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Archive Service Accreditation workshops - introduction

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A series of regional workshops introducing Archive Service Accreditation to applicants in England, supported by Archives and Records Association. …

A series of regional workshops introducing Archive Service Accreditation to applicants in England, supported by Archives and Records Association.

Content is provided by the Archive Service Accreditation partners and can be repurposed to support the scheme and to support developing archive services.

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  • Aim is to support development and planning across the UK and across many different types of service Piloting included many types from large public sector bodies (PRONI, NLW), business archives (Unilever, Network rail), local authority including small and large and multi site (Southwark, Worcs, TWAM, Cumbria, Glamorgan, Falkirk, Angus), universities and specialist (Lothian Health Services, Bowes Museum, MERL/Reading Special, Exeter Cathedral, Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland)
  • Some things have clearly changed in the world since the HMC standard was published, and indeed since it was last extensively reviewed in 2004. Some are obvious – role of digital has been building steadily for decades; expectations around access now go substantially beyond searchroom (but NB we recognise this may not mean public engagement depending on type of archive). There are also new and reviewed standards/guidance – PAS197 Code of Practice for Collections Management has strongly influenced shape and terminology of standard; interaction of PD5454 and PAS198 underpins expectations in collections care – they are about supporting, developing and guiding
  • A standard which sets out the expectation of a strong, sustainable, effective archive service in C21. The standard mirrors museum accreditation and this structure has also been used as the model for ARA’s framework of competencies. Reviewing the work of the service in three key areas Understanding the meaning of community - Community: ‘Community’ - the standard is based on the concept of a community which the archive service is constituted to serve. In this specific sense the word ‘community’ does not necessarily refer simply to the population of a political unit or physical area (e.g. a local authority or town). For many archive services the community will extend beyond the formal boundaries of its responsible body (government, educational institution, private or voluntary organisation). The archive will probably serve multiple communities: local, national and international; different communities of researchers and of other types of direct and indirect users and of non-users. Different elements of the community may attract different priorities, types and levels of service. The ‘community’ to be served is defined through the stated purpose of the archive service. Community embraces both 'stakeholders' and 'users'
  • Looking at a much wider range of archive services than TNA standard Eligibility is about setting boundaries to the scheme, to ensure good use of resources 4000 items/50 lm/4.2 cu m *All these criteria are potentially subject to review. But this criterion must be removed in the long term. Currently, we don’t have the standards in place to understand what accrediting a digital only archive means.
  • Taking the time to review your service, how you think about what you do, whether what you plan to do (honestly) gets you further forward, whether you’re actually able to explain why you do what you do, who you’re there to serve. Building blocks for advocacy, fundraising, sustainability, resource management. Being part-way along the improvement road and with plans for the future is a perfectly valid position – don’t feel that excludes you from applying for accredited status “ We run risk of focussing on practice in difficult economic times; more reason to focus on theory to justify practice” – tweet from ARA West Midlands recently
  • Understanding audience analysis These bits of information are collected... What can you do with them? What does it tell you? What else might you collect?
  • Taking the time to review your service, how you think about what you do, whether what you plan to do (honestly) gets you further forward, whether you’re actually able to explain why you do what you do, who you’re there to serve. Building blocks for advocacy, fundraising, sustainability, resource management. “ We run risk of focussing on practice in difficult economic times; more reason to focus on theory to justify practice” – tweet from ARA West Midlands recently

