Digital Preservation Trainee: Digital Preservation Guidance Traineeship with National Records of Scotland





Opening up Scotland’s Archives

National Records of Scotland

 Good Foundations: Local Authority Digital Preservation Guidance Traineeship

The deadline for applications has now passed, so please don't complete the application form.


Reports to:  Opening up Scotland’s Archives Project Manager
Location:     Edinburgh
Bursary:       £14,500 per annum  (plus travel and training)


Traineeship purpose and context:

This traineeship is one of 7 offered this year in archive services across Scotland as part of the Opening up Scotland’s Archives project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Opening Up Scotland’s Archives seeks to address three main areas:

• to diversify the range of people coming into the archives workforce;
• to address gaps in the skills available in the archives workforce and
• to offer new routes for people to work in the heritage sector.

We especially want to attract people from different working environments or voluntary sector backgrounds. Rather than solely focusing on specific qualifications, the aim is to identify people who can bring talent and energy and skills to the archival world, who are keen to develop their skills, who want to engage with their local community and want to create better accessible online services.


Host Organisation

National Records of Scotland (NRS) is a non-ministerial department of the Scottish Government. Our purpose is to collect, preserve and produce information about Scotland's people and history and make it available to inform current and future generations. NRS has a statutory duty to preserve and make available, in the long term, records deposited by its stakeholder bodies – that is the Scottish Courts, Scottish Government and Parliament, related agencies and public bodies and private individuals, estates and organisations. The Digital Preservation Programme (DPP) includes at its core the implementation of a digital repository solution and web continuity service which will enable the Keeper to reliably preserve born digital records into the future.

While there has been significant development in guidance, tools and services for digital preservation over the last ten years, there is a need to produce specific guidance for local authorities in Scotland which is relevant to local authority business and the types of records local authorities create.

In partnership with the Information and Records Management Society, the Archivists In Scottish Local Authority Archives Working Group and up to six local authorities the DPP will deliver a foundation-level guidance document written in plain language which will appeal to and engage local authority business areas and support record keepers in setting up a digital repository.

The guidance will be focused on:

• establishing and maintaining a digital repository;
• identifying and advising on the specific digital preservation needs of the records of Scottish local authority major functions such as education, planning and social care;
• recommending good digital record keeping practice for use by the relevant business areas within Scottish local authorities.


About this placement

This Digital Preservation Traineeship will involve:

• developing and running a consultation exercise and other activities to map out digital preservation requirements and knowledge gaps across selected Scottish local authorities;
• researching current standards and best practice in the field of digital preservation and applying these to the Scottish local authority sector;
• collating the results of this research and analysis to produce a guidance document;
• developing engaging methods of awareness-raising and dissemination of the guidance document across the selected local authorities.


Skills you will acquire during this traineeship

During the traineeship you will:

• gain an understanding of the issues relating to the preservation of digital records;
• develop a good working knowledge of the standards and best practice in digital preservation;
• develop an appreciation of the application of standards and best practice in a real-world environment;
• develop oral and written communication skills with a wide group of NRS colleagues and external stakeholders;
• work as part of a smaller internal team, a wider external team and individually within a formal project setting;
• develop analytical skills through the analysis of a range of information sources


Questions to consider

• How will the digital preservation traineeship help you develop your career?
• Which particular skills, knowledge, or experience do you want to gain from undertaking the digital preservation traineeship?
• What can you bring to the Digital Preservation Programme team?


Person Specification


• Higher English, or equivalent;
• Standard Grade Mathematics, or equivalent;
• Good IT skills; with a willingness and ability to acquire any additional technical skills   to undertake the role;
• Very good communication skills, both verbal and written, with the ability to gather and share information in an interesting and understandable way;
• Good organisational skills, with the ability to prioritise tasks and manage time well;
• Ability to work as part of a team and undertake self-directed research and work projects;
• Good interpersonal skills; with the ability to engage with a variety of different groups and individuals;
• Good problem solving skills; with the ability to develop processes and procedures for new activities with the resilience to cope with and overcome setbacks;
• Good planning skills.


• Experience of collaborative working, with a variety of groups of people.
• An understanding of archives

Candidates should not already possess a postgraduate qualification in the area of heritage, archive or museum practice.

During interview, you will be asked to give a very short presentation on what you understand “digital preservation” to mean. Also, you will be asked to complete a short aptitude test which will assess your ability to abstract key points from a longer piece of text.


Additional Information about the traineeship

During the traineeship you will build a portfolio of skills, experience and training designed for you to take forward into future employment.  At induction you will be provided with your training plan setting out the learning objectives and activities in more detail.  The training programme is responsive to the individual trainee requirements and you will therefore have the opportunity to liaise with your trainer to establish an individual programme of support.  The Digital Preservation Trainee will be expected to successfully complete a 10 credit-learning module at SCQF level 8 with the University of Dundee (involving around 15 hours of study per week over 9 weeks – only part of this study will be undertaken during working hours)

This may be used to count towards a future qualification in Archives or a related discipline.

The seven Opening Up Scotland’s archives trainees will regularly meet up at archive services across Scotland during the year to learn from their peers, attend a variety of seminars, group training and work alongside skilled and knowledgeable mentors within each host organisation. As part of the peer learning programme all trainees will take part in a training week at the National Archives of Scotland in Edinburgh. As well as your specialist focus area, training will cover: Outreach and Community Engagement, Digitisation, Digital Preservation, Collections Development and Traditional Archive Skills.

Trainees will also be part of an online community offering support and learning opportunities.  IT access, stationery and other reasonable resource requirements will be provided by the placement provider. 


If you require further information not found in the on-line information and FAQs please email

Location National Records of Scotland, West Register House, Charlotte Square, Edinburgh

Working arrangement This is a 51 week workplace-based traineeship starting in September 2016. You will work 37 hours per week.

Bursary £14,500 per annum

Nationality rules Applicants must be British or Commonwealth citizens with the right to live and work in the UK, or nationals of states of the European Union.

Closing date 15 May, 2016

Interviews These will take place on 6 & 7 July, 2016 

How to apply The deadline for applications has now passed.