Overview of the role

Using professional judgement and support of others to ensure the delivery, security and accessibility of records and other materials.

Details of standard

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in local authorities, businesses, charities both small and large international non-governmental organisations (NGOs), religious organisations, courts of law, government departments and public sector services, universities, schools, national bodies archives, museums, libraries or they may be privately owned.

The profession is governed by a code of ethics and an aspiration to promote equality, diversity and inclusion through records so that they reflect the widest cross section of audiences and communities. Archivists and records managers often need to innovate and reformulate professional practice in response to technological change and the evolving needs of stakeholders and wider society.

The broad purpose of the occupation is to use professional judgement and advocacy to ensure or support the acquisition, preservation, security and accessibility of records and other materials which give evidence of the activities of their creators, for example organisations, communities and individuals. Records may be destroyed after a specific retention period; records may also be archived for their cultural and historical significance for example Domesday Book, Magna Carta, or Second World War records.

Records are materials which may be analogue or digital and are created or received by a person, family or organisation, public or private, in the conduct of their affairs and might typically consist of letters, maps, documents, emails etc. which can be formal or informal.

Records management is about controlling the lifecycle of information and allowing it to be available for as long as there is a business and legal need for it. Archives are records selected and preserved for their enduring value for historical and other research.

In managing records, archivists and records managers research how they have been maintained by organisations, communities, and individuals to ensure they have integrity, are reliable and have been retained appropriately. Archivists and records managers may be involved with or advise on making decisions about transferring records and other material from current business use to archives and negotiate transfer of custody with the owners. This may be a complex, unpredictable and a lengthy process.

They ensure that the archives and records can be located, managed and accessed by using techniques such as inventorying, cataloguing to industry standards, metadata enhancements and developing file plans. They also identify and manage records' preservation requirements along with ensuring they remain safe and secure.

Archivists and records managers promote engagement with internal/external stakeholders to support the relevance of records and archives. The diversity of records that are being created will depend on the requirements of the organisation i.e., the business output of the creators and society, for example the general public and researchers. They must ensure that all stakeholders receive an efficient, effective service and that their contact is a positive experience whilst making sure that the archives and records are used appropriately.

The role requires work to be undertaken sometimes alone and in physically challenging environments for example lifting heavy objects, working in low temperatures, working in dirty environments requiring protective clothing for example when salvaging records. In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with members of their own team, members of the public, external depositors, internal departments seeking assistance with the management and transfer of their records to archive. They may also come in to contact with curators, academics, students, conservators, digital records experts, creators of records from a variety of institutions, funding bodies, research agencies, accreditation bodies, government and legal bodies, volunteers, donor organisations and the police. 

Archivist and records managers typically report to the head of a department, senior archivist, chief executive, library manager, digital director, chief information officer or private owner. An employee in this occupation will be responsible for

  • negotiating with external depositors and internal transferrers, arranging for physical change of custody of records, securing rights to collections where appropriate, undertaking appraisal, selection and secure disposal, working across both analogue and digital media.
  • gaining intellectual control of records through documenting provenance and acquisition, contextualizing, cataloguing records and enhancing metadata.
  • ensuring the preservation and security of records in all media through risk management of storage environments, business continuity planning and setting preservation policies for analogue and digital records, working with industry standards and with conservators/other specialists to establish priorities for intervention and action.
  •  ensuring appropriate access to records, compliant with statutory provisions and addressing the needs of the organisation’s stakeholders, contributing to learning and outreach, researching and developing new means of access through emerging technologies and innovation.
  • developing/maintaining and implementing archival and records management policies and procedures.
  • ensuring the organisation is aware of and complies with legal aspects of record keeping ensuring compliance with relevant legislation and regulations
  • planning for improvement and managing resources across a range of diverse responsibilities which may include managing a budget, fundraising and internal advocacy
  • liaising with other key parties across the organisation, often including IT and facilities colleagues to support collections management across both analogue and digital records.
  • managing staff and/or volunteers as appropriate in accordance with their organisation’s policies and processes.

Typical job titles include:

Archives cataloguer Archives officer Archivist Digital archivist Digital preservation specialist Heritage manager Information manager Local studies manager Metadata specialist Records manager

Occupation duties

Duty KSBs

Duty 1 Manage the integrity of current, semi current and permanent records/archives both analogue and digital across the organisation, ensuring relevance to business needs and supporting good information governance and digital continuity. This will include reference to current standards and legislation including those relating to Freedom of Information, Data Protection and intellectual property.

