Archives and Records Association – Consultant Brief

ARA is the lead professional body for archivists, archive conservators and records managers in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The ARA aims to support its membership through training, continuous professional development, identification of employment opportunities, professional help and advice, and by providing a community to which the membership can belong and from which they draw benefit through open discussion and debate, as well as through gathering of information and advice.

Context
A Workforce Survey commissioned by ARA and others in 2015 indicated that once people with physical disability entered the sector their career progression did not appear to be negatively impacted by their disability.

However over the intervening years it has become apparent that many potential entrants to the record keeping sector were unsuccessful in breaking into it and left before securing their first job.

We propose to research the true impact of having a physical disability on entrants to the profession and to then deliver appropriate guidance to the sector to overcome these barriers. Physical disability has long been on the agenda to research but has fallen behind other areas over the last 5 years and needs to be addressed. Physical disability is being framed broadly for these purposes, including limitations on a person’s physical functioning, mobility, dexterity or stamina.

This work will enable the sector to offer improved access to start and develop a career for those with physical disability. This will improve the diversity and skillset of the sector.

ARA endorses the social model of disability and we would normally use the phrase ‘disabled people’ rather than ‘those with a physical disability’ however this project is specifically about physical, rather than mental disability or neurodivergence (which will be the subject of future work) and we therefore use terms such as ‘physical disability’ for clarity.

Aims and Objectives
The aim of this project is to understand the:

  • true impact of having a physical disability on entrants to the profession, identifying barriers and challenges;
  • develop and deliver appropriate guidance to the sector to overcome the identified barriers and challenges

The consultant will provide a report that will:

  • provide an overview of how physical disabilities impact on entrants to the profession, identifying barriers and challenges;
  • develop and deliver appropriate guidance to the sector to overcome the identified barriers and challenges and improve access to start and develop a career for those with physical disability.

By the record keeping profession we mean individuals collecting, managers, the overall collecting institution and staff who will follow on and look at the material in the future. It encompasses archival and records management employment roles.

We expect the consultants to evidence that they will engage with people with lived experience of physical disability.

We will expect the consultants to attend an initial meeting and then provide an interim report for consideration at an interim meeting with subject experts prior to finalisation of the report.

Methodology
Please tell us in your proposal what your methodology will be including research methods and how any working/steering group will be involved in the work.

Product
The consultant will provide a written report using the above points. The report will be provided as a MS Word document and PDF. It will be published and made freely available on the ARA website. Some case studies may not be suitable for inclusion in the report but can be used to influence the guidance.

Costs
The budget for this project is £5,500 excluding VAT. Please provide a budget with your tender, stating inclusive or net of VAT.

Timetable
Please include a project timetable with key milestones in your proposal

Liability Insurance
Please include a copy of your professional liability cover with the proposal.

Contractor Personnel
Please include in your proposal details of who would be working on the project with a clear indication of who will be leading.

Monitoring
This project will be managed by the ARA Chief Executive- John Chambers

Quotations and timings
Completed proposals should be sent by e-mail to John Chambers, Chief Executive, Archives and Records Association, john.chambers@archives.org.uk  by Wednesday 31st July 2024.

The appointed consultant is expected to complete the project by December 2024.

For an informal discussion contact John Chambers. john.chambers@archives.org.uk