Fellow of the ARA (FARA)


Fellow member submission criteria and information

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.

Eligibility and enrolment

Candidates must be a Registered member of ARA, and have held Registered status for a minimum of nine years. Candidates must also have completed at least one successful revalidation cycle before enrolling onto the Fellowship programme.

Please note that we are currently offering free enrolment onto the programme. From January 2019 an enrolment fee will be paid. Please refer to the professional development programme webpage for fee information.

Transition arrangements 2017-2023 PACR Route: ARA members who have already revalidated their PACR status successfully are eligible to work towards Fellowship of the ARA without the need to complete a Registration revalidation. This route will close in 2023.


Candidates are not required to have a mentor, but will be encouraged to form informal peer networks to support them in their progression to Fellowship.

Developing the portfolio

Candidates must use the ARA’s competency submission form for each competency included in their portfolio. The form provides the correct structure for candidates to use in the preparation of their evidence.

The success of a submission depends on the strength of the evidence presented in the competency submission form. It is therefore vital that candidates submit forms that clearly demonstrate how they meet the required competency standard (level). Candidates may use evidence gained over a 10-year period in their competency submission form. Candidates have the option of submitting up to three additional pieces of information to support the evidence presented in each form.

Candidates are encouraged to use the approaches outlined in the ARA’s CPD webpage to help them plan, record and reflect on their development.

Structure of portfolio

The candidate must submit a portfolio for assessment that consists of the following:

  • A current CV
  • 6 completed competency submission forms, each with a maximum of 1500 words. Each competency form must be at a minimum of attainment levels 4-5 with:
    • A minimum of 3 competencies at level 5
    • Competencies from at least 2 areas


  • Each documented competency should include:
  • the context in which the competency was developed
  • a brief description of the activities undertaken
  • a brief description of the candidate’s progression and learning
  • evaluation of, and reflection upon, the development
  • follow-up details of how this learning continues to be of benefit or may be used in the future
  • evidence to validate the competency that demonstrates candidate learning.
  • A 750 word statement outlining the contribution to the profession, including how others have benefitted from the candidate’s experience and development. The statement should either refer to relevant evidence in the competency submission forms, or describe additional activities. Please note that this statement is not required if the contribution is already evidenced in the competency submission forms.
  • A development statement reflecting on the candidate’s overall development since last point of assessment/revalidation and looking forward to the 5 years. This may be in the form of a narrative, a CPD log and/or a Professional Development Plan (max 750 words).
  • It is proposed that submissions may also require a sponsor. This element of the portfolio will be confirmed soon.

Portfolio submission and assessment

Candidates must notify the Programme Manager six months in advance of their intention to submit their application for assessment so that resources can be allocated.

Portfolios must be submitted for assessment electronically before the published deadline. The assessment fee must be paid before the portfolio can be accepted. Portfolios will be assessed anonymously by a Registered or Fellow member of the ARA who is trained in the assessment of portfolios. Each assessment round will take approximately two months to complete, but some rounds may take longer depending on the number of received submissions.

Registered applications should be submitted for assessment in May and November each year. Actual submission dates will be published on the ARA website.

Professional review

Candidates will be invited to attend a one hour professional interview with a peer panel where a selection of submitted competencies will be discussed in more detail. Candidates will be informed of the panel membership in advance, and may discuss its membership with the Programme Manager in confidence if necessary. Interview dates will be agreed by arrangement, and online reviews may be available if a face-to-face review is not possible. The professional review panel will be formed of 2 panel assessors with the Programme Manager in attendance to provide administrative and procedural support.

Candidates will receive feedback from the review. Candidates are also able to give feedback from their own viewpoint.

Professional qualification and titles

Following a successful assessment and interview, candidates will be able to describe themselves as a Fellow of the ARA (FARA) or FCARA (Fellow Conservator, Archives & Records Association).

Fellows of the ARA are encouraged to celebrate their success and use FARA in their online profiles, email signatories, business cards and other related stationery and publications. The names of those awarded Fellow status will be recorded in the official ARA Register and published in ARC magazine.

Following a successful application, Fellows should continue with their professional development by following the guidance published in the ARA CPD webpages. Revalidation will be required every five years in order to retain Fellow member status.

Appeals’ process

Candidates have the right to appeal against the assessment decision using the ARA’s published appeals’ procedure.

Candidates who do not pass the assessment process have the option to resubmit a revised portfolio. Candidates resubmitting should ensure they have read and understood feedback provided by the assessor. The same application, assessment criteria and submission fee will apply for a resubmission.

Loss or removal of status

Fellow members who relinquish their membership of the ARA will lose their Fellow status. They will no longer be entitled to describe themselves as a Fellow Member of the ARA or use the designatory letters FARA or FCARA.

Lapsed Fellow members who re-join the ARA will be required to reapply for Fellowship by submission of portfolio for assessment and professional interview.

Fellow members who do not revalidate their status after five years will be returned to Individual membership. They will no longer be entitled to describe themselves as a Fellow Member of the ARA or use the designatory letters FARA or FCARA.


Enrolment and submission fees are published on the professional development programme webpage.


All CPD, competency framework and professional development programme enquiries should be made to the CPD Programme Manager This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., phone 07377 940696 or Twitter @ARACPD