What is Archive Service Accreditation?

Archive Service Accreditation defines good practice and agreed standards for archive services across the UK, thereby encouraging and supporting the development of the archive service.

It allows archive services to participate in a scheme supporting the ongoing development of their service against a nationally agreed standard.

Any organisation that holds archive collections can benefit from Archive Service Accreditation, whatever its constitution – it is appropriate for both private and public sector archives.

Archive Service Accreditation also allows us to provide assurance that standards are being maintained by archive services that have been approved as Places of Deposit.

Benefits of Archive Service Accreditation

  • offers a benchmark for gauging performance, recognising achievement and driving improvement within the archives sector
  • raises the profile of archive services by building confidence and credibility both within the parent organisations and externally, through increased awareness and understanding
  • helps archive services adapt and respond to user needs and interests, and develop their workforce
  • encourages partnership working within and between organisations, by helping archive services to examine how best to deliver their services
  • provides a robust framework for forward planning to improve procedures and policy and reduce organisational risk
  • is a badge of external recognition which demonstrates quality services
  • encourages professionalism in the archives sector

The Archive Service Accreditation Standard looks at an organisation’s ability to develop, care for, and provide access to its collections, and those areas such as resources and planning which underpin those activities.

Archive Service Accreditation is aligned with other relevant quality assurance schemes, improvement tools and data gathering processes.

Roadmap to developing inclusive practice within Archive Service Accreditation

The roadmap explains future planned developments to the standard 2021-2024 regarding inclusive practice, approach to making these changes, and also how those working in the archives sector can contribute to this process.

Roadmap to developing archive service accreditation 2021 (PDF, 0.5MB)

Delivering Phase One of the Roadmap (2021-2022)

Below is the updated guidance, amended questions and new questions that address areas concerning the development of inclusive practice in Archive Service Accreditation, and that will be piloted during phase one of the Roadmap. These updates specifically relate to existing requirements on workforce, collections development, collections information, access and engagement policy, and planning and procedures.

Pilot questions, guidance and feedback for Developing Inclusive Practice in Archive Service Accreditation (PDF, 0.2MB)

If you would like to provide feedback on the pilot questions then you are welcome to do so by completing the feedback form available here.