Introduction to the CPD Programme

Who is the new CPD Programme for?

The new CPD Programme is designed to work across all parts of the archive, record-keeping and conservation sectors, and at all levels of activity from para-professional and volunteer to retired professional.

The Programme is entirely voluntary but ARA members can choose to be formally assessed at three levels of membership at pertinent moments in their careers:

  • Foundation: for those working as volunteers or at para-professional and pre-qualification levels
  • Registration: as currently offered, for those with a formal qualification or significant experience in a professional post
  • Fellowship: for registered members with significant experience and who have contributed to the wider profession

ARA members wishing to retain these assessed levels of membership will be required to revalidate their status every 5 years. If revalidation is not completed within the required timescales, the recognised ARA status will be withdrawn.

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 2017 CPD presentation, Charlotte Berry, ARA Board member

How does it work? The Competency Framework

At the heart of the CPD Programme is a series of core competencies that have been developed in consultation with the ARA membership across its disciplines through the current pilot phase of the project. They were last updated in October 2016.

The competencies are based around three key work areas which mirror the modules used in Archive Service Accreditation:

  • Organisation
  • Process
  • User/stakeholder

Within these three work areas, a number of functions have been identified within which core competencies sit. These have been designed to encompass as fully as possible the varied types of work which ARA members undertake throughout their careers.

The full Competency Framework can be viewed here:

pdf button CPD competency framework 

In order to allow individuals to measure and assess attainment within a given competency, a series of five levels of proficiency have been developed. It is therefore possible to select relevant competencies which will be written up and/or formally assessed, whilst also making a choice of which level of attainment is targeted:

pdf button CPD description of levels 

Within each area, guideline requirements for the individual competencies at levels 1-5 have been developed in order to give some indication of the types of activity which fit into each competency:

pdf button Function and competency requirements A organisational area 

pdf button Function and competency requirements B process area 

pdf button Function and competency requirements C user area 

While the vast majority of competencies are now included in the Framework, additional competencies may be added in the future as formal assessments in the CPD Programme begin.

NB All of these documents are currently still under development and are therefore subject to possible change and alteration until the CPD Programme is launched. The CPD Programme will periodically be reviewed and any necessary revisions made.

Assessments and revalidation

Assessment criteria have been established which lay out the guidelines for the requirements for formal CPD assessment at Foundation, Registration and Fellowship levels. These criteria will help you to plan how to put together your CPD portfolio. Further information is available here

A Glossary of Terms is also available to explain the new CPD Programme terminology.


CPD Steering Group, July 2017