Why did you apply for Foundation Membership?
I applied for Foundation Membership because I wanted to develop my knowledge and skills as an Archivist through the ARA’s professional development programme.
During my MA in Art Gallery and Museum Studies, I undertook a work placement at the John Rylands Library in Manchester working with a literary archive. It was then that I decided to move my career more towards the archive and records management sector. I felt that the reflective learning style and mentor supervision, both key elements of the ARA’s professional development programme (PDP), would suit me and would allow me to build a strong portfolio exploring my experience and achievements.
How does it feel to have qualified as a Foundation Member?
It is great to have qualified as a Foundation Member because I feel like I am a part of the archives and records management community and I am recognised by the ARA as a qualified archive professional. I feel like it is a big step in my career and it makes me excited about what opportunities may come my way in the future. I have already begun looking at the scheme again and I am planning how I can continue to build on my Foundation competencies to qualify as a Registered Member.
What advice would you offer to others thinking of enrolling on the programme and develop their own application?
I advise applicants to use the scheme as an opportunity to identify gaps in their experience, skills and knowledge which they can work on to fill. For example, I have identified that I have little experience of cataloguing digital files, so I plan to work with my colleagues at the NT Archive to devise a project for me to work on. Applicants must also be ready to reflect on instances where things didn’t go well, why things didn’t go well, what they learned from this and what they would do differently next time. Lastly, I think this unprecedented time is a good time to enrol onto the PDP as I see it as advocacy for our work and profession.
Picture ©James Bellorini for the National Theatre Archive, 2019.