FARMER meeting (17 April 2015)

On Friday 17 April, FARMER held a meeting in Manchester Central Library. As well as taking the opportunity to admire the new Archives+, we met with the Archives and Records Association Accreditation Panel (chair: Margaret Turner), to discuss the new accreditation criteria which the panel will use in the next round of programme accreditations. ARA accreditation offers an assurance of quality for both students and employers and is greatly valued by FARMER institutions.

The meeting was a positive one at which we discussed the relationship between the new criteria and the new QAA SBS (see previous posting), the possibility of having a single set of criteria for archives and records management and records management-only programmes, the role of research within the profession, and future liaison between the two bodies.

After lunch, FARMER met separately to discuss other matters, including our 2016 conference – details to be posted shortly.


FARMER participation in Archives and Records Association conference 2015

The Archives and Records Association conference, which takes place in Dublin from 26-28 August 2015, takes the theme ‘Challenges, Obligations, or Imperatives? The moral and legal role of the Record Keeper today’. We are delighted that the programme includes a number of contributions by FARMER members.

On Day 1, Dr Margaret Procter of The University of Liverpool will speak on ‘Archivists in transition or the pragmatic reasons for embracing the human rights agenda’.

On Day 2, Dr Julie Brooks of University College Dublin will deliver a paper entitled ‘Thinking through the legal and moral role of the record keeper through an information governance framework’ and in the afternoon, Jenny Bunn (University College London), Jennie Hill (University of Aberystwyth) and Caroline Brown and Patricia Whatley (University of Dundee) will lead a workshop on teaching ethics.

For the first time, the Conference will also include a poster session for PhD students, coordinated by FARMER. For further details, please contact Dr Alexandrina Buchanan.

New subject benchmark statement for archives and records management

FARMER welcomes the publication last month of a new subject benchmark statement for for librarianship, information, knowledge, records and archives management, issued by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA)​​: the independent body entrusted with monitoring, and advising on, standards and quality in UK higher education.​ The SBS is available here: This publication is exciting for FARMER members because archives and records management are included for the first time and the standard has been expanded to include masters’ level programmes. The standard defines what can be expected of a (post)graduate in the subject, in terms of what they might know, do and understand at the end of their studies. The group charged with updating the statement included FARMER member Professor Elizabeth Shepherd and former Chair of FARMER, Caroline Williams, as representative of the Archives and Records Association. FARMER was invited to comment on the draft statement in autumn 2014.