the discussion of format, content and efficacy at the co-creation stage. The final document is intended to be used as an digital document, with ”learn more” and “evidence” text boxes being pop-ups or similar.To enable the close cooperation of the two schemes, the archives accreditation draft hasbeen built on the basis of the Museums Accreditation 2011 standard module headings andobjectives, as decided in Stages 1&2 of the accreditation preparation work. These headingsand objectives were then supplemented to meet the needs of archive services using theexisting archival standards and guidance documents. We have further supplemented thiswith a few examples of how a system of grading or levels might work. E.g. 1.4
  • 2. Archives Accreditation Co-creation Draft January 2012Requirements for AccreditationModule 1: Organisation Health‘Accredited archive services are responsible, responsive andresilient’ 2|Page
  • 3. Archives Accreditation Co-creation Draft January 20121.1 Clear statement of purposeObjective: All work and policies are aligned to the archive service’s statement of purpose,and it is consistent in what it does and how it does it.Standard: The archive service is guided by a statement of purpose that defines why theservice exists, who it is for and which services it aims to provide. It should be approved bythe governing body and understood by its workforce.1.2 Acceptable constitution for the governing bodyObjective: The archive service is a long-term organisation that exists to benefit the publicand protect the collectionsStandard: The archive service has an appropriate and acceptable constitution for thegoverning body1.3 Appropriate management arrangementsObjective: The interests of stakeholders and collections are served through theresponsible management of the archive service.Standard: The archive service is an effective organisation that is well managed and able toprovide evidence of the requirements outlined below.1.3.1 The service has a satisfactory management structure from the governing body to the user1.3.2 There are effective relationships within the management structure which enable the appropriate professional influence on decision making and policy1.3.3 The governing body has delegated powers to the most senior position within the archive service to manage the repository and approve documents such as forward plan and collecting policy.1.3.4 Approved agreement under which a separate organisation runs or shares the archive service 3|Page
  • 4. Archives Accreditation Co-creation Draft January 20121.4 Effective Forward PlanningObjective: The archive service has a clear, agreed objective directing its current andfuture workStandard: The archive service plans effectively for long-term success and to make sure itcan adapt in a changing environment in order to survive.Its approved forward plans should include or cover the following:1.4.1 the archive service’s statement of purpose1.4.2 a review of the preview forward plan (if applicable)1.4.3 an analysis if the environment in which it exists1.4.4 its key aims1.4.5 the specific objectives beneath each key aim1.4.6 how it will achieve its objectives1.4.7 a resource plan showing the people and money available to meet its objectives1.4.8 the date the plan will be reviewedRequirements for level 1Example: The plan includes a consultation and analysis of users and non-users1.5 Secure occupancy of all premises containing collectionsObjective: A secure and long-term future for the archival collections has beenestablished.Standard: The terms under which the archive service occupies the buildings or sites arebe long-term (at least 5 years) and sufficient to keep collections secure and enableeffective forward planning.1.6 Demonstration of financial basisObjective: The archive service has a sound financial basis and is fully accountableStandard: The archive service is able to show that it is financially stable and that it meetsthe relevant financial regulations or constitution. It has enough funds available to operateeffectively, and collections should not be used as security for a loan.Requirements for level 1Example: The archive service has a distinct budgetRequirements for level 2Example: The archive service has an endowment 4|Page
  • 5. Archives Accreditation Co-creation Draft January 20121.7 Appropriate workforceObjective: The interests of an archive service’s collections and stakeholders are met by anappropriate workforceStandard: The archive service has an appropriate workforce, in numbers and experience,to run it effectively, including both paid and unpaid/volunteer colleagues. It has effectiveemployment procedures and roles in place to meets its responsibilities.1.7.1 The archive service demonstrates that an appropriate workforce - commensurate with the extent, nature and intensity of use of the records held - exists to deliver the full operation of the archive service. Where the service does not employ an archive professional to meet these needs, it should demonstrate that it seeks regular advice and guidance from an archive professional or organisation.Requirements for level 1Example: The archive service employs one professional archivist and has access to conservationexpertise1.7.2 Each member of the workforce needs to have a clearly articulated agreement, outlining their roles, responsibilities and expectations1.7.3 The service needs formal induction procedures for new recruits to ensure that all members of the workforce have basic information about the archive service and understand their role in it1.7.4 Workforce development is essential to ensure a broad base of the requisite skills and knowledge. Applicants should provide information about the development opportunities provided and planned for the workforce. Requirements for level 1 Example: Every member of staff attended at least one day’s professional/external training in the past year Requirements for level 2 Example: The service has a paid post for a pre-qualification intern1.7.5 Volunteers are a valuable part of the workforce and should be provided with the appropriate level of responsibility, training and development opportunities. Requirements for level 1 Example: The archive service has a Volunteering Policy Requirements for level 2 Example: The service uses volunteers to work with users and not just documents 5|Page
