Workforce Mapping

ARA has been working with the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) on a Workforce Mapping Project which has been undertaken by Edinburgh Napier University. The aim is to gain knowledge about the UK's libraries, archives, records, information and knowledge sectors.

There are about 270,000 people in the UK working in these sectors but currently a clear profile of the workforce does not exist until now.  The survey has now been completed and the results can be found in the Executive Summary below.         

  • Read the Executive Summary here.


This report presents the findings of a study to map the Library, Archives, Records, Information Management, and Knowledge Management professions in the UK. It was commissioned in 2014 by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) and the Archives and Records Association (UK and Ireland) (ARA) and completed in 2015.


News release July 2018

CILIP and ARA release full report on 2015 UK information sector workforce survey

Most extensive survey of its kind anywhere in the world to date

18 July 2018

The UK-based Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) and the Archives and Records Association (UK & Ireland) (ARA) have today released the full report on the 2015 UK information workforce survey, to date the most extensive study of its kind anywhere in the world.

Among other things, the 2015 report identified:

  • A UK workforce size estimated at 86,376 people
  • A significant gender pay gap
  • Women dominating the workforce, but
  • Under-represented in senior management
  • A highly-qualified workforce
  • High-earners more likely to hold professional qualifications than low-earners
  • An ageing workforce
  • Low ethnic diversity

Since 2015, this research has helped provide CILIP and ARA and their members with concrete evidence that all can use to better understand the sector, monitor trends in the workforce, advocate on behalf of the sector, develop relevant and robust policies, and develop better and more targeted services. CILIP and ARA are now releasing the full report to support wider sector development, help improve academic research into the information sector and empower their respective members in their places of work.

CILIP CEO, Nick Poole said:

“We are delighted to announce the release of this significant dataset in partnership with the Archives and Records Association (ARA). As professional associations, we need to ensure that all of our decisions and priorities are evidence-based. The Workforce Mapping data has provided a strong foundation for our Diversity and Equality Action Plan, launched last year, and will help us to define the targets in our forthcoming Workforce Strategy. We hope that this release will allow others to interrogate the data and to share their insights back into our community for the collective benefit of the profession.”

ARA CEO, John Chambers said:

“This has been a great example of two professional bodies working together, and I’m grateful to CILIP colleagues for their inclusiveness and commitment throughout this project. The survey has provided hard evidence of what many of us instinctively knew or had suspected for some time: that despite having a workforce dominated by women, we have a disproportionate number of men in senior management positions and a significant gender pay gap. Add to that our underperformance in wider diversity, and it is clear that we all have a lot to do as a sector and as a profession. The ARA is making a start on pay through our Pay Review Group and on diversity through our new Professional Development Programme and its associated qualifications. Now it’s time for others to explore the survey findings and derive further, more detailed insights and recommendations.’

The workforce report is available to download here.

Any quotations from the report should indicate ‘Copyright CILIP and ARA’, where appropriate, and any references should quote the full title and web location of the report.

Any queries concerning the report should be addressed to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.