Forward planning

A forward plan is a powerful tool for service improvement and is a key requirement for Archive Service Accreditation.  The following resources can support archive services of all types and sizes to develop effective forward plans.

Getting started with forward planning

Watch Heritage Consultant Emma Chaplin describe how to begin a forward plan in this five-minute video presentation.

The following worksheets can help you review past plans and develop new plans in line with the aims of your organisation:

Forward planning worksheet  (DOC, 0.69MB)

Reviewing a previous forward plan (DOC, 0.70MB)

Read our forward planning top tips in the document below for some useful hints before writing a new forward plan:

Forward planning top tips (PDF, 0.11MB)

Case studies

The following case studies illustrate how two archivists approach forward planning in their respective organisations.

Case study one: Caroline Sampson has recently moved to the University of Leicester as a part-time university archivist. Prior to this Caroline worked as a county archivist and head of cultural services at Warwickshire County Council. Here she describes how she has developed forward plans and why they are important.

Case study: Caroline Sampson  (PDF, 0.11MB)

Case study two: The Cambridge Centre for Christianity is currently relocating to a new centre within Westminster College. In this case study, Lucy Hughes, the archivist, talks about how the archive is developing a new forward plan to coincide with the move to new premises.

Case study: Cambridge Centre for Christianity Worldwide (PDF, 0.11MB)

Find out more

There are lots of guides to effective forward planning, some of which are written for museums but have practical advice that is relevant to archives too:

Association of Independent Museums – Successful business planning

South Western Federation of Museums and Art Galleries – Forward planning toolkit

SHARE Museums East – Forward planning: a practical guide for museums 

Collections Trust – Forward plans