The Archive-Skills Consultancy ltd Partnership Profile

The Archive-Skills Consultancy ltd is a partnership enterprise run by Margaret Crockett and Janet Foster. The Consultancy has two main aims:

Margaret and Janet have been collaborating on archives and records management projects since the early 1990’s when they were both members of the committee of the Specialist Repositories Group of the Society of Archivists. Together they designed and organised the Basic Archive Skills Training Days as well as initiating Group conferences. Since 2000, the Archive-Skills Consultancy has undertaken an increasing number of consultancy projects. These projects provide real-life examples on which we base our practical training courses whilst research and literature review for the training course preparation feeds back into the experience and knowledge we can draw on for clients’ projects.

Technical support is provided by Iain Brown, an expert on electronic communication and publishing. TASC has access to his expertise to design databases to support client work, interactive web tools to enable on-line registration and website design and maintenance.

Consultancy Services

Working in partnership to offer a more effective approach to archives and records management, our methodology and decisions are more robust than those of a single consultant, while the amount of time required is often less than for one person working alone. We offer a wide range of archives and records management services to clients from all sectors both within the UK and overseas, such as:

Project deliverables usually include written reports with appendices containing documentation, statistics and implementation plans as appropriate. Depending on the brief, data is also provided in database format with customised reports to suit the client’s requirements.

We pride ourselves on being able to design and deliver fit-for-purpose, cost-effective and sustainable solutions to archives and records management needs. Current and completed projects include:

Training Courses

The Basic Archive Skills Training Day series began again in 1999 when Janet and Margaret set up as an independent consultancy and expanded from the introductory course to include more in-depth treatment of the key issues surrounding the management of archives and records. Courses offered include:

The courses are continuously reviewed and revised in response to participant feedback and our own monitoring of developments in the field of archives and records management. All courses are supported by detailed handbooks or resource packs.

In addition, our website, www.archive-skills.com, provides some of our training materials for downloading as well as a comprehensive links page leading to a wide variety of relevant information resources.

We also provide customised training courses which in the past have included a Summer School on managing electronic records for SLAIS at University College London and a two-day Archive Assistants’ training course for the Society of Archivists. Other training projects include: a Time Management training day for Warwickshire Archives; a Paleographic Skills Workshop for staff of the National Library of Scotland; Electronic Records training for the National Archives (UK); an Archive Awareness course for staff of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council; basic archive skills training for Borders local studies staff; Birmingham City Council archive and local studies staff; Islamic Relief; NEMLAC (North East Museums Libraries and Archives Council); a series of courses for the National Archives of Estonia in Tartu; a Training the Trainer course for the National Archives of Latvia in Riga; preservation management training for the National Archives of Mongolia; information management training for the Northern Ireland Office; and two day courses in Malta.

We maintain a commitment to the wider international archival community through contact with the International Council on Archives Section for Archival Education and Training. Whilst members of the Steering Committee (1996–2004) we organised a successful conference for archival educators and trainers in Marburg, Germany in 2001 and produced an extensive training the trainer resource pack for publication on the Section’s website.