Back in September (20th to be exact) I went along to a workshop on archives accreditation. Though I’ve been following the growth of the new standard pretty closely, I still found the event really helpful. If you’re thinking of applying, do try to get to one of these sessions!
What did I like about this one?
Well, it humanised the standard and the application process and answered several questions that I’d been pondering … I enjoyed sharing ideas and experience with others thinking of applying. I was reassured that other services were in the same boat: we played accreditation bingo, crossing off the policies, procedures etc that we already had, and nobody at all had every one of them (I had quite a few and won CHOCOLATE BUTTONS!).
What was covered?
I won’t try to summarise all that was covered – that would make a very very long blog post. A couple of key points:
- Those in archives with, um, imperfect buildings should be aware that this doesn’t necessarily exclude you from applying for accreditation. It depends what the problems are, how effectively you work to minimise them, and what realistic plans you have to make things better!
- Especially in the early years of implementing the standard, you’re likely to get a site visit. This is so that reviewers can see how you really do things – checking confidential documentation, talking to staff, seeing your spaces etc.
Thanks to Melinda Haunton who heroically presented the entire day without reading the standard out to us and to Lizzy Baker and ARA Northern for organising it.
Oh, and I’d recommend the venue, The Showroom. It’s a lovely independent cinema in Sheffield, opposite the railway station, with good conference spaces and catering.
So what next? I’m definitely working towards accreditation with a view to applying next summer. Even if this isn’t possible, this work will have improved our service. I’m also going to apply to be a peer reviewer, useful for my own service and helpful to this important new standard.