The ARA Launches New Salary Recommendations

The Archives and Records Association (UK & Ireland) today announcesthe launch of its new salary recommendations for archivists, records managers,information governance specialists and conservators.

ARA Pay Review GroupThe ARA Launches New Salary Recommendations

Generic salary ‘bands’ identified – para-professional, lower management, experienced and senior professional

Covers archive conservators, records managers, information governance specialists and archivists

Separate Advice for Professionals Considering Consultancy Work


16 August 2018

The Archives and Records Association (UK & Ireland) today announces the launch of its new salary recommendations for archivists, records managers, information governance specialists and conservators. Compiled by the association’s Pay Review Group, the report’s findings are based on extensive consultations within the sector in both countries and a methodology developed from data and approaches in parallel professional sectors.

The report identifies five generic salary bands: para-professional; lower management (two); experienced and senior professional. The headline salary recommendations in the report for each band are:

  • Para-professional: £20,000/€22,000 minimum
  • Lower management: level 1: starting range £27-32,000 or €30-35,000
  • Lower management: level 2: £32,000/€35,000 minimum
  • Experienced: £40,000/€45,000 minimum
  • Senior professional: £55,000/€60,000 minimum

For broad descriptions of the five bands, see Notes (below). To read the Pay Review Group report, visit: http://www.archives.org.uk/publications/ara-pay-review-2018.html

’The guardians of information’

Karl Magee, Chair of the ARA, said:

“This is the most detailed and best research the ARA has done on pay for many years, and I commend the work of the Pay Review Group in reaching a credible set of figures. Why are we doing this? Firstly, pay for ARA members has consistently lagged behind other comparable professions in recent years.

In the modern economy, recordkeepers are the guardians of organisational information: effective and secure management of records and archives drive business efficiency, reputation, compliance and service delivery. Their pay should reflect their contribution.

Secondly, employers and members have been telling us that they need such recommendations to help frame their negotiations. We recognise that our members live in a free labour market and that pay is not the only reason why they apply for roles. It is also clear that some employers, especially in the public sector, may not be able to move immediately to our recommended levels. Showing intent is the key, and we will be encouraging movement towards them in the medium term.”

Consultancy/freelancers’ guide

The ARA also launches today guidelines for members considering a move into freelance or consultancy work. These guidelines are intended solely to help members think about the issues involved and are not a definitive guide to all potential circumstances. See http://www.archives.org.uk/publications/ara-pay-review-2018.html for more details.

Professional development

The new salary recommendations are also aligned with the ARA’s Professional Development Programme and its associated qualifications. The aim is to encourage employers to link the salaries attached to positions with evidence of professional achievement, as certified by the ARA, and to encourage members to see professional development as an ongoing, career-long endeavour. For details on ARA qualifications and how to register, click here: http://www.archives.org.uk/cpd.html

‘Chronic low pay’

The Chair of the ARA Pay Review Group, Andrea Waterhouse, commented:

“As the leading professional body in this sector, it is the ARA’s role to drive awareness of issues like pay; and we must review our recommendations at least annually so that they remain relevant. I would like to thank the members of the group, the Board and all ARA members, stakeholders and non-members and others who took part in our surveys, consultations and the development of our methodology.

Given the diverse nature of our sector and the wide variety of roles, we could not possibly tailor our recommendations to fit every member’s individual circumstances. Our goal is to empower members to negotiate with confidence and to begin to tackle chronic low pay in the sector. Our next challenge is to get out there and promote our findings to employers, HR professionals, trade unions and members themselves!”

Notes for Editors:

For further details on the Pay Review Group, including for members interested in joining the group, contact Jon Elliott at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 07587 635402. Further details on the ARA and its activities are at: www.archives.org.uk

The generic descriptions of the five ‘bands’ identified in the Salary Recommendations are:

  • Para-professional: eg, support staff. Performs some tasks independently. Possibly working towards qualification as a Foundation Member of the ARA or towards a degree/diploma.

  • Lower management (level 1): eg, responsible for a discrete area of work, delivers short-term targets. Basic level of responsibility. Recently completed a specialist degree and/or qualified as a Foundation Member of the ARA.
  • Lower management (level 2): eg, manages some resources/people/services; possibly working towards qualification as a Registered Member of the ARA.
  • Experienced: eg, service delivery and resource leadership; specialist role, e.g. sole conservator, general consultant. May have qualified as a Registered Member of the ARA and (at upper end) may be working towards qualification as a Fellow of the ARA.
  • Senior professional: eg, multi-role, strategic, senior leadership position, substantial experience in the sector; specialist (niche) consultant and/or conservator. May have qualified as a Fellow of the ARA.


Ends.