Local Government Archives and Records Administration Certificate Program

What is NAGARA’s Local Government Archives and Records Administration 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 local government officials’ achievements in obtaining a knowledge base to help them more effectively care for and manage their records.

Objectives:

  • To enhance the professional development of local 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 state-specific workshop on public records and meeting laws, which must be one of the eight of the 11 core competencies completed. (See Legal Issues)
  • An individual event may not be listed more than once in the application.
  • $10 application fee.
  • Membership in NAGARA is not required.

Since the minimum requirement of 1.5 hours in 8 of the 11 competency areas totals 12 hours, applicants may enroll in multiple workshops within certain competency areas and/or may participate in subject area workshops that are longer than 1.5 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 competencies:

  1. Records management overview
  2. Storage and environment basics
  3. Disaster planning and response
  4. Basic records center operations
  5. Retention and disposition
  6. File and forms management
  7. Advocacy and program development
  8. Reformatting options
  9. Electronic records management
  10. Vital records and business continuity planning
  11. Legal issues (including a state-specific workshop on public records and public meetings laws)

What are “core competencies” and why are they required to earn NAGARA’S Local 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 Local Government Archives and Records Administration (LGARA) is tied to completion of education, training, and/or professional development activities designed to provide knowledge and skills to support the eleven LGARA 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 LGARA 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 LGARA 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.

Examples of workshops and training activities that fulfill the certificate requirements. 

This list is not comprehensive, but it does include a sampling of professional development opportunities offered by state archives, state records management centers, the offices of state attorneys general, state libraries, and professional archives and records management associations (SAA, NAGARA, ARMA, IIMC), and NARA.

Records management (RM) overview

Conducting a needs assessment, conducting a records inventory, strategic planning, work processes, basic RM principles, setting RM goals and objectives, RM – value, purpose and function, records lifecycle, records management – an introduction for local governments.

Storage and environment

Understanding storage and environment basics, offsite storage, the basics of archives, environmental controls – fire suppression, temperature, and relative humidity.

Disaster planning and response

Risk management, disaster preparedness, records protection, protecting essential records, recovery techniques.

Basic records center operations
  • Security, managing inactive records, safety and security of records, inventory management, cost effective work methods, outfitting a records center, records storage design
  • Retention and disposition (records scheduling)
  • Records scheduling, using retention schedules, implementation of schedules
File and forms management

Managing case files effectively, managing maps and plans, organizing your historical records, managing historical photos, analysis of record-keeping systems, use of forms and user requirements, filing practices and rules, policies and procedures.

Advocacy and program development

Appraisal of historical records, introduction to historical records, developing a website, providing access to your records, building digital collections, grant proposal writing, project management, archival theory and practices, outreach and public relations, advocacy and marketing techniques.

Reformatting options

Electronic document management systems, micrographics as a records management tool, scanning and microfilming options, imaging procedures, vendor selection and contract management.

Electronic records management

Utilizing technology, introduction to GIS, preservation of electronic records, electronic records management, basic electronic records, RM software and database selection, data security, data storage practices, data migration.

Vital records and business continuity planning

Establishing an effective vital records program, business continuity planning, business contingency planning, business resumption processes, vital records management principles, vital records management program and practices.

Legal issues

Besides the required 1.5 hours of state-specific instruction on records retention and public records/public meetings laws, general legal issues such as copyright, replevin, or legal discovery can be included in the total number of hours earned in this competency area.

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.)
  • Number of hours
  • Course contents description (link to website, copy of program, handouts, etc.)
  • Instructors’ names, affiliations, qualifications

Pre-determination of event eligibility

Applicants anticipating participation in a professional development opportunity may submit for pre-determination of requirements fulfillment. Email NAGARA at info@nagara.org  at least 2 weeks prior to the event with the following information:

  • Your name, title, agency, and contact information
  • Event name, description, objectives/outcomes
  • Date and location of event
  • Applicable competency area
  • Name(s), contact information, and bio(s) of workshop instructor(s)
  • Links to all online information about the event, if available

 

bjectives:

  • To enhance the professional development of local 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 state-specific workshop on public records and meeting laws, which must be one of the eight core competencies completed. (See Legal Issues.)
  • An individual event may not be listed more than once in the application.
  • $10 application fee.
  • Membership in NAGARA is not required.

