Government Archives and Records Administration (GARA) Certificate Program

The National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators (NAGARA) is a professional association dedicated to the improvement of federal, state, and local government records and information management and the professional development of government records administrators and archivists. This certificate program was created to recognize government officials' achievements in obtaining a knowledge base to help them more effectively care for and manage their records.

How to Apply:

To apply, candidates should download and complete the "GARA Certificate Application" (EXCEL file) at the top of this page. Please be sure to include with your application all applicable evidence and information as noted below. Applications must be submitted in electronic format to [email protected] No paper application will be accepted. We understand that file sizes may be too large for one email. Please feel free to send multiple emails if this is the case.

*When applying, please complete all necessary sections, including "Event Description, Objectives and Outcomes*

Objectives:

  • To enhance the professional development of government records caretakers so that they may better manage the records that document the activities of government and protect the legal rights of citizens.
  • To offer career development goals for participants in a subject area that is critical to their profession.
  • To foster professional networking among NAGARA and federal, state, regional, and county local government associations, and between individual records caretakers and their State Archives.

Certificate Requirements:

  • 40 hours of qualified study within 5 years of the date of application.
  • A minimum of 2 hours of training toward 7 of the 9 areas must be completed (The remaining 26 hours of training may be applied to any of the 9 competency areas.)
  • It is highly recommended that each applicant complete a state- or local- government specific workshop on public records law to be recorded under the "Legal and Compliance Issues" core competencies section.
  • An individual event may not be listed more than once in the application.
  • $50 application fee.
  • Membership in NAGARA.

Since the minimum requirement of 2 hours in 7 of the 9 competency areas totals 14 hours, applicants may enroll in multiple workshops within certain competency areas and/or may participate in subject area workshops that are longer than 2 hours duration. This will allow participants to pursue knowledge and skills that are of special interest to them and/or of particular relevance to their work environments.

Core Competency Areas:

  1. Records and Information Management Basics
  2. Physical Storage and Environments
  3. Disaster Preparedness and Business Continuity
  4. Retention and Disposition
  5. Advocacy and Outreach
  6. Electronic Records and Information Management
  7. Legal and Compliance Issues
  8. Archives and Long-term Preservation
  9. Emerging Technologies

**Please see Appendix A at the bottom of this page for list of recommended training topics for each of the 9 competency areas.**

What are “core competencies” and why are they required to earn NAGARA’S Government Archives and Records Administration Certificate?

Competencies are a set of behaviors encompassing skills, knowledge, abilities, and personal attributes that, taken together, are critical to successful work accomplishment. NAGARA’s Certificate in Government Archives and Records Administration (GARA) is tied to completion of education, training, and/or professional development activities designed to provide knowledge and skills to support the nine GARA competency areas.

NAGARA acknowledges that demands for workplace skills and knowledge of government archives and records management differ from one environment to another, and from one management level to another. Further, competence grows with experience and continued education. The GARA Certificate does not result in the CRM designation as established by the Institute of Certified Records Managers (ICRM) or the CA designation as established by the Academy of Certified Archivists (ACA). However, the GARA Certificate does recognize that an individual has obtained a base of knowledge to help him or her perform more effectively in certain workplace environments, and NAGARA encourages certificate recipients to build upon that foundation with continued personal and professional growth in government archives and records management subject areas.

Types of evidence that should be submitted for each activity in the application:

  • Proof of attendance (certificate of attendance, copy of instructor's sign-in sheet, etc.) including name, date, and title of workshop
  • Number of hours and proof of hours attended
  • Course contents description (course content descriptions may be a link to a website or a copy of a program, but should not include all the slides or handouts of a presentation)
  • Instructors' names, affiliations, qualifications

GARA Certificate Recipients

2022

NameJob TitleOrganization
Christine Lee JonesRecords Manager, SME IIIZimmerman Associates, Inc.
Donna Marie LipscombRecords Management Program ManagerState of West Virginia
Erin BostwickReference ArchivistIdaho State Archives
Jaime GanzelRecords ConsultantWashington State Archives
Kawai Ono  
Lee WoodwardCity Secretary/PIOCity of La Porte, Texas
Lindsay Katherine MeidingerHead of Archival Collections & Info ManagementState Historical Society of North Dakota
Meagan SterkelPublic Records Program ManagerPierce County - General Services
Mr. Cymone SmithRecords AdministratorTrinity River Authority of Texas
Mr. Timothy M. FlinnAOT Records Management Technician IIIVermont Agency of Transportation
Ms. Janice O. DeemAdministrative Assistant/Records ManagerCounty of Bath, VA
Shanté EllisExecutive Administrative ManagerCharleston County Park & Recreation Commission
Shelley GoodwinCity SecretaryCity of Fredericksburg, TX
Shelly RayPrincipal Transportation PlannerLos Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Tamyra LaddAOT Records Analyst IVermont Agency of Transportation

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If you received your certificate after January 2015 and wish to receive a reprinted certificate, please e-mail [email protected] and a replacement will be sent at no cost. If you received your certificate before 2015 and wish to receive a reprinted certificate, please send a picture/PDF copy of your certificate to [email protected] and a replacement will be sent at no cost.

Appendix A

Examples of training topics for each of the 9 Competency Areas are listed below. Qualifying NAGARA webinars are worth one (1) study hour each, and each webinar lists which core competency is applicable.
Note: You must be logged in to your NAGARA profile for the list of qualifying webinars to appear

Comp 1: Records and Information Management Basics

  • Introduction to RIM (value, purpose, function, records lifecycle, records management)
  • Needs assessment
  • Strategic planning/setting RIM goals and objectives
  • Records Inventory
  • Work processes/workflow

Qualifying NAGARA Webinars

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