Membership Subscription Increases for 2016/17

Membership Subscription Increases for 2016/17 

Since its formation in 2010, the Archives and Records Association has established itself as the lead professional body for archivists, archive conservators and records managers in the United Kingdom and Ireland. 
In this time the Association has striven to become more member-focused. On its own, or in partnership with others, it has:
  • Developed a new programme of professional development: we now deliver over 100 training events a year
  • Put together a new accreditation standard: 45 archive services are now accredited across the UK and Ireland
  • Driven the development of digital preservation and provided a practical forum for members to upskill
  • Developed campaigns to promote our community, e.g. through Explore Your Archive and Don’t Risk It!
  • Taken steps to reduce waste in the past five years and to create a sound financial structure, with rebuilt reserves, in part by increasing membership year on year
  • Become more effective: we are doing better  than the Society of Archivists, the National Council on Archives and ACALG used to do, e.g. lobbying successfully on behalf of members to governments, the EU and employers (and creating an effective network across the public, private and voluntary sectors)
  • Become the ‘go-to’ independent organisation for those wanting expert knowledge about the sector, e.g. delivering the first-ever dedicated workforce survey for our sector
  • Become more pro-active in assessing and tackling risks (and opportunities) for the sector, e.g. consulting on legislation and standards, such as data protection, police and health records, etc.
In order to sustain this ambitious agenda going forward, meet future challenges, and ensure that the Association remains member-driven, sustainable, effective and relevant; the Board feels that the time has now come for a modest increase for some categories of ARA membership subscriptions, the first since the Association’s formation in 2010. (The 2010 rates themselves were based on the Society of Archivists’ 2002 membership fees). The new subscription rates (see attached) will be operative for membership year 2016/17, i.e. from this coming autumn. The average increase is 5% (see examples below).

The Board recognises the financial pressures on many members and has sought to keep increases to the minimum that it believes is required for effective business continuity. The Board will continue to keep the overall subscriptions model under review, as it has since 2010; it also wants to make clear that there are no plans to propose rolling, annual increases in subscription rates. 


The Board’s next priority task will be to consolidate the number of membership bands in the lower salary ranges in the next two-to-three years. We currently have over 20 such membership bands, including eight alone for people earning between £5,000 and £21,000 annually. This creates significant managerial and data-processing challenges and costs for the Association. Any future changes will, of course, be done in full consultation with members.


The following summarises the key changes for this year:

  1. Average 5% increase to existing subscription rates for the following membership categories:
  • Full members (earning below £39,000/€59,280) - for example:

-          those earning up to £7,000/€10,640 would  pay £36/€41 in 2016-17, up from £34/€39

-          those earning between £23,001/€34,961 and £25,000/€38,000 would  pay £117/€133, up from £111/€127

-          those earning between £37,001/€56,241 and £39,000/€59,280 would pay £185/€205 up from £171/€195

-          Affiliate (from £35/€40 annually to £37/€42)

-          Overseas (from £50/€57 annually to £52/€60)


The subscription rates for (i) Unemployed/Retired or earning under £5k (ii) Students and (iii) Supporters have been frozen.

  1. Up to now, ARA has had one membership band for those earning above £39,001/€59,281. The Board has now introduced four new subscription bands and subscription rates for members in this category, i.e. for those earning:
  • An annual salary of £39,001 - £49,000 / €59,281 - €74,480: a new annual rate of £198/€235
  • £49,001 - £59,000/€74,481 - €89,680: a new annual rate of £243/€285
  • £59,001 - £69,000 / €89,681 - €104,880 a new annual rate of £288/€335
  • £69,001+ / €104,881+ a new annual rate of £324/€385

Evidently, members in these salary categories will see a very significant percentage and real-terms increase in their membership rates compared to other members; the Board has carried out extensive consultations with the (estimated) 200 members affected and is most grateful for their frank and open feedback.

  1. An increased rate of £325/€418 for Institutional Affiliate members (up from £275/€354)

On behalf of my fellow Board members, I hope that you will feel able to endorse these changes. We strongly believe that these modest increases (coupled with the first phase of structural changes to membership bands) are distributed fairly and will play an important role in improving our offer to the membership and ensuring the long term sustainability of the Association.



Hayden Burns,
Hon. Treasurer, ARA