Archive Service Accreditation is the new UK wide standard scheme for archive services. The scheme is open to any archive service that meets the eligibility criteria

The standard defines good practice and identifies agreed standards, thereby encouraging and supporting development. It replaces The National Archives' Standard for Record Repositories and its self assessment programme for local authority archives in England and Wales. The scheme offers a badge of external recognition and endorsement of their service.

Archive Service Accreditation is central to the Archives for the 21st Century priority to develop more effective services and increase sustainability within the sector.

Learn more about the Archive Service Accreditation scheme.

Read the Archive Service Accreditation FAQs (PDF, 0.12Mb)

History of the scheme

Following a scoping study commissioned by the Museums Libraries and Archives Council and The National Archives in 2010, and further research, an overall framework for the scheme was completed in March 2011.  The Archive Service Accreditation work stream was established to help guide the development process with partners from:

  • The National Archives
  • Arts Council England
  • Welsh Government through its CyMAL: Museums Archives and Libraries Wales division
  • National Records Scotland
  • Scottish Council on Archives
  • Public Record Office of Northern Ireland
  • Archives and Records Association
  • Archives and Records Council Wales

The archives sector played a central role in the creation and testing of the scheme during the co-creation process in 2012, by commenting on a discussion document, through workshops and online discussions to create a draft standard. The draft standard was piloted by a group of twenty archive services from across the UK who represented the diversity of the sector and their feedback shaped the final standard and scheme.  

What happens next?

  • Archive Service Accreditation will continue to be supported by Archives and Records Association, Archives and Records Council Wales, National Records of Scotland, Public Record Office in Northern Ireland, Scottish Council on Archives, The National Archives and the Welsh Government through its CyMAL: Museums, Archives and Libraries Wales Division
  • We will recruit members to the Archive Service Accreditation Committee who will manage the Accreditation Service Accreditation Scheme
  • Each home nation Archive Service Accreditation partner will be responsible for rolling out the scheme in their area, including training on the standard

Rolling out Archive Service Accreditation in England

The scheme will be rolled out to the archives sector over a period of four years. To help plan the roll out, we will ask archive services via a short survey when they are planning to apply for accreditation. 

  • We will be offering training sessions on the accreditation standard during Autumn 2013 in regional locations in partnership with Archives and Records Association (Scotland and Wales)
  • We will be recruiting peer reviewers to become members of the on site assessment team for archives service accreditation in England during Summer 2013.  Find out how to become a peer reviewer through Archives and Records Association.

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