Transcript

  • 1. Melinda Haunton Autumn 2013 Archive Service Accreditation Introductory Workshops
  • 2. Introduction to Archive Service Accreditation: Aims • By the end of the session, participants should: - Understand the role and potential benefits of archive service accreditation - Understand the Standard and its structure - Understand the accreditation programme in outline and know where more information can be found - Be familiar with the tools, guidance and support for action planning available when they begin their own applications - Feel encouraged to address some of the less familiar elements of the Standard in their own service • What this session isn’t: - Reading out the Standard and the guidance very, very slowly from start to finish
  • 3. About the scheme • A UK-wide partnership to develop and deliver accreditation • Supported by coalition of partners (ACE, ARA, ARCW, NRS, PRONI, SCA, TNA, Welsh Government) • Live scheme is maintained by a governing Committee • Replaces The National Archives Standard for Record Repositories • Supports ongoing relationships with statutory schemes like Places of Deposit, Acceptance in Lieu • Developed through co-creation with the sector and tested through a pilot with 20 highly varied archive services • Planning, Performance, Profile, Patronage, Partnerships, People and Professionalism: what museum accreditation has supported, according to its applicants 4
  • 4. What has changed and why? • Change within sector: digital transformation, changes to established delivery models, integrated heritage/info services • Localism agenda: importance of co-creation/sector ownership • New-style national standards in place: PAS197, PAS198, PD5454 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- • More flexibility on applicant types: broader eligibility • Scaled requirements for different types of service • Broadening understanding of collections and access to include digital as business as usual • Greater emphasis on responding to the service’s community – internal/external – and particular role of service • Above all, developmental, not a single-point assessment 5
  • 5. Question: What do you (and your service) most want to get out of going through archive service accreditation? 6
  • 6. Benefits of working with accreditation • That developmental angle: Archive Service Accreditation is the process, not just a badge • Reviewing your operation: taking time to step back and think • Effective, coherent mission, policies and planning support your case to core and external funders: a bank of evidence supporting daily practice and future aspirations • Requirements scaled to your mission and scope; supporting quality, professionalism and delivery • Evidence of external interest in your service: now and in future • A mark of service quality, recognising the needs of archives • Peer support and ongoing professional development 7
  • 7. Understanding the standard • Three modules: - 1. Organisational Health - 2. Collections - 3. Stakeholders and their experience • Requirements under each module: - 1. Mission, governance, planning and resources (premises, finance and workforce) - 2. Collections management approach, policies, plans and procedures for collections (development, information and care) - 3. Access and engagement with the service’s identified community • Requirements are phrased with outcomes: explaining the why as well as the what 8
  • 8. Understanding the process • Eligibility • Scalability • Application system (online) • Guidance and case studies • Submit responses with supporting documentation ---------------------------------------------------------------------- • Assessment by home nations assessor bodies • Validation visits in some cases – peer review • Panels make awards • Feedback and ongoing development 9
  • 9. Understanding process: 2 10
  • 10. Understanding eligibility Setting the scope: to be eligible for accreditation, a service must: - Hold archives - Of a reasonably significant size - Give some form of external access to those archives - Hold some archives which are analogue* - Have identified workforce to manage archives (including professional staffing in public sector) - Have dedicated, secure storage for collections *To review! 11
  • 11. Understanding scalability • Gives the scheme its flexibility • Recognises statutory and institutional drivers/provisions differ • Sets broad expectations – not an exact science, your service may cross divisions • Top level divisions reflect governance: Local authority Other public sector (National) Private and third sector • Scaled divisions: 1-2(-3) – mission, scale and scope varies, particularly in terms of audiences reached 12
  • 12. Understanding how to apply • Questions An application form which asks about how the archive service meets the standard. Largely narrative, following pilot feedback. • Evidence Documents uploaded to support application and in some cases shown at validation visits • Flexibility Format-blind in most cases. If it fulfils the function effectively for your service, the name/format is irrelevant. 13
  • 13. 14
  • 14. Screenshot of application system 15
  • 15. Understanding guidance and support • Guidance underpins the standard and application form • Specific guidance for Accreditation, understanding the Standard and ways you can respond, referencing related standards • Scaled guidance, reflecting expectations for different types • Tools and resources: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/archives-sector/archive-service • Support available from assessor national bodies – TNA in England • Wider guidance for service development, from key bodies (TNA, ARA, DPC, PAC) • Ongoing development: specialist templates and support • Case studies: building evidence and examples 16
  • 16. Understanding assessment, validation and award • Assessment by home nations assessor body (SCA/NRS, PRONI, CyMAL, TNA) with arrangements for national bodies • Assessment is at (sub-)requirement, not question, level • Assessment is scaled: at a level appropriate to service’s mission • A proportion of applications are validated by site visit (minimum 25%, aim higher in practice) which may involve peer review • Site visits allow verification of sensitive documents and additional discussion incl with peers • Assessments → recommendation to Panel • Panels award accredited or provisionally accredited status (for set period), or no award • Scheme is managed by the Committee, who form the Panels 17
  • 17. Thinking about the standard and your service 18
  • 18. Action planning • Planning your service’s response in advance is key • Action planning template available • Are you clear about why and how you do things? • What areas are new? What are you close to meeting? • When developing plans for the coming year(s), what are priority actions that bring you closer to accreditation? • What will be useful to your service in future? • Is there an opportunity for profile-raising? • When can you (realistically) apply? • Remember we’re neither expecting perfection nor imposing specific documentation 19
  • 19. Lessons from experience in museums (courtesy of @emmachaplin)  Museums understand where their regular ways of working fit with the Standard  Understand where strengths and weaknesses are and incorporate them into planning  There is an understanding throughout the museum about what Accreditation involves  The Forward Plan is a key ‘living’ document for the museum  Staff/volunteers gain confidence and new skills through their work on Accreditation Museums forget all about Accreditation in between invitations to submit a return There is a mad panic to ‘tick boxes’ One person in the organisation is given all the responsibility for Accreditation Policies and plans only written to fulfill Accreditation needs and not reviewed Accreditation is seen as a “necessary evil” 20
