Outreach and Audience Development Policy

Berkshire Record Office

Outreach and Audience Development Policy

Issued December 2009

Revised December 2015

1 Scope

This policy covers activities or services offered by Berkshire Record Office whose principal aim is to enhance the experience of existing customers and to engage new customers.

2 Governing standards

Berkshire Record Office will meet its obligations regarding service provision under the following general statutes:

  • Sex Discrimination Act 1975
  • Race Relations Act 1976
  • Disability Discrimination Act 1995
  • Equality Act 2010

In addition Berkshire Record Office will seek to implement best practice guidance for outreach and audience development work. This will include guidance from the National Archives, the Archives and Records Association, and other recognised national bodies.

3 Existing customers

3.1 Berkshire Record Office aims to add value to the access it provides to its collections. It seeks to develop the experience of undertaking research for existing customers, either in person or remotely.

3.2 The Record Office will undertake activities which

  • Create choice for customers about how to use the service
  • Improve customers’ knowledge of the collections, and enhance understanding of the collections
  • Build customers’ research skills
  • Inform customers of new developments or services
  • Encourage communications between customers and the Office which develop customer needs

3.3 The Record Office will market and promote these activities to customers using written and oral communication channels.

4 The wider community

4.1 Berkshire Record Office aims to raise awareness of its collections and services. It seeks to promote equality of access and to ensure that the global research community can find information about the Record Office across different media and without needing to make direct contact with the Office.

4.2 The Record Office will undertake activities which

  • Engage new audiences with the collections
  • Develop an awareness and appreciation of the heritage of the Royal County of Berkshire
  • Interpret the collections for the enjoyment of all people of all ages
  • Remove barriers to historical research

4.3 The Record Office will market and promote these activities using written and oral communication channels.

5 Re-use of archives for promotional purposes

5.1 Berkshire Record Office will allow re-use of material by the media or other customers, subject to permission from the owner of the material. A re-use fee will be charged and due acknowledgement to the Record Office will be required.

5.2 Audio recording and filming within the Record Office will be subject to agreement in advance.

6 Planning and evaluation

6.1 Berkshire Record Office will ensure that at any time a plan of activities for outreach and audience development can be identified within its business planning process.

6.2 The Record Office will ensure that resources can be identified to implement the plan. Resources may either be provided in-house or through external funding.

6.3 As much as possible, the Record Office will seek to work in partnership with other agencies to deliver outreach and audience development work, including libraries, museums and local societies.

6.4 The success of outreach and audience development work will be evaluated, and equality impact monitored through usage statistics, the user surveys undertaken by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA), and customer feedback.

Usage statistics will be collected monthly. The CIPFA visitor survey and distance survey alternate year on year. Feedback will be collected daily. All will be documented in the Record Office’s annual report.