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Taking a Closer Look at Archives and Records Management Services

Scottish local authorities and other service providers are supported by a unified Quality Improvement Framework (QIF).

It is in this context that he Scottish Council on Archives commissioned the Archives and Records Management Services (ARMS) Quality Improvement Framework. It defines relevant performance indicators.

ARMS also seeks to support integration or co-operation between archives and records management services. The ARMS framework will serve as a vital and practical tool for archive and records management services. It  will underpin the future development of the sector. 

Getting it right

To ensure that the ARMS framework was fit for purpose,  the Scottish Council on Archives secured the invaluable involvement of five services in piloting and evaluating a draft of the toolkit: Glasgow City Archives, Grampian Constabulary, Lothian Health Services Archive, Perth and Kinross Council Archive and Tasglann Nan Eilean Siar (Hebridean Archives).

The format was simple: briefing for pilot participants, submission of evidence for their selected Quality Indicator(s) and validation visits to each participating service. The visits were supportive, peer-led exercises that aimed to ensure each service gained maximum benefit from the self-evaluation process.

The hands-on experience of self-evaluation and supportive validation produced  positive feedback. It confirmed that ARMS would be an essential advocacy and improvement tool for local authorities and across the wider public sector, and, indeed, (with appropriate tweaking) beyond the public sector. The most immediate and obvious use of ARMS is in implementation of the Public Records (Scotland) Act, 2011. ARMS sits well with the Keeper of the Records’ Model Records plan and with the issued Guidance.

Involving Quality Scotland

Quality Scotland  has a proven track record in relation to improving efficiency. It has proved a valuable partner in the development of a more user friendly version of the ARMS toolkit.  A virtual tour of the ARMS online tool is now available along with information on how to register as an ARMS user.  

ARMS is endorsed by the National Records of Scotland, Quality Scotland and the Scottish Information Commissioner's Office as a practical and comprehensive self-evaluation and self-improvement tool for record keeping organisations. 

If you have any comments or questions about ARMS, please email