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

This roadmap explains future planned developments to the standard (2021–2024) regarding inclusive practice, the approach to making these changes, and 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)

The Archive Service Accreditation Committee agreed to include two new questions in the application form under requirements 1.6 Workforce and 2.2.2 Collections Development Planning.

The outcomes of the initial external research looking at what an inclusive standard for archive services could look like are available in the paper ‘Archive Service Accreditation: Challenge Paper on Inclusive Practice’.