K2 K5 K6 K8 K19 K20

S4 S7 S16 S22 S23

B1 B2 B7 B8

Duty 2 Make professionally informed recommendations to manage selection, retention, appraisal, classification and disposal of records and archives based on an understanding of their operational and enduring value, including their historical significance

K1 K3 K4 K7 K19

S2 S4 S7 S13 S16 S17 S22

B1 B2 B4

Duty 3 Develop archive collections in-line with organisational/stakeholder requirements by taking in more materials or additional deposits to existing collections which may include acquiring new collections and transferring in-house records.

K3 K4 K14 K17 K19

S1 S4 S16 S17 S20 S22 S23

B3 B5 B7

Duty 4 Manage the process to ensure that the archives and records can be located, managed and accessed by using techniques such as inventorying, retention scheduling and cataloguing to professional standards, metadata enhancement and developing file plans.

K3 K4 K7 K12 K19

S4 S5 S8 S9 S10 S13 S14 S22

B1 B4

Duty 5 Plan and manage, where appropriate, the digitisation of analogue records to professional standards for the continued access and/or preservation of that material, and licensing for its publication or re-use.

K7 K10 K15 K20

S5 S6 S7 S11 S14 S22

B2 B3 B4

Duty 6 Identify and assess the ongoing preservation needs of analogue, digitised and born digital records and archive material ensuring it is maintained. When appropriate, manage arrangements for conservation work to be carried out by specialists who could include conservators, digital records experts, and sound technicians

K3 K4 K7 K10 K11 K14 K15 K18 K19

S1 S6 S9 S10 S11 S12 S17 S22 S23

B2 B3 B4 B5

Duty 7 Identify and manage the physical and virtual storage conditions for analogue and digital records and archives in accordance with the relevant professional standards including controlled environments, security controls and risk management. This will include using professional judgement to manage contingency planning as well as investigations.

K5 K8 K10 K11 K15 K19

S1 S2 S6 S10 S12 S22

B2 B3 B4

Duty 8 Advise stakeholders on the compliance aspects of record keeping, including relevant legislation, standards and industry regulations, including Data Protection legislation and intellectual property rights, influencing their decisions and approach.

K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K11 K19

S1 S2 S9 S12 S18 S22 S24

B1 B2 B5 B6 B7 B8

Duty 9 Develop, manage and implement archival and records management policies and procedures for example access to collections, to ensure best practice, identifying changes as required.

K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K18 K19

S3 S9 S18 S22

B6 B8

Duty 10 Develop, monitor and update the business continuity plan for archives and records management which may include the disaster recovery plan.

K11 K12 K19 K21

S6 S13 S22 S24


Duty 11 Research and implement new technologies and innovative practice to enhance the preservation and access to both digital and analogue archives and records.

K2 K3 K4 K18 K19

S6 S10 S11 S17 S18 S20 S21 S22 S23

B6 B8

Duty 12 Co-ordinate, through staff/volunteers, the provision of a professional and compliant service to internal/external stakeholders to allow the end-user or public appropriate access to the service.

K9 K12 K22

S9 S16 S18 S20 S21 S23 S24 S25

B1 B5 B7

Duty 13 Identify and secure resources to enable their work to continue, which may include budget management, writing bids/internal business cases, funding applications, crowdfunding in accordance with budget and finance policies and procedures.

K14 K16 K19 K20 K21

S16 S17 S18 S19 S20 S22 S24

B5 B6 B7 B8

Duty 14 Work in partnership, contribute to outreach, learning and engagement activities to promote stakeholder engagement with records and archives for example publications, websites, blogs, social media, exhibitions, events, workshop, lectures. This may include selecting material, writing captions, hosting, providing access to digital collections.

