Assessments are undertaken by a trained assessor from the home nation assessor body:
- The National Archives (England)
- National Records of Scotland and Scottish Council on Archives (Scotland)
- The Welsh Government through its Museum’s Archives and Libraries Division (Wales)
- Public Record Office of Northern Irelands (PRONI)
The home nation assessor body makes a recommendation regarding accredited status to the Archive Service Accreditation Panel based on the assessment of the application for accreditation. The assessment gauges how far the applicant service meets the requirements of Archive Service Accreditation from information supplied on the application form and supporting documentation submitted as part of the application and from information gathered during the validation visit (when this is made).
The validation visit is an opportunity for the assessor or assessment team to look at documentation which is not submitted as part of the application process, discuss aspects of the application with staff and to look at onsite facilities.
Assessor bodies are committed to making validation visits to a minimum of 25% of applicant archive services.
In England the onsite validation team may also include a peer reviewer. A peer reviewer is a volunteer member of the onsite validation team. Their role is to work alongside the The National Archives’ assessor who is leading the visit, and gather further information to help clarify areas of the archive service’s application for Archive Service Accreditation.
This forms part of the assessment against the Archive Service Accreditation Standard. Peer reviewers also contribute to the development actions given to the applicant archive service based on their own experience working within the archive sector, either currently or within the last three years.
As well as their varied expertise and knowledge from their work within the sector, peer reviewers have also attended training courses in peer reviewing skills, including questioning techniques and the Archive Service Accreditation Standard, as part of their professional development through the Archives and Records Association (ARA).