  • 6. Archives Accreditation Co-creation Draft January 20121.8 Clear, workable emergency planObjective: The archive service is able to respond to emergency or disaster situations andprotect its workforce, visitors and collectionsStandard: The archive service is able to respond effectively to emergency or disastersituations. It should have an emergency plan, relating to all buildings that housecollections and services.The plan should refer to:1.8.1 arrangements for the workforce, visitors and collections1.8.2 risk assessments of threats1.8.3 information about how you authorise, maintain, communicate, tests and provide access to plans for staff and emergency procedures1.8.4 evidence of how the archive service works with emergency services, and of any other relevant emergency plans1.8.5 and effective procedure for reviewing the emergency plan1.9 Organisational approach to environmental sustainabilityObjective: The archive service minimises its impact on the environmentStandard: The archive service is guided by a policy statement about its approach toenvironmental sustainability. The policy statement is appropriate to its statementpurpose. 6|Page
  • 7. Archives Accreditation Co-creation Draft January 2012❷Collections‘Accredited archive services manage collections effectively andmake them available to everyone’ 7|Page
  • 8. Archives Accreditation Co-creation Draft January 20122.1 Satisfactory arrangements for the ownership of the collectionsObjective: The ownership and legal status of collections is assured.Standard: The archive service has procedures in place for obtaining written evidence ofthe ownership and intellectual property rights of collections transferred to the archiveservice.Requirements for level 1Example: Archive services keep in contact with depositors in relation in order to maintainaccurate copyright holder information and ensure later accruals are deposited with the service.Collections management policies2.2 Collections development policyObjective: The archive service is guided by a clear policy setting out what material itshould collect and whyStandard: The archive service has an approved collecting policy for developing collections.The policy should include:2.2.1 a statement of purpose2.2.2 an overview of current collections2.2.3 themes and priorities for future collecting2.2.4 themes and priorities for future rationalisation and disposal2.2.5 information relating to the legal and ethical framework for acquisition and disposal.2.2.6 if records in different media are to be acquired, that the repository is in possession of, or has plans to acquire, the necessary equipment to allow their consultationRequirements for level 1Example: The archive service assesses where there are gaps in the current holdings and activelysolicits material to ensure that their collections are an accurate reflection of its history and/orlocality.Requirements for level 2Example: The archive service is establishing relationships with key potential depositors andadvising on the care of their record, both paper and electronic, with a view to their final depositwith the service 8|Page
  • 9. Archives Accreditation Co-creation Draft January 20122.3 Preservation and conservation policyObjective: The long-term preservation of physical collections is ensured.Standard: The archive service has an approved policy statement to guide its approach tothe preservation and conservation of its physical holdings2.4 Digital preservation policyObjective: The long-term preservation of digital records is optimisedStandard: The archive service has an approved policy statement to guide its approach tothe preservation and conservation of its digital recordsCollections management plans and strategies2.5 Collections cataloguing plansObjective: Access to collections is improved through the significant reduction incataloguing backlogsStandard: The archive service has plans in place to improve access to its uncataloguedcollections.Requirements for level 1Example: The archive service has reviewed the backlog and prioritised collections for cataloguingbased on its likely demand for access and the service’s conception of its historical significance.Requirements for level 2Example: The archive service has assessed its existing finding aids and is undergoing a programmeof retrospective improvement2.6 Preservation and conservation strategyObjective: The archive service has strategies in place to manage the preservation andconservation of its physical collectionsStandard: The archive service has plans to help deliver improvements to collections careand conservation in line with the preservation and conservation policy2.7 Digital Preservation StrategyObjective: The long-term preservation of digital collections is optimisedStandard: The archive service has a strategy to help deliver the preservation of digitalcollections 9|Page