 

Since the minimum requirement of 1.5 hours in 8 competency areas totals 12 hours, applicants may enroll in multiple workshops within certain competency areas and/or may participate in subject area workshops that are longer than 1.5 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 competencies:

  1. Records management overview
  2. Storage and environment basics 
  3. Disaster planning and response
  4. Basic records center operations
  5. Retention and disposition 
  6. File and forms management
  7. Advocacy and program development 
  8. Reformatting options
  9. Electronic records management 
  10. Vital records and business continuity planning
  11. Legal issues (including a state-specific workshop on public records and public meetings laws)

What are “core competencies” and why are they required to earn NAGARA’S Local 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 Local Government Archives and Records Administration (LGARA) is tied to completion of education, training, and/or professional development activities designed to provide knowledge and skills to support the eleven LGARA 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 LGARA 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 LGARA 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.

Examples of workshops and training activities that fulfill the certificate requirements.  This list is not comprehensive, but it does include a sampling of professional development opportunities offered by state archives, state records management centers, the offices of state attorneys general, state libraries, and professional archives and records management associations (SAA, NAGARA, ARMA, IIMC), and NARA. 

Records management (RM) overview
Conducting a needs assessment, conducting a records inventory, strategic planning, work processes, basic RM principles, setting RM goals and objectives, RM – value, purpose and function, records lifecycle, records management – an introduction for local governments

Storage and environment
Understanding storage and environment basics, offsite storage, the basics of archives, environmental controls – fire suppression, temperature, and relative humidity

Disaster planning and response
Risk management, disaster preparedness, records protection, protecting essential records, recovery techniques

Basic records center operations
Security, managing inactive records, safety and security of records, inventory management, cost effective work methods, outfitting a records center, records storage design
Retention and disposition (records scheduling)
Records scheduling, using retention schedules, implementation of schedules

File and forms management
Managing case files effectively, managing maps and plans, organizing your historical records, managing historical photos, analysis of record-keeping systems, use of forms and user requirements, filing practices and rules, policies and procedures

Advocacy and program development
Appraisal of historical records, introduction to historical records, developing a website, providing access to your records, building digital collections, grant proposal writing, project management, archival theory and practices, outreach and public relations, advocacy and marketing techniques

Reformatting options
Electronic document management systems, micrographics as a records management tool, scanning and microfilming options, imaging procedures, vendor selection and contract management

Electronic records management
Utilizing technology, introduction to GIS, preservation of electronic records, electronic records management, basic electronic records, RM software and database selection, data security, data storage practices, data migration

Vital records and business continuity planning
Establishing an effective vital records program, business continuity planning, business contingency planning, business resumption processes, vital records management principles, vital records management program and practices

Legal issues
Besides the required 1.5 hours of state-specific instruction on records retention and public records/public meetings laws, general legal issues such as copyright, replevin, or legal discovery can be included in the total number of hours earned in this competency area.

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.)
  • Number of hours
  • Course contents description (link to website, copy of program, handouts, etc.)
  • Instructors’ names, affiliations, qualifications

Pre-determination of event eligibility
Applicants anticipating participation in a professional development opportunity may submit for pre-determination of requirements fulfillment. Email NAGARA (info@nagara.org) at least 2 weeks prior to the event with the following information:

  • Your name, title, agency, and contact information 
  • Event name, description, objectives/outcomes
  • Date and location of event
  • Applicable competency area 
  • Name(s), contact information, and bio(s) of workshop instructor(s) 
  • Links to all online information about the event, if available