Volunteering, Security and Access and Surveys Group

Welcome to the information on the former Public Services Quality Group.

The Public Services Quality Group for archives and local studies (PSQG) was established in 1996 as an informal network for archivists interested in best practice and quality issues and membership remains open to all.

Collaboration and mutual support are fundamental to the ethos of the group, which aims to enable individuals to establish contact with and learn from practitioners at the forefront of developments in the archival community.

The former steering group co-ordinated the activities of PSQG and its membership included the conveners of the working parties and representatives of several sponsoring bodies.

The annual QUALITY FORUM was an opportunity for this work to be aired and discussed more widely. Read about the 2013 Forum here.

PSQG has now served its purpose and the individual projects below will now continue in their own right.


ARA National Surveys Group

The ARA National Surveys Group coordinates two important surveys for the sector:
The Survey of Visitors to UK Archives and The Survey of Distance Users of Enquiry Services.
Read these and other PSQG Publications here.

The ARA Security and Access Group

The Security and Access Group provides an informal network for archives and libraries to share good collections security practice and exchange information about collections security issues, covering reading room security, security of collections in storage, cyber-security and so on. The group’s discussions are open and non-judgemental, and it provides an effective way for members to benchmark their practices against other institutions.

Membership is free and open to anyone: national institutions, local authority archives and libraries and private and charitable organisations. We meet twice a year; the February meeting is usually held in London, with a Skype or teleconference link to a northern contingent in Edinburgh and the September meeting rotates around the members, providing an excellent opportunity to visit other organisations and see how they operate. Some funding is available from ARA to help cover travel costs for the meetings. We also circulate news round the group by email during the course of the year.

We are always happy to welcome new members. Please contact Isobel Griffin at the National Library of Scotland (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Stephen Mabberley at London Metropolitan Archives (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) if you are interested in joining the group.


Volunteering Sub-Committee 

The aim of the group is:

To drive improvements in volunteering practice within the archive sector; to increase the number and range of volunteering opportunities and ensure the contribution and impact of volunteering is evaluated and celebrated.

This will be achieved by:

  • Monitoring relevant public policy announcements, reports, funding etc around volunteering and disseminating this information to the archive sector
  • Collaborating, where possible, with sector partners to deliver a range of activities to support volunteering in archives
  • Encouraging sharing of good practice on volunteering within the sector
This group was set up following the publication of the National Council on Archives 'Volunteering in Archives' Report (link below) and the 2009 Public Services Quality Group Forum on the theme of volunteering.
For the latest information on group activities and volunteering you can find this here.