  • 10. Archives Accreditation Co-creation Draft January 2012Collections management procedures2.8 Accessioning proceduresObjective: The archive service holds detailed, pertinent information on record about all ofits collectionsStandard: An accession register is kept (either manual or computerised) in which essentialaccession information is recorded.The following information should be available for inspection on request: date and terms of transfer name and address of depositor collection reference location brief collection scope and content any Data Protection, copyright or other access implicationsRequirements for level 1  90% of accessions are completed within the recommended times prescribed by the archive service.2.9 Cataloguing proceduresObjective: Collections are made accessible through consistent and accurate finding aidsStandard: All records are clearly described in publicly available finding-aids. All newcatalogues should be adhere to national and international standardsRequirements for level 1Example: An in-house cataloguing manual has been produced for the workforce to ensureconsistent catalogue descriptionsRequirements for level 2Example: Catalogues exist for 95% of its holdings2.10 Expert assessment of security arrangementsObjective: Collections are secure at all times, irrespective of their locationStandard: The archive service obtains expert security advice for stored collections at leastevery five years, and earlier if needed. It should plan to act on the advice over time 10 | P a g e
  • 11. Archives Accreditation Co-creation Draft January 2012Storage and preservation2.11 Storage provisionObjective: The standard of storage is sufficient to ensure the long-term preservation of allits physical collectionsStandard: Buildings inhabited by repositories, whether single occupancy or shared,broadly conform to PD 5454 in the following elements:• The storage environment for archival materials• Storage repository site• Storage repository construction• Fire precautionsRequirements for level 2Example: 100% of a service’s storage conforms to PD54542.12 Conservation arrangementsObjective: The long-term preservation of collections is ensured through access toconservation expertiseStandard: Suitable provision is made either within the repository, or by appropriatearrangement elsewhere, for such conservation as the records may require.2.13 Digital preservationObjective: Procedures are in place to help deliver the preservation of digital archivalmaterialStandard: Where a repository retains electronic records, archives ensure that they arepreserved in line with the appropriate standards and guidelines, including BS 4783 and BSISO 17799.The repository should be able to demonstrate: appropriate choice of storage media robust back-up and concomitant storage regimes have been established migration procedures are in place which capture the appropriate metadata all systems are fully auditable for actions carried out on electronic records, including:Requirements for level 1Example: The archive service is actively involved with key depositors at the creation stage. Thisincludes providing advice where necessary and contributing to electronic records managementpoliciesRequirements for level 2 11 | P a g e
  • 12. Archives Accreditation Co-creation Draft January 2012Example: The archive service has a dedicated team member concentrating on electronic recordsmanagement and preservation issues. 12 | P a g e
  • 13. Archives Accreditation Co-creation Draft January 2012❸Users and their experiences‘Accredited archive services are welcoming and accessible. Theyenable access to information and provide innovative andengaging learning experiences for a broad range of users’ 13 | P a g e
  • 14. Archives Accreditation Co-creation Draft January 20123.1 Good quality service development and provisionObjective: The archive service provides a stimulating experience for its usersStandard: The archive service offers and develops good-quality, stimulating services forusers and potential users, in order to get the best out of its collections and resources.3.1.1 The archive service is able to demonstrate an understanding of its users and non-usersRequirements for level 1Example: The archive service surveys its physical users on an annual basis via user/focus groupsand open meetingsRequirements for level 2Example: The archive service tries to gain a better understanding of its remote/online usersthrough a variety of methods3.1.2 The archive service evaluates and analyses information to assess users’ needsRequirements for level 1Example: Results of analysis are disseminated to appropriate bodies within the governing body3.1.3 The archive service devises plans to broaden its range of usersRequirements for level 1Example: The results of consultation exercises form part of published plans and strategies aimedat developing its audiencesRequirements for level 2Example: The service implements changes of service to meet needs of physical and remote users3.1.4 There is a culture of customer care, with arrangements in place to make sure all users aretreated with courtesy and careRequirements for level 2Example: The archive service has achieved customer service excellence3.1.5 The service is guided by a policy statement setting out a commitment to give access to itsservices, collections and facilities3.1.6 Respond to tourism and local priorities where appropriate3.2 User-focused experienceObjective: All visitors are able to access and use the appropriate archival services andfacilitiesStandard: The archive service provides a welcoming, accessible environment, withappropriate services and facilities. 14 | P a g e
