Archive Service Accreditation and Covid-19

Archive Service Accreditation and Covid-19

23 March 2020

Archive Service Accreditation and Covid-19 – sadly even archive accreditation is not immune from the virus outbreak. 

In response to queries, the Archive Service Accreditation programme partners and governing Committee want to update award holders and applicants as to how the programme will respond to escalating public health measures against the outbreak of Covid-19. Above all, we do not want Accreditation to be an additional concern at a time when archive service management and planning is under considerable strain.

Exceptional service reductions and closures

We recognise that Accredited archive services will be required to close for periods under public health guidance, or as a result of individual institutional risk management. We have had enquiries from services undertaking contingency planning for long-term closure scenarios. If services remain open, it is likely they will need to reduce their offer if staff are unable to come to work due to health concerns or caring responsibilities, or are redeployed by parent organisations. We want to reassure all award-holders that we recognise the current circumstances are exceptional, and that reduced service due to the pandemic will not affect Accreditation status.

Arrangements for applications and assessments

Currently the programme is closed for new applications.

Arrangements for provisional awards and midpoint reviews

The programme remains open for scheduled reviews. We recognise that some archive services will have reduced staffing during the outbreak, and will not have capacity to meet their scheduled submission date. Please let your assessor body know if this is the case, stating whether you need a time-limited extension or an extension for the duration of the outbreak. Your Accreditation status will not be affected if you need to postpone a review in these circumstances.

Possible future schedule changes

We currently aim to deliver the programme as planned during the Covid-19 period. However, some of the provisions above may mean applications come in at an irregular pace. Our staff capacity may also be affected at times, so that assessment and award schedules may have to change. We will keep you fully informed if so, and your Accreditation status will not be affected. If a backlog of cases develops during or at the end of the current restrictions, we may take some time to clear it. We hope you will bear with us in getting back to normal service.