Registration Scheme Updates

Registration Scheme Changes: Frequently Asked Questions 

These FAQs are designed to help candidates and mentors to understand changes to the Registration Scheme in the next five years. These changes are part of a wider ARA CPD development project which is being piloted from 2014 to 2016, so the questions will be updated as more aspects of the scheme are confirmed during piloting. For the most up-to-date information, please refer to the CPD pages.

If you have any other questions which are not answered here, please contact the Registrar


Why is the Registration Scheme changing?

The Registration Scheme is currently the major part of ARA's CPD offer. As ARA works to develop a broader CPD offer which covers those working with archives throughout their careers, we are working to ensure Registration fits seamlessly into that wider CPD programme.


When is the Registration Scheme changing?

The major changes to the Registration Scheme come at the following points:

  • Last enrolments on the current Registration Scheme close 31 December 2014
  • Last applications under the current Registration Scheme are at the 1 October 2017 round
  • First enrolments on the new Registration Scheme open 1 January 2016: this means there is no enrolment 2015 to allow us time to redevelop the scheme
  • First applications under the new Registration Scheme will be for the 1 April 2018 round.


Before this, we will tweak workshop content to support those who are enrolled during the scheme changes. You will also see support made available to those eligible to submit under the current Registration Scheme to encourage them to complete under that Scheme if they wish to.


How is the Registration Scheme changing?

The main change is that under the new Registration Scheme, as under all the other parts of future CPD, you will be expected to demonstrate your competency in a range of areas that are part of the new Framework of Competencies developed for ARA. You can download the framework and supporting material here. (This framework is being tested by the CPD pilot and may change to reflect their feedback.)

Other elements of the Registration Scheme remain unchanged: the Scheme is designed for early career professionals who have spent at least 3 years working full time in a professional post. You will still submit a portfolio of credits, and still evidence the CPD activity you have undertaken during the years since qualification, demonstrating your development as a reflective practitioner. Your portfolio will still be assessed by Registered Members of ARA who have had assessor training. You will still be expected to demonstrate professional competency appropriate to an early years professional (at present, this is expected to involve at least 8 credits for competencies at level 3, and 4 at level 2, but this is another area being tested by the pilot group).

You will also still be expected to provide evidence of a range of learning experiences, but you will need to evidence development across the three areas of the Framework of Competencies (Organisation, Process, Stakeholders). The exact breakdown is to be confirmed, but we are piloting a requirement for at least 2 credits in each of these areas. This moves the structure of assessment from activity you have undertaken to what you have learned.


I'm not enrolled on the Registration Scheme yet. What should I do?

This depends a lot on where you are in your career and personal professional development.

If you have been qualified for some years, you still have time to develop a strong portfolio across the period 2014-17 and we would encourage you to enrol before the end of 2014 to give yourself a chance to complete under the current Registration Scheme if you wish to. You can still transfer to the new Registration Scheme if you are not ready to submit by October 2017. Don't forget you can submit credits relating to any work you have done since qualification (unless they are more than 10 years old), whether or not you were enrolled on the Scheme for that period.

If you qualifed in 2013 or 2014 it is technically possible for you to put together a portfolio by October 2017 and you would be welcome to enrol on the scheme. However, the Assessors have fed back to candidates that rushed portfolios put through in the minimum of time are often weaker than those where the candidate has developed over about 5 years of professional work. You are welcome to enrol on the current scheme and transfer to the new scheme if you decide that you are not ready to submit by October 2017. You will be able to reuse much of your evidence and thinking about personal professional development in the new scheme if necessary.

If you qualify in 2015 or thereafter, you can enrol on the new Registration Scheme from 1 January 2016 and become a Registered Member of ARA under that scheme.


When do I have to make a decision?

If you are already a qualified professional and want to have the option of submitting under the current Registration Scheme, you need to ensure you have enrolled by 31 December 2014. You can find out how to enrol in the introduction to the Scheme guidance. You can later transfer to the new Registration Scheme if you decide you will not be able to submit in or before 2017.


What are the benefits of changing the Registration Scheme?

Once ARA has a CPD offer that supports you throughout your professional life, it will be helpful if your early professional development is part of the same continuum and evidenced in the same way. You may have the opportunity to apply for a prestigious Fellowship of ARA, which will be evidenced and assessed in a similar way.


What if I miss the October 2017 submission deadline?

You will be transferred to the new Registration Scheme. The evidence of CPD and reflective practice you have amassed will still be valid, but you may find you need to rewrite some elements to reflect the competency focus of the new Registration Scheme. Guidance for completing credits on a competency basis will be available in 2016 once the new Registration Scheme is open for enrolment.


What if I submit in October 2017 and am not successful with my application?

Candidates who are not successful are given feedback and a chance to resubmit. If you are in this position after the 2017 rounds, you will still be able to resubmit your portfolio under the current Registration Scheme until at least October 2018. Thereafter, you will be asked to submit portfolios under the new Registration Scheme, into which you will be transferred.


What does qualified mean?

As at present, you can enrol on the Registration Scheme and use evidence from the point where you have passed the diploma stage. This is regarded as a professional qualification regardless of whether you then go on to write a dissertation.


I'm already Registered - what's my position?

You will remain a Registered Member of ARA under the new scheme. Options for revalidating Registered status are under discussion as part of piloting CPD developments but no decision has been made on this as yet.