Else Churchill from the Society of Genealogists has joined The National Archives’ User Advisory Group
The first meeting of The National Archives’ User Advisory Group is on 22 June, then four times a year thereafter.
If anyone has any issues or points they wish to raise about TNA please do not hesitate to contact Else by email firstname.lastname@example.org, or through the comments facility on this page. Alternatively you can comment via the Society of Genealogists’ Facebook page or follow Else on twitter @SoGGenealogist
TNA has drafted the Terms of Reference for The National Archives’ User Advisory Group
The role of the User Advisory Group is to:
Provide an opportunity for users of The National Archives to get involved in the organisations planning and decision making process at an early stage and a strategic level.
Provide an opportunity for The National Archives to seek structured advice and feedback from our user communities on specific developments and decisions, via a formal closed group, which actively represents the diverse interests, concerns and agendas of our user communities. Provide balanced and holistic representation from the diverse sections of our user community and an opportunity for dialogue between representatives of these groups. Act as a two way communications channel between The National Archives and our user communities.
Provide a voice, through representation, for users who may not be able to make use of the other engagement channels provided by The National Archives.
The role of the User Advisory Group is distinct from:
The role of the User Forum which is an open forum held regularly on site at The National Archives. However, it is likely that there will be links and communication channels between the 2 groups, in both directions.
Executive responsibility of The National Archives’ formal governance structure, including all of its constituent parts.
Any other consultative or advisory group or body not listed above.
Method of engagement
The User Advisory Group consists of invited delegates who represent the following sections of our user community:
On site, personal interest researchers
Independent (paid) researchers
Researchers based primarily in the Map and Large Document Reading Room
Researchers interested in the diversity / inclusion / access agenda
County / external archives
Genealogy / family history societies
Online users (Initially, on site users will be represented by a member of The National Archives’ staff. During 2011 – 2012, we will be running a formal work stream to improve opportunities for engagement with online users).
The National Archives commits to:
Manage and Chair the meetings effectively, to promote productive communication and discussion.
Set the dates of the meetings in advance and communicate these effectively so as to allow delegates to plan their attendance.
Circulate agendas and minutes of the meetings in a timely manner. Communicate effectively with delegates interregnum, as appropriate.
Delegates should commit to:
Respect the roles and opinions of the other delegates, the Chair and other staff in attendance.
Make every effort to attend the meetings and act as a representative for a minimum of one year (4 meetings).
Make every effort to effectively represent, feed back to and communicate with their user community; to include the publication of their names and contact details.
Show discretion in communicating what is discussed at the meetings and maintain confidentiality where instructed by the Chair or other staff members.
Constitution of the User Advisory Group
The User Advisory Group will meet 4 times a year with:
The Director of Operations and Services (co-chair) The Director of Customer and Business Development (co-chair) The Customer Intelligence Manager The Customer Research manager The Customer Intelligence Officer (online user representative)
Additional members of staff will be made available depending upon agenda topics.
Agendas for meetings will be published in advance of, and full minutes will be published following the meetings.
We will make limited resources available to support the User Advisory Group:
Publicise the dates of the meetings and the contact details of delegates, online, onsite and in publications where appropriate.
Provide meeting space, refreshments and facilities for the meetings, as required.
Where appropriate, provide reasonable resources to allow delegates to communicate and meet with members of the communities they represent (to include space on our notice boards and meeting rooms where available).