K13 K19 K20

S14 S15 S16 S18 S21 S22 S23

B5 B7 B8



K1: The records lifecycle and records continuum as they apply to all records, including digitised and born digital. Back to Duty

K2: Intellectual and custodial integrity of archives and records as they apply to all records including digitised and born digital. Back to Duty

K3: Principles, policies and procedures for archives and records including selection, acquisition, retention, appraisal, classification, audit, appropriate access, preservation and appropriate disposal as they apply to all records including digitised and born digital. Back to Duty

K4: The application of these principles, policies and procedures as they apply to all records including digitised and born digital in a range of organisations and work environments. Back to Duty

K5: Professional codes of ethics, for example those of the Archives and Records Association and the Information and Records Management Society and how to embed them into working practices. Back to Duty

K6: Archives, records management and information governance terminology and its appropriate use. Back to Duty

K7: Professional standards and guidance, including for records management, cataloguing, preservation (including digital preservation) and access, for example PD BS 4971:2017 Guide for the storage and exhibition of archival materials and the requirements of Archives Accreditation standards https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/archives-sector/archive-service-accreditation/. Back to Duty

K8: Information legislation and regulations, including access legislation, privacy regulations, data protection legislation, freedom of information, evolving copyright and intellectual property legislation for example http://uklaca.org/), licensing and creative commons, as they apply to the function and/or organization. Back to Duty

K9: The application of broader legislation and regulations including health and safety, equality, diversity and inclusion to the archives and records sector. Back to Duty

K10: Physical care, protection and preservation of analogue, digitized and born-digital records including security, environmental impacts and administration, disaster management principles and procedures and evolving best practice guidelines. Back to Duty

K11: Risk identification, assessment and mitigation; how this relates to organizational risk appetite Back to Duty

K12: IT software/systems and databases used to support the daily running and management of archives and records services. Back to Duty

K13: Outreach strategies for archives or records management services, including: identifying internal/external audiences, initiatives to make public-facing service elements more accessible and inclusive Back to Duty

K14: A range of oral and written communication techniques, including negotiation and influencing Back to Duty

K15: Service delivery and project management principles and processes Back to Duty

K16: Funding streams, income generation to support archive and records management projects Back to Duty

K17: Contractual arrangements which support archives and records management for example deposit agreements, commercial licensing. Back to Duty

K18: Research methodologies and techniques appropriate to the organisation, services or collections Back to Duty

K19: Specialism(s) relevant to the organisation or collections, for example: languages, palaeography, coding or other advanced digital skills, advanced information governance, working with a specific audience (e.g. children/young people) Back to Duty

K20: The alignment of the development and management of archives, records and collections to the business strategy of the organization. This may include: key functions that records and archives support, retention and disposal of records, the acquisition of new collections Back to Duty

K21: Business planning processes and strategies, including: working within a set budget, continuity plans Back to Duty

K22: People and/or volunteer management policies and processes such as: performance management, training needs as required by the organization. Back to Duty


S1: Negotiate with depositors/donors regarding acquisitions, and with internal and external colleagues/stakeholders regarding security, maintenance and disposal of records Back to Duty

S2: Confirm that the archives and/or records are stored correctly and they are monitored in accordance with legislation, guidelines and regimes for example PD BS 4971:2017 British Standard Guide for the storage and exhibition of archival materials. Back to Duty

S3: Develop and maintain archives and records management policies, procedures and processes ensuring their application. Back to Duty

S4: Consider and implement selection, acquisition, retention, appraisal, classification, audit and disposal principles to records. Back to Duty

S5: Organise and manage the digitisation of archival material, including identifying suitable records, scanning, creating metadata, and making images available online. Back to Duty

S6: Manage the care of born-digital and digitised records, including their management, appraisal, classification, storage, access and, where appropriate, long term preservation. Back to Duty

S7: Arrange, describe and classify analogue, digitised and born-digital records in a variety of formats in accordance with professional standards Back to Duty

S8: Confirm that accurate paper and digital location records are kept considering the use of different processes such as barcoding. Back to Duty

S9: Manage compliance with legislation and regulations as appropriate to the service and situation, for example health and safety, Data Protection legislation, copyright and intellectual property. Back to Duty

S10: Organise and manage audits to make sure that the materials are identified and are stored as safely and securely as possible. This includes making sure that flood, fire, preservation and conservation plans are identified and adhered to by the organization. Back to Duty

S11: Work in partnership with other specialists for example conservators, sound technicians, or software engineers/developers and other IT experts to arrange for work to be carried out. Back to Duty

S12: Develop/maintain risk assessment(s) and undertake regular reviews to identify and prioritise risks including mitigation actions Back to Duty

S13: Use IT software and systems to accurately store, interrogate, interpret and analyse information as required by the archives/records service or by internal/external stakeholders. Back to Duty

