What are the Level 7 apprenticeships?
The Level 7 Archivist and Records Manager apprenticeship is a new technical training route into the archives sector and is equivalent to the Master’s degree typically required to become an archivist. Apprentices receive 80% on-the-job training at the archive that employs them and 20% formal training with a training provider. Westminster Adult Education Service delivers the off-the-job training for this apprenticeship nationally, mostly through online sessions but also through regional in-person sessions every two months. Each apprenticeship lasts 3 years, followed by a six-month end-point assessment period.
What benefits do the apprenticeships bring?
The Level 7 Archivist and Records Manager apprenticeship will enable a wider range of people to join the recordkeeping profession. While the Master’s degree will continue to be the right path for some future professionals, the apprenticeship provides an alternative path for people who would encounter financial or educational barriers to getting the Master’s. Having multiple routes into the archivist profession will allow people from diverse backgrounds to bring new skills and ideas to help archives thrive. Apprentices also benefit by gaining a high-level qualification while working and earning.
How were the apprenticeships developed?
An apprenticeship needs three key things before launching: a standard, an end-point assessment organisation and a training provider. In 2021, the apprenticeship trailblazer group, made up of representatives from across the sector, finalised the Level 7 Archivist and Records Manager apprenticeship standard. The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) then approved this standard, which lists the Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours (KSBs) that an apprentice needs to demonstrate to complete the apprenticeship.
In 2022, we commissioned CILIP Pathways to develop the end-point assessor organisation process and we have been working closely with them to develop guidance for assessors, employers and apprentices. In February 2023, we announced Westminster Adult Education Service (WAES) as the first training provider for the Level 7 apprenticeships. WAES developed the curriculum for the formal training, based on the KSBs listed in the apprenticeship standard. Creating the apprenticeship has been the culmination of five years of collaboration across the sector and we’d like to thank all the partners who have been involved in this project.
Who runs the apprenticeships now?
Unlike our past traineeship programmes, The National Archives does not run these apprenticeships. Instead, The National Archives has helped to launch the apprenticeship scheme and now any archive across England (that has at least one qualified archivist to provide support) can choose to employ an apprentice. Level 7 apprentices are full-time employees with all the corresponding benefits, such as salary, pension and annual leave. Apprentices can only start each autumn when WAES begins their off-the-job training programme but please get in touch now via the email address below if you are an interested employer.
We have also commissioned Creative & Cultural Skills to deliver a series of training sessions to help employers prepare to employ an apprentice.
Which organisations already have a Level 7 apprentice?
The following organisations have employed a Level 7 Archivist and Records Manager apprentice, starting October 2023:
- Barts NHS Archive Trust
- Dorset History Centre
- Durham University
- Knowsley Council
- Lincolnshire County Council
- London Metropolitan Archives
- Mercers Company
- National Army Museum
- National Collections Centre (Science Museum Group)
- National Theatre
- Nottinghamshire Archives
- Portsmouth Council
- Plymouth Council
- Railway Museum (Science Museum Group)
- St Helens Archive Service
- St John’s College, University of Oxford
- University of Greenwich
Express your interest in employing an apprentice
If you are an archive interested in employing a Level 7 Archivist and Records Manager, we’d love to hear from you! Get in touch at email@example.com
Applying for an apprenticeship position
The first Level 7 Archivist and Records Manager apprenticeships started in October 2023. The next opportunity to start this apprenticeship will be autumn 2024. Each archive that would like to employ an apprentice will advertise their vacancy through their own recruitment channels, most likely during summer 2024. Please note that The National Archives is not responsible for the advertising or recruiting process but we will highlight any Level 7 Archivist and Record Manager apprenticeships that we are aware of below.