ARA online member survey

As one part of the ARA’s Membership Review 463 ARA members filled inan online survey in early 2013. What did you say?


This is a brief summary of what you  said. It has been written by Head of Public Affairs Marie Owens.

72% of respondents were female 

15% were under 30

73% were archivists

71% were exclusively ARA members and did not belong to any other professional body.


We asked you what you felt were the most important benefits which the ARA gave to you:  

61% said ‘being part of a recognised professional body’ was the most important thing.


What did you think was  ‘excellent’ or ‘works well’? Here’s the ARA top 5, in order: 

ARC recruitment
ARA Today
ARC Magazine
The Journal
The Registration scheme

80% said that conferences and exhibitions were a vital part of the professional offer.


We asked which new benefits were the most important to work on. The top two were:

A better website
Online training


We asked if you liked the idea of an ARA Fellowship:

54% said yes, 28% didn’t know


One of the principles agreed at the time of the merger which formed ARA was to introduce a membership category involving ‘users’ ‘creators’ ‘owners and custodians’ of archives. We asked what you thought of this principle becoming reality.

41% said ‘yes, but only if it’s clearly differentiated from professional membership’.


We suggested some options for how the ARA’s structure for regions and nations might be improved. Which option might have the greatest impact?

The biggest group – 44% - liked ‘overlapping regions where I can go to any meeting that suits my circumstances’
35% didn’t want change. 


When we asked which ARA benefits needed to improve. The general response could be summarised as: ‘lots of things are good, but much could be improved’.

Any organisation would be pleased that a fifth of its membership took the time to give their views; the ARA Board and staff are very grateful for the feedback and the ideas that came from the survey.




The Membership Review was undertaken for the ARA by SH Communications from November 2012 to February 2013. ARA members' views on present and future benefits and the most effective membership structure were gathered in a number of ways including an online member survey, a session at the Birmingham Officers’ Day and a number of one to one discussions. SH Communications also researched what ARA might learn from other membership bodies.
The options for change that have been put forward will require  further consideration by the Board.

ARA Today will continue to keep you informed of progress.