S14: Use appropriate technology and specialist equipment relevant to the collections or services for example workstations or software suites to support digital preservation. Back to Duty

S15: Develop/manage outreach strategies to engage, develop and maintain internal and external audiences and communities such as open days, social media use or accessible exhibitions to ensure accessibility for as wide an audience as possible. Back to Duty

S16: Use influencing skills with key decision makers in the sector to enhance the archives and records management service. Back to Duty

S17: Commission, undertake and disseminate research to support the archives and records management service and/or facilitate research requests from stakeholders ensuring timely and accurate responses. Back to Duty

S18: Share best practice and/or deliver training to internal staff/external organisations regarding archival or records management activities Back to Duty

S19: Identify potential funding streams, present ideas, analysis and content and make recommendations, usually in the form of reports, to support the submission of various types of funding applications and future funding strategies. Back to Duty

S20: Apply project and budget management principles to plan, priorities and balance workload to meet agreed timescales, cost and quality objectives, observing and acting within relevant delegated expenditure authorities and resource streams Back to Duty

S21: Create content and present information about the collections and/or services for relevant internal or external audiences. Keep up-to-date with sector and wider trends for digital engagement, making recommendations for implementation of changes identified. Back to Duty

S22: Apply specialism(s) relevant to the organisation or collections, for example: coding or other advanced digital skills, advanced information governance, languages, paleography, working with a specific audience (e.g., children/young people). Back to Duty

S23: Identify and communicate with various internal/external stakeholders with shared strategies, goals and objectives to identify and overcome barriers to service improvement and collection development. Back to Duty

S24: Undertake business planning processes including continuity planning and apply legislation and regulations as appropriate to the service and situation, for example health and safety, Data Protection legislation. Back to Duty

S25: Apply the people/volunteer management policies for example assessing work plans and training needs and managing performance Back to Duty


B1: Authenticity: for example, adhere to relevant codes of practice and professional ethics; apply an ethical approach to professional issues and work activities, including cataloguing, engagement and user access. Back to Duty

B2: Attention to detail: for example, be thorough and accurate; plan and manage complex tasks carefully. Back to Duty

B3: Decision-making: for example, exercise a significant degree of autonomy and judgement in delivering the service/function, referring matters to more senior members of staff where their input is needed. Back to Duty

B4: Problem solving: for example, conceptualise and address problematic situations and mitigate risks with sound solutions while foreseeing possible consequences. Back to Duty

B5: Relationship building, for example establish effective working relationships with internal and external stakeholders and get along well with others. Back to Duty

B6: Commitment to continuing professional development (CPD), for example proactively keep industry and best practice knowledge and skills up to date. Back to Duty

B7: Leading by example: for example, use initiative, respect and apply the organisation's values, enthuse others, and speak and/or act on behalf of the service. Back to Duty

B8: Innovation and change management, for example identify change, pro-actively welcome others’ ideas and experiment with technology. Back to Duty


English and Maths

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL.

Professional recognition

This standard aligns with the following professional recognition:

  • Foundation Level (FMARA)/Registered Level (RMARA) for Archives and Records Association
  • Chartered Member of CILIP (MCLIP) for Chartered Institute of Library Information Professionals

Additional details

Occupational Level:


Duration (months):



This apprenticeship standard will be reviewed after three years

Status: Approved for delivery
Level: 7
Degree: non-degree qualification
Reference: ST0904
Version: 1.0
Date updated: 08/06/2022
Approved for delivery: 12 November 2021
Route: Creative and design
Typical duration to gateway: 36 months (this does not include EPA period)
Maximum funding: £12000
LARS Code: 668
EQA Provider: Ofqual

Find an apprenticeship

Contact us about this apprenticeship

Employers involved in creating the standard: National Archives, CC Skills, BFI, London Borough of Tower Hamlets, London Metropolitan Archives, Imperial War Museums, Rambert, London Borough of Hackney, Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Shakespeare’s Globe, London Borough of Tower Hamlet, Lincolnshire Archives, Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art, Lambeth Palace Library, Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council, Royal Voluntary Service, South West Heritage Trust, British Library, Transport for London, Archives and Records Association, Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals (CILIP), University College London (representing FARMER)

Version log

Version Change detail Earliest start date Latest start date Latest end date
1.0 Approved for delivery 12/11/2021 Not set Not set

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