Professional Development Programme

The ARA Professional Development Programme

The ARA’s professional development programme is a competency based process through which members can qualify as a Foundation, Registered or Fellow member of the ARA.

To qualify members must submit to the ARA a portfolio of evidence that demonstrates how they meet the required entry standard for Foundation, Registered or Fellow. Submitted portfolios are then assessed by Registered members trained in the assessment process. Successful candidates are rewarded with the level of membership (and professional qualification) they applied for.

Foundation, Registered and Fellow
Foundation (FMARA), Registered (RMARA) and Fellow (FARA) are professional levels of membership that provide designatory letters, known as professional qualifications, equal to those offered by many comparable professions. They demonstrate that you have met an industry recognised standards of knowledge and competency. They are also a public declaration of professional integrity, as members of the ARA must follow a code of professional ethics.
Foundation, Registered and Fellow also confirm your commitment to continuing your professional development, ensuring your skills and knowledge remain competitive in a competitive job market.
We will work to establish these levels of membership as the recognised standard for the sector.
Which level of membership is right for me?
Explore the three levels of membership below so that you are familiar with the entry standard and submission criteria. You should then follow the self-assessment process as described in the competency framework webpage. This will help you understand how your current experience can be used to demonstrate how you meet the required competency standards (levels).
Foundation (FMARA) provides professional recognition for a wide range of individuals including professionals who do not hold an ARA accredited academic qualification, volunteers and apprentices, and graduates with an accredited academic qualification.
Registered (RMARA) is the established level of excellence for the profession. It communicates to employers, clients and the public that they can expect high standards of professional knowledge, competency and integrity. 
Fellowship (FARA) is the highest level of membership offered by the ARA. It is only available to Registered members with significant experience who can demonstrate their contribution to the wider record-keeping profession, and a commitment to continuing their professional development.
Programme enrolment
Once you have decided which level of membership you would like to apply for, you must complete and submit to the ARA a programme enrolment form. This will ensure that we keep you informed of submission dates, and other news and updates relating to the programme. Candidates for Foundation and Registered must find a Mentor to support them in the development of their competency portfolio. A list of Mentors is available from the ARA’s CPD programme manager should you be unable to identify your own. Mentors must be a Registered Member.
Once you have enrolled you should then begin planning and collating the evidence you will need to support your submission. There is no set time limit on how long you should take to collate the evidence. The more competencies you need to develop, the longer your journey will be.
Your mentor will help guide your learning and development as you progress towards the competency standards (levels) that you have selected.
Competency submission forms
When compiling the evidence for your portfolio you must use the ARA’s competency submission forms.  The form is structured to help you plan the evidence you will use to demonstrate how you meet the required competency standards (levels).
Foundation, Registered and Fellow members of the ARA will be required to revalidate their level of membership on a 5-year cycle. Candidates will be assessed through a revalidation portfolio, where a reduced number of competency development must be evidenced.
Details of proposed fees and additional information can be found here.
We will be accepting submissions for Foundation, Registered, Fellow and Revalidation from Autumn 2018 onwards. Members who enrol onto the programme will receive advance notice of submission dates.