Last year, we joined a group to trial run the Archives and Records Management Framework (ARMS) – a self-evaluation scheme to assess archive services. ARMS is still in development and is led by the Scottish Council on Archives (SCA). For more information about the process, please see http://www.scoarch.org.uk/projects/qualityframework.
In June we filled in the paperwork for our contribution to the ARMS pilot, providing information on how we make sure that the collections are preserved and listing evidence to support our self-evaluation.
Yesterday the validation team visited us to look at the documentation for our self-evaluation and assess it. The team was made up of representatives from SCA, the National Records of Scotland, and Glasgow City Archives. In the four hours the team was with us, we discussed LHSA’s accession policy, storage conditions and planning in the event of a disaster. The team also had a tour of one of our stores and the exhibition room. At the end of the visit we talked about ARMS itself and how it might be improved after the pilot phase is finished.
In general the validation team agreed with our own assessment of the quality of LHSA’s services to preserve the collections. They seemed impressed by the work already undertaken and by the direction planned for the future.
But our work with the ARMS pilot is not quite over yet! We'll receive a report of the validation team's findings soon, and be invited to a meeting for all the archives involved in the pilot to discuss further development of ARMS.