The assessing bodies for Archive Service Accreditation are: The National Archives, the Welsh Government through its CyMAL: Museums, Libraries and Archives Wales division, the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland and the Scottish Council on Archives and National Records of Scotland. They are responsible for the initial assessment of applications in their home nation and for making recommendations for accreditation to the accreditation panel.

Assessment and validation teams gauge how far the applicant service meets the requirements of the Archive Service Accreditation standard based on information supplied on the application form and supporting documents, and where relevant the on site visit. They then make a recommendation to the next available accreditation panel meeting, which will make the formal decision on the award of accredited status.

Validation visits

A minimum of 25% of applications are validated by an on site visit conducted by a mixed review team consisting of assessors from these bodies, and in some cases peer reviewers. The on site visit is an opportunity for the assessment team to check documentation which is not submitted as part of the online application, to talk to staff about key aspects of the application and to look at on site facilities.

Applicants from England

Applications should be submitted at least three months in advance of any meeting of the Accreditation Panel to ensure that their application is reviewed at a given panel. However in the early months of Archive Service Accreditation we aim to review applications which are submitted up to two months in advance of a panel meeting, although this is dependent upon capacity.

In England, on site validation visits will take place within given periods each year preceding the meetings of the accreditation panel, by arrangement with the application service. Archive services selected for an on site validation visit will be given information in advance about what to expect. They will also be contacted a minimum of one week in advance of the visit with details of any specific areas under review.

Peer reviewers

Peer reviewers are archivists or those with experience in the archives sector who have volunteered to become part of an on site validation team. All peer reviewers receive training on Archive Service Accreditation and peer review skills before taking part in a validation visit.

The Archives and Records Association is responsible for the training of peer reviewers.