Qualification levels and benefits

The benefits of engaging with the ARA’s Professional Development Programme

  • The programme provides a clear pathway to developing your career and increasing your earning potential – it is a long-term career investment
  • It enables you to enhance your professional standing and employability, and help you earn recognition from your peers
  • The qualification will boost your confidence and influence within the profession
  • Working with a mentor through the programme, you will have the opportunity to widen your professional network and gain exposure to new learning and career opportunities
  • You will be able to publicise that you have the skills, expertise and ethical behaviours that employers value and trust

The three membership qualification levels

There are three different levels of membership in the new programme.

Foundation Membership (FMARA)

For those new to the profession, volunteers, apprentices or those who do not yet have the level of experience required for Registered Membership, Foundation Membership is the right level for you.

To embark on the journey towards Foundation Membership you will need to be an Individual Member of the ARA. We recommend that you have one year of work experience (this could be from volunteer work) before you can submit your application for assessment.

Registered Membership (RMARA)

Individual Members of the ARA with an ARA accredited university qualification are eligible to enroll onto the Registered Membership programme at any time following graduation. We recommend that applicants gain three years’ experience before submitting their portfolio for assessment.

However, you do not need an ARA-accredited university qualification to be eligible to enroll in the programme. For those without academic qualification, there is a route to enrolment based on experience. If this applies to you, please contact our Programme Manager, Chris Sheridan, to discuss your options.

ARA members who have already gained Registered status under the previous programme will remain Registered Members but will be asked to complete a CPD Review to retain Registered Membership status. This will help to ensure that we bring our programme fully in line with modern best practice and meet the new national standard set by the ARA with this new programme.

Current Registered Members may also be in position to qualify for Fellow Membership.

Fellow Membership (FARA)

Fellow Membership is the highest level of qualification offered by the ARA, available only to Registered Members who have completed at least one CPD Review. We recommend members have at least nine years’ experience following their admission to Registered Membership.

For further information and to understand the competency framework, please go to https://archivesandrecords.smapply.io.

To read more about the Six Steps to ARA professional status, please click here.