Unit of competency details

CULCNM302A - Develop and apply knowledge of archives (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to BSBLIB302 - Develop and apply knowledge of archivesUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages Unit moved from Library, Information and Cultural Services Training Package to Business Services Training Package. 13/Jan/2016

ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 20/Dec/2011


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 091303 Curatorial Studies  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 091303 Curatorial Studies  12/Apr/2012 
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Modification History



Release 1

This unit of competency first released with CUL11 Library, Information and Cultural Services Training Package version 1.0

Unit Descriptor

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to apply an understanding of the difference between archives and other collections and how this affects the arrangement and management of collections.

Application of the Unit

This unit applies to individuals in support roles who require some theoretical and practical understanding of the nature of archives and how they are managed.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement.


Not applicable.

Employability Skills Information

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content


Performance Criteria 

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge section and the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria

1. Consolidate understanding of archival institutions and records

1.1 Review and analyse archival institutions  and their programs

1.2 Differentiate between records , archives  and other collection material on the basis of their respective management needs

1.3 Research records to determine their provenance, purpose and contribution to heritage, culture and evidential value

1.4 Determine risks associated with the loss of archival records

2. Develop an understanding of collection management

2.1 Discuss with relevant personnel  the ways in which different elements of archive collections are managed

2.2 Evaluate how collection management needs and processes affect the role of archivists

2.3 Identify linkages between archival principles  and processes  and the role of archivists 

3. Arrange and describe records

3.1 Research record systems  and their metadata 

3.2 Arrange and describe records according to archival principles

3.3 Contribute to the documentation of archival collections

Required Skills and Knowledge

This section describes the skills and knowledge required for this unit.

Required skills 

  • analytical skills to:
  • interpret information on archival principles, processes and programs
  • recognise the archival value of records
  • differentiate between records and archives and other collections
  • initiative and enterprise skills to see connections between the way collections are managed and job roles
  • learning skills to:
  • improve own understanding of collection management
  • reflect on and adjust own approach to work, based on improved understanding of the different elements of collections
  • literacy skills to read and understand information on:
  • records and record-keeping systems
  • archives and archivists
  • archival programs and principles
  • planning and organising skills to organise information collected in a systematic fashion
  • research skills to source information on archives, archival programs, archival principles and processes
  • self-management skills to:
  • prioritise work tasks and meet deadlines
  • follow workplace procedures
  • teamwork skills to:
  • discuss collection and archival issues with colleagues
  • work collaboratively with others
  • technology skills to use systems and equipment related to records management.

Required knowledge 

  • differences between archives and other collections
  • general principles and processes of archival management and records management
  • information on the archive sector, including:
  • principles and processes of archival practice, records and archives
  • role of archivists and archival programs
  • key provisions of relevant legislation from all forms of government, regulations, standards and documentation that may affect aspects of records and archives, including:
  • AS ISO 15489 International Standard Records Management
  • AS ISO 16175-3:2010 Information and documentation – Principles and functional requirements for records in electronic office environments
  • AS5044:2002 AGLS Metadata element set
  • AS5090:2003 Work process analysis for recordkeeping
  • AS ISO 23081-1:2006 Information and documentation – Records management processes – Metadata for records – Part 1: Principles
  • ethical principles
  • codes of ethics
  • privacy and freedom of information
  • archives and records legislation
  • work health and safety
  • metadata format, use and application
  • systems, such as:
  • principles of provenance and original order
  • archival control systems
  • records continuum theory
  • implementing preservation programs.

Evidence Guide

The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment 

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

Evidence of the ability to:

  • differentiate between records, archives and other collections
  • apply an understanding of archival principles, processes and programs to the arrangement and description of collection records
  • work collaboratively with others involved in archival management, including archivists.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure access to:

  • information on a variety of archives and archival programs
  • archive records, record-keeping systems and organisational policies.

Method of assessment 

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

  • assessment of written reports
  • direct questioning combined with review of portfolios of evidence and third-party workplace reports of on-the-job performance
  • verbal or written questioning to assess knowledge of archive principles, processes and programs.

Assessment methods should closely reflect workplace demands and the needs of particular client groups (consider the requirements of different age groups, clients with English as a second language, clients with disabilities, remote library users, etc.).

Guidance information for assessment 

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended, for example:

  • record-keeping units from BSB07 Business Services Training Package.

Range Statement

The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Archival institutions  may include:

  • businesses
  • commonwealth, state and local government archival institutions
  • community groups
  • in-house archives
  • manuscript and community libraries
  • museums
  • non-government organisations
  • professional and trade organisations
  • religious bodies
  • schools
  • universities.

Records  may include:

  • different states of use:
  • active
  • archival
  • digital and stored on:
  • CDs
  • DVDs
  • imaging systems
  • mainframes
  • PC-based applications
  • remote drives
  • servers
  • physical formats, such as:
  • audiovisual or multimedia
  • graphic
  • microform
  • paper-based
  • variety of sources, including:
  • already in the custody of the collecting institution
  • in the process of being transferred.

Archives  may relate to:

  • an organisation responsible for the care and control of archival material
  • building, room or storage area where archival material is kept
  • records that are preserved permanently because of their enduring value.

Relevant personnel  may include:

  • archivists
  • clients
  • collection managers
  • custodians
  • donors
  • historians
  • records managers
  • supervisors.

Archival principles  relate to:

  • original order
  • provenance.

Archival processes  may include:

  • accessioning
  • appraisal and disposal
  • arrangement and description
  • control systems
  • preservation.

Role of archivists  may include:

  • access management
  • accessioning
  • acquisition
  • appraisal and disposal
  • arrangement and description
  • design of record-keeping systems
  • implementing preservation programs
  • outreach and public relations
  • records management
  • research.

Record systems  may include:

  • archival control systems
  • business or record systems
  • characteristics, such as:
  • aggregations
  • content
  • context
  • metadata
  • structure
  • electronic systems
  • formal and informal
  • paper-based accumulations
  • storage facility systems.

Metadata  may include:

  • classification terms
  • date, time and location of:
  • record creation
  • registration of record in the system
  • descriptions
  • disposal decision
  • identity of record creator
  • indexing and descriptive terms
  • location
  • record format
  • related entities
  • security and access information
  • unique archival identifiers for each record
  • unique creator identifiers for each record.

Unit Sector(s)

Cultural Services - Collection management