APS - More Information

More about the Archive Pace Setter Scheme

What was the scheme about and who ran it?

The Archive Pace Setter scheme was led by the Archives and Records Association (UK & Ireland) in partnership with a range of strategic bodies working with the archive sector across the UK including the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, The National Archives, the Scottish Council on Archives, and the Welsh Assembly Government. These bodies came together to create the Archive Pace Setter scheme,  to encourage innovative projects within the UK archive sector.

The scheme ran from October 2009 to April 2013. By supporting innovation within the UK archive sector, through its lifetime the scheme aimed to achieve the following outcomes at a national level

  • New users were encouraged to use archives and archive users have access to new ways of engaging with archives
  • Record keeping was improved through new methods of management and collections care
  • Archive services would be incentivised and supported to trial new working practices
  • The archive sector would have a body of evidence to support further strategic development and advocacy work
  • External funders would have guidance from the sector on prioritising projects
  • Strategic bodies would have provided demonstrable developmental support to the sector

What types of projects were eligible?

The aim of the scheme was to identify around 50 projects that demonstrate innovation within the UK archive sector. We were looking for a range of archive services, both big and small, and from all parts of the archive sector, to showcase how they are developing new working practice within their organisations through project-working. Through meeting the criteria of the scheme, the outcomes for services who achieve Archive Pace Setter status were:

  • New users were encouraged to use their service and archive users to have access to new ways of engaging with archives and/or;
  • Record keeping was improved through new methods of management and collections care
  • Archive services would have demonstrated their adherence to good practice in relation to project planning, management and evaluation
  • Involvement in the scheme would have supported archive services in strengthening advocacy at a local level, supporting the profile of their service within parent organisations, and promoting the service more widely
  • Archive services would have had the opportunity to gather evaluation data and demonstrate its evidential value in a national context

What did we mean by innovative projects?

Although we hoped that some projects would be demonstrating practice that is ground-breaking for the UK archive sector as a whole, the aim of the scheme was to encourage and recognise archive services that are thinking strategically about their development and using project-working to support this process. Applicants were required to explain how the project they were putting forward as an Archive Pace Setter demonstrateD new ways of working for that organisation.


Who could apply?

Any organisations in the UK that managed or worked with archives could submit an application for a project to become an Archive Pace Setter. Projects could involve a single organisation or a number of partners.

The scheme provided the following:

Use of branding

Archive Pace Setter branding is used to  promote the project and the organisation for a set time period.

Networking, learning opportunities and mentoring

Nominated contacts for Archive Pace Setter projects areinvited to regular networking events and are kept in contact through a shared e-list. As this group of Archive Pace Settercontacts grows over time there will be the opportunity for the group to shape and create its own networking activities and learning opportunities for example, through action learning sets, training courses or work shadowing.

National publicity

Successful projects are used as part of national publicity and advocacy work by the Archives and Records Association (UK & Ireland) and its partners in the Archive Pace Setters scheme.


Although there is no funding directly attached to the programme, you can inform potential funders, to the status of your project as an Archive Pace Setter. This may help to strengthen your application.