  • 15. Archives Accreditation Co-creation Draft January 20123.2.1 The archive service has adequate and accessible facilities to service the anticipated rangeand number of users, including a designated study area sufficient to satisfy normal demand forrecords and suitable for their inspection under constant invigilation. The opening hours of theservice should endeavour to take account of their users.Requirements for level 1Example: The service is open at least one evening a weekRequirements for level 2Example: The service is available at least two evenings a week3.2.2 Users should be able to easily able to locate and travel to the archive service.Requirements for level 1Example: The service is located near a busy transport link, such as a bus or tram stopRequirements for level 2Example: The service is located at the heart of a city, town or community with a variety oftransport links close by3.2.3 The service communicates effectively with users and potential users through a range ofaccessible marketing and promotional activities, linking with other sectors where appropriate e.g.tourism3.2.4 Responsibilities surrounding the use of archival material should be clearly communicated tousers. 15 | P a g e
  • 16. Archives Accreditation Co-creation Draft January 20123.3 Positive user experiencesObjective: Users are able to access the information they needStandard: Enabling access to information is a core purpose of an archive service. This is atthe heart of all service provision and reflected in all elements of the service’s work.3.3.1 The archive service ensures that practical information relating to service provision is madeavailable to users3.3.2 The archive service ensures that users feel confident when using the service, particularlyusers visiting for the first timeRequirements for level 1Example: There is a regular programme of introductory sessions on how to use the archiveservice3.3.3 The archive service provides access to the collections for research purposes and other formsof engagement by means of accurate finding aidsRequirements for level 1Example: There are collection level descriptions for all its holdingsRequirements for level 2Example: The majority of the service’s holdings have finding aids which conform to national andinternational standards.3.3.4 The archive service provides facilities for making copies of records in accordance withcopyright legislation. This facility can be provided on site or by appropriate arrangementelsewhere3.4 Effective and engaging learning and outreach experiencesObjective: Users have engaging and stimulating learning experiencesStandard: Archive serves deliver engaging and innovative learning experiences to learnersof all ages.3.4.1 Archive services demonstrate that they exhibit collections using a variety of interpretativemethodsRequirements for level 1Example: The archive service mounts occasional profession level interpretative displays forspecific eventsRequirements for level 1Example: The archive service has a regular programme of professional level interpretativedisplays 16 | P a g e
  • 17. Archives Accreditation Co-creation Draft January 20123.4.2 The archive service provides learning opportunities, for both schools and adult learners,either directly or jointly with one or more other servicesRequirements for level 1Example: The archive service has established a regular programme of educational outreachevents with schools in the community, which are targeted at Key Stages within the nationalcurriculumRequirements for level 2Example: At least one of the staff involved in providing our educational service has an educationalqualification.3.5 Service provision for remote access.Objective: Users are able to access the majority of services remotelyStandard: Archive services ensure that their remote service provision is being maintainedand developed to satisfy a broader range of users3.5.1 The archive service defines and publicises its service provision for remote access3.5.2 The archive service has an ongoing, regularly updated web presenceRequirements for level 1Example: The website includes online cataloguesRequirements for level 2Example: The website includes online exhibitions3.5.2 Archive services should endeavour to digitise key archival collections, particularly thosefor which there is a proven high demandRequirements for level 2Example: The archive service operates a digitisation on demand facility on demand,3.6 Legal obligations in relation to accessObjective: The archive service meets its legal obligations in relation to accessStandard: Archive services ensure that they manage archival records in accordance with currentlegislation governing access to information legislations. Any restrictions on access should beclearly conveyed to its users3.6.1 The archive service has prepared policy statements on restrictions based on access toinformation legislation 17 | P a g e
  • 18. Archives Accreditation Co-creation Draft January 20123.6.2 Repositories ensure that records are managed in accordance with current Data Protectionand Freedom of Information legislation. Any restrictions on access should be clearlycommunicated to users.Requirements for level 1Example: Catalogue entries have been amended to reflect the requirements of the DataProtection Act 1998 and Freedom of Information Act 2000.3.6.3 Archive service ensure that they meet the requirements of the Environmental InformationRegulations 20043.6.4 Archive services ensure that copyright legislation is adhered to when providing copies ofdeposited records and that the appropriate 18 | P a g e