Registered Member of the ARA (RMARA)


Registered member submission criteria and information

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.

Eligibility and enrolment

To enrol onto the Registered programme candidates must be an Individual member of the ARA.

Candidates with an ARA accredited qualification are eligible to enrol without having previously qualified as a Foundation member. The ARA recommends that candidates with an accredited qualification gain a minimum of three years’ post-graduation work experience before submitting their application for assessment.

Members without an accredited qualification are advised to enrol and qualify as a Foundation member. A route from Foundation to Registered membership is currently under development.

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 information on fees.


We recommend that all candidates find a mentor, who should be a Registered member or Fellow of the ARA. The role of the mentor is to support and guide the candidate’s professional development as they build their Registered portfolio ready for submission and assessment. Candidates should find their own mentor where possible, but a list of suitable mentors can be requested by candidates once they have enrolled onto the programme. We recommend candidates read the ARA’s guidance for mentors to help prepare them for working with a mentor.

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.

In June 2018 the ARA will have launched its online professional development programme which will enable candidates to enrol, build their competency portfolios (mentors will be able to review and comment on the draft content) and submit to the ARA for assessment online.

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 number of competencies and levels. Candidates may use evidence gained over a 10-year period in their competency submission form.

Candidates should discuss the drafting of their competency submission forms with their mentor. 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
  • Mentor reference (maximum of 500 words)
  • 8 completed competency submission forms, each with a maximum of 1000 words. Each competency form must be at a minimum of attainment levels 2-3 with:
    • no more than 3 competencies at level 2
    • at least 2 competencies from each of the 3 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.

Portfolio submission and assessment

Candidates should 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 March and September each year. Actual submission dates will be published on the ARA website.

Professional qualification and title

Following a successful assessment, candidates will be able to describe themselves as a Registered Member of the ARA, and use the designatory letters RMARA (Registered Member, Archives & Records Association). Registered Conservators may describe themselves as Registered Conservator, Archives & Records Association and use the designatory letters RCARA. Irish members may prefer to describe themselves a Certified Member of the Archives & Records Association, and use the designatory letters CMARA.

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

Following a successful application, Registration members 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 Registered 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

Registered members who lapse their membership of the ARA will lose their Registered status. They will no longer be entitled to describe themselves as a Registered Member of the ARA, or use the designatory letters RMARA/RCARA/CMARA.

 Lapsed Registered members who re-join the ARA will be required to reapply for Registered status by submission of portfolio for assessment.

 Registered 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 Registered Member of the ARA or use the designatory letters RMARA/RCARA/CMARA.


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