  • 20. Moving on: the Modules 21
  • 21. Module 1: Requirement 1.1 Mission statement • The words ‘purpose’, ‘vision’ and ‘mission’ are applied variously and often interchangeably within strategic planning vocabulary. Collectively, these terms should describe, in the broadest expression, why a service or body exists; what/where it aspires to long term; and how it plans to get there. • Archives Service Accreditation has chosen to use the word ‘Mission’ to encapsulate these terms (Museum Accreditation uses the term ‘Statement of Purpose’ to describe the same thing). For the objectives of Archive Service Accreditation, ‘Mission’ is defined as: ‘A strategic statement (or series of connected statements) which defines the purpose and direction of the Archive Service, in relation to the governing body it serves.’ • Archive Service Accreditation recognises that, in most cases, the archive service is some way removed from the main business of the organisation it serves. In these cases, the mission statement may be defined in different layers and in more than one type of document. • All stakeholders should be aware of the mission of the archive service and the mission should direct decision making and activity. 22
  • 22. Community • “The concept of a community which the archive service is constituted to serve. In this specific sense the word ‘community’ does not necessarily refer simply to the population of a political unit or physical area (e.g. a local authority or town). • “For many archive services the community will extend beyond the formal boundaries of its responsible body (government, educational institution, private or voluntary organisation). • “The archive will probably serve multiple communities: local, national and international; different communities of researchers and of other types of direct and indirect users and of non-users. • “Different elements of the community may attract different priorities, types and levels of service. The ‘community’ to be served is defined through the stated purpose of the archive service.” 23
  • 23. Some points to look for in mission statements • Link to parent organisation if it’s at archive/dept level • Link to heritage if higher (if possible) • Are audiences/community mentioned/defined/prioritised? • How is it shared? Does anyone else know it exists? 24
  • 24. Falkirk Community Trust Museums & Archives The purpose of Falkirk Community Trust Museums & Archives (hereinafter referred to as Museums & Archives) is to engage the public with heritage, by encouraging and enabling learning and by collecting, recording, preserving, interpreting and making accessible the material culture and archival record of the Falkirk Council area. 25
  • 25. Media Archive of Central England MACE is an accessible organisation connecting people with the preserved moving image heritage of the Midlands. 26
  • 26. Network Rail Corporate Archive The Network Rail Corporate Archive collects and manages records that are considered by Network Rail to be worthy of permanent retention because of their value to the business and to the nation. 27
  • 27. PRONI • Vision Statement “Protecting and Providing Archives for All” • Mission Statement “To identify and preserve NI’s archival heritage and promote public access to that heritage” 28
  • 28. Module 1: Organisational Health 29
  • 29. Take a break 30 http://www.flickr.com/photos/statelibraryqueensland/5141885622/ State Archives of Queensland: Mrs Henrietta Harriet Johnstone pouring tea at her home, Mountain Park
  • 30. Module 3: Stakeholders and their Experiences 31
  • 31. Community • “The concept of a community which the archive service is constituted to serve. In this specific sense the word ‘community’ does not necessarily refer simply to the population of a political unit or physical area (e.g. a local authority or town). • “For many archive services the community will extend beyond the formal boundaries of its responsible body (government, educational institution, private or voluntary organisation). • “The archive will probably serve multiple communities: local, national and international; different communities of researchers and of other types of direct and indirect users and of non-users. • “Different elements of the community may attract different priorities, types and levels of service. The ‘community’ to be served is defined through the stated purpose of the archive service.” 32
  • 32. Module 3: Stakeholders and their Experiences Activity: • User/visitor surveys • Market research • Comment/feedback facilities • Monitoring of website/intranet users • Monitoring of social media users • Use of publicly available statistics • Focus groups • Regular user groups • Open meetings • Parent body identified priority audiences • Business process analysis/ marketing analysis of business areas • Work with specialist interest groups • Workforce feedback • Depositor liaison • Analysis of enquiries • Departmental/directorate meetings for relevant areas of the parent body • Visitors’ book • Anything else? 33
  • 33. Module 2: Collections 34
  • 34. Policies, plans, procedures... • Policies describe the overall intentions and direction of an organisation or service, as expressed by top management • Plans are forward looking documents that set out the objectives of the organisation and identify the actions needed to achieve those objectives, in line with the organisation’s policies and in order to deliver its mission. These arise from the policies which the archive service has outlined. • Procedures describe a specified way to carry out an activity or a process (a set of interrelated or interacting activities), in order to deliver a particular output or outcome. • They may not be known by those names in your organisation • They may be multiple documents or a single document may represent many of these functions 35
  • 35. Module 2: Collections 36
  • 36. Module 2: Collections Eyes down, ladies and gents... AKA, it’s not what it’s called, it’s what it does for you that counts 37 NARA 412-DA-15741 http://www.flickr.com/photos/usnationalarchives/4727573934/
  • 37. Module 2: Collections Management Approach 38 Collections Management approach
  • 38. How to use Archive Service Accreditation • Developing your application → looking at your available resource, your stated mission, and how the two can come closer • Ensuring policies (why we do things), plans (how we will get there) and procedures (how we deliver) all point in the same direction • Feedback on applications leads to action planning for the future • Successful applications → good news stories and publicity opportunities • Unsuccessful applications or not able to apply? → Use that in advocacy and planning, work with The National Archives and home nations to develop 39
  • 39. More information: this is just the start! • Scheme homepage: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/archives-sector/archive-service All documentation and guidance specific to the scheme is on this area of nationalarchives.gov.uk • You can also find out more supporting information in the Developing Your Archives area ( http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/archives-sector/developing-you ) • Case studies on specific areas ( http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/archives-sector/case-studies.ht ) • If you’re interested in developing model policies and plans for particular sectors, get in touch 40
  • 40. So - when will you apply? accreditation@ nationalarchives.gsi.gov.uk 41