Friday, October 28, 2011

TRAC: A2.1: The right type of staff and skills

A2.1 Repository has identified and established the duties that it needs to perform and has appointed staff with adequate skills and experience to fulfill these duties.

The repository must identify the competencies and skill sets required to operate the repository over time and demonstrate that the staff and consultants have the range of requisite skills—e.g., archival training, technical skills, and legal expertise.

Evidence: A staffing plan; competency definitions; job description; development plans; plus evidence that the repository review and maintains these documents as requirements evolve. 

I see three main areas of evidence to support this requirement.

One is that ICPSR has been in operation for fifty years, and it continues to win contracts and grants to preserve and disseminate social science research data and documentation.  No organization can operate for fifty years if it does not have a team capable of delivering success.

Another bit of evidence appears on ICPSR's organization chart.  I don't believe we publish it for the world to see, but we do maintain a copy on our intranet site.  The org chart shows the areas, teams, and people one needs to curate content successfully.  Data managers?  Check.  Metadata specialists?  Check.  Technology?  Check.  Administrative functions?  Check.  And, of course, specialists in digital preservation policy and standards.

Finally, there is also evidence in the body of job descriptions one would find on the University of Michigan jobs site (if its content was preserved!).  One can see how job titles, job functions, and skillsets have evolved over the years as technology, best practices, and types of content have also evolved.

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