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Archive Service Accreditation

The UK-wide Archive Service Accreditation standard defines good practice and identifies agreed standards, thereby encouraging and supporting development. The standard is aligned with other relevant quality assurance schemes, improvement tools and data gathering processes.

It is aimed at organisations that hold archive collections, whatever their constitution, and covers both private and public sector archives. It enables archive services to review and develop their policies, plans and procedures against a UK wide standard which has been developed by the archives sector, identifying strengths of the archive service and providing a framework to improve areas of weakness.

Archive Service Accreditation continues to be supported by a partnership of the Archives and Records Association (UK), Archives and Records Council Wales, National Records of Scotland, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Scottish Council on Archives, The UK National Archives, and the Welsh Government through its Museums, Archives and Libraries Wales division. 

Documentation & Further Information

We recommend you begin by exploring the various Archive Service Accreditation web pages and supporting documentation published by the UK National Archives. Click here to be directed. Archive Service Accreditation is supported by a suite of documents which explain the scheme. These are reviewed regularly and the most up to date versions can be accessed from the UK National Archives website. You can also view frequently asked questions, download an example application form and find out more about the scheme's management. 

Guidance for Scottish Services

The UK National Archives (TNA) is responsible for co-ordinating applications from across the UK with home nation assessor bodies. Scottish Council on Archives and National Records of Scotland work in partnership to perform this role in Scotland. You can contact the Scottish Assessment Team by emailing: accreditation@scottisharchives.org.uk.

The Assessment Team in Scotland will be accepting six applications annually. There is an approximately three-month review period for each application, aligned with the Panel meeting dates. We will do our best to accommodate your preferred dates, however applications will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Each review in Scotland will include an onsite assessment visit. 

Expressions of interest from services intending to apply during the period May 2015-October 2016 can be submitted at any time. This can be provisional and is not binding however, you will be requested to confirm at least one month before your application is due for submission. Following this, there are several stages to the assessment process in Scotland and some key dates:

Initial Expression of Interest: contact from the service advising the Scottish Assessment Team of the intention to apply. This should be emailed to accreditation@scottisharchives.org.uk and include (a) name of service, (b) lead contact(s) name, email and phone details and (c) first and second choices for a preferred Panel meeting date at which the application will be reviewed.

Assessment Review: The Assessment Team will confirm the next available application review period and Panel meeting date. The application review period lasts for approximately three months. It begins with the online submission of the application and ends with the Panel meeting. For example, if a service wishes to be reviewed at a Panel meeting in early October, the application should be submitted in early July.

Assessment Timetable: An initial timetable will be mutually agreed between the Assessment Team and the service. This will include details about the application review, assessment visit and final outcome.

Key Dates

Confirmation: Intention to Apply Application Submission Panel Meeting
Early February 2018 Early March 2018 July 2018
Early July 2018 Early August 2018 November 2018
Early October 2018 Early November 2018 March 2019

Contact Information

The Assessment Team in Scotland would be delighted to help with any questions you might have. Please email us at: accreditation@scottisharchives.org.uk