National Archives to roll out digital mentoring scheme

Organisation seeks to cultivate ‘skills transfer’ across sector

By Sam Trendall

18 Nov 2019

The National Archives is to implement a mentoring programme that aims to enable those lacking in digital skills to learn from their peers.

The organisation wishes to create a “skills transfer” initiative that could be rolled out across the archiving sector. The programme will assign digital experts to help counterparts who have less experience in using technology in their work. 

“Confident digital management is the biggest challenge facing archives today, because it puts both the integrity of the records and their long-term organisational sustainability at risk,” The National Archives (TNA) said. “Archive professionals at all levels lack the confidence to make the digital case they need to make, whether at a high strategic level or at a practitioner level. And yet at the same time we see digital excellence manifested in all parts of the sector, from business and charity archives to university to local archives.”


It added: “These much-needed skills simply need further dispersal. We aim to achieve this by inviting archive professionals with experience in digital work to share their expertise widely and digitally mature organisations to support those at a lower level of maturity. TNA will lead by example.”

The organisation is seeking a specialist supplier to help it shape and launch the programme. The chosen firm will work with TNA during December and January to develop the scheme’s structure and content, and recruit mentors.

A training day for the chosen digital experts will then take place in February, with a launch event for mentors and mentees scheduled for the following month.

The National Archives intends to run further iterations of the programme in the future.

Bids to work with the organisation on this initial programme are open until noon 22 November. An estimated value for the work has not been provided.

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