Working towards Foundation Membership

Teresa Davies is Archive Assistant with Flintshire Record Office, having previously spent six years at the National Library of Wales.

Q. What attracted you to Foundation Membership?

The opportunity of gaining professional recognition by ARA for my work appealed to me. Having the support of a mentor, learning from them and having discussions about my professional development was something that I thought would be invaluable to me in my future career.

Q. We advise candidates to undertake a self-assessment of their experience using the competency framework. How useful did you find the self-assessment process?

The self-assessment process was particularly useful in keeping me focused on what I want from the process, and which areas of my work I wish to develop. It’s made me appreciate and value what I’ve achieved in my career so far.

Having the time to reflect on my experience has made me realise just how much I’ve done and gives me the confidence to seek future experiences and opportunities. Since starting the Foundation Membership qualification I’ve been more proactive in gaining extra experiences at work, including going on courses and joining the Archives and Records Council Wales (ARCW) Forum to meet with other people who work within the sector. This has enriched my knowledge and enthusiasm for my work. I’ve really appreciated the input and time my mentor has contributed. Having that support and constructive feedback along the way is invaluable and inspiring.

Shona MacLellan is a Heritage Apprentice for Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, the Western Isles Council.

Q. What attracted you to Foundation Membership?

I had completed 16 months of a Skills for the Future Traineeship with Tasglann nan Eilean (the Hebridean Archives) and wanted the skills and knowledge I had gained to be recognised by the sector.

Although I don’t have a formal archival qualification, everything I’ve learned over the past two years of training is recognised by the Foundation Membership and can be used to gain employment within the sector. I hope to continue my studies and my application will demonstrate my experience and commitment to potential universities and employers.

Nicola Lloyd is the Information Governance Officer for Alternative Futures Group.

Q. What attracted you to Foundation Membership?

As a recent graduate I wanted to continue my professional development in a structured way and Foundation Membership seemed like a good way to do this within a specialised framework supported by a mentor. This appealed to my employer as it demonstrates they have employed someone with a suitable level of knowledge and connections to a wider network of professionals.

I am the sole information professional so I’m responsible for a wide range of projects. I develop training and provide advice on all aspects of information governance across the organisation. I now act as the company Data Protection Officer after running a project to integrate GDPR. I’m also responsible for managing the small company archive and the much larger semi-current records store, including dealing with enquiries, cataloguing new material and implementing retention policies. The role is necessarily very varied, and that is what I love about it!

Q. We advise candidates to undertake a self-assessment of their experience using the competency framework. How useful did you find the self-assessment process?

If you want to do well then self-assessment will find the areas where you can improve and help assess how well you deal with challenging circumstances. It enabled me to identify my strengths and what I really enjoy, helping me define my career goals more clearly. I’ve realised that I’m more naturally suited to areas involving in outreach and engagement.

Article first published in ARC magazine September 2018.

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