SIMS Master of Information Management and Systems - IMS5009

School of Information Management and Systems

Master of Information Management and Systems

IMS5009 Recordkeeping Contexts and Clients

Module 2 Professional Identity

Weeks 5&6 The Role of Professional Associations

Objectives of this Topic
Related Assessable Activity
Time Allocation
Readings

Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. The role of the professional association
  3. Professional ethics
  4. Professional education and training
  5. The Heiner Affair
  6. Further Reading

Objectives

At the end of this topic, you should be able to answer the following questions:

Related Assessable Activity

There is one assessable activity associated with this topic. It involves posting your views on three issues relating to the role of professional associations.

Email Discussion: The Role of the Professional Association postings on ethics, education and Heiner
Submissions:

Related Assignment:

Due Date:

Post to the IMS 5009 Listserv

Assignment 4 Class/Email Discussion

Post by 23 April 1999

Time Allocation

1. Introduction
2. The role of the professional association 5 hrs
3. Professional ethics 5 hrs
4. Professional education and training 5 hrs
5. The Heiner Affair 5 hrs
6. Further Reading

Readings

Aus-Archivists Listserv postings on Heiner affair:
http://www.asap.unimelb.edu.au/asa/
Click on AUS-ARCHIVISTS and check out the following recent postings (the asterisked ones are particularly significant):

Australian Society of Archivists Inc., Code of Ethics, 1993

Richard Cox, "Archivists and Information Policy in the United States", Chapter 14, American Archival Analysis: The Recent Development of the Archival Profession in the United States, Scarecrow Press, Metuchen, N.J. and London, 1990, pp. 304-327.

Ethics Case Studies for IMS 5009

Chris Hurley, "Shredding of the 'Heiner Affair' Records: An Up-dating Summary": http://www.caldeson.com/RIMOS/summary.html

Sue McKemmish, "Educating Recordkeeping Professionals for the 21st Century Issues and Challenges", in Redefining Records Management: RMAA 12th National Convention, RMAA, Melbourne, 1995, pp. 85-102.

Records and Archives Competency Standards, Australian National Training Authority, 1997 [Extract].

Records Management Association of Australia, Code of Ethics, 1996.

Helen Smith, "Legal Responsibilities and Issues", Keeping Archives, 2nd edition (edited by Judith Ellis), Thorpe, Port Melbourne, 1993, pp. 129-133.

Society of American Archivists, Code of Ethics: http://www.archivists.org/vision/ethics.html

Michael Steemson, "Battle for New Zealand National Archives Status Goes Public": http://www.caldeson.com/aranz98.html

Vicki Wilson, "Sources of Expertise: Education and Training for Tomorrow's Records and Information Manager", Informaa Quarterly, Vol 11, No 2, May 1995.

1. Introduction

In this topic you will be investigating the role of professional associations in the records and archives field, with particular reference to ethics, education and the so-called Heiner Affair. The investigation will involve you in web browsing, reading and email discussion. Many of the issues raised in this topic are controversial feel free to debate them on the IMS 5009 listserv.

2. The role of the professional association

Web Site Browsing

To get some idea of the role of professional associations, you might like to revisit the web sites of the Australian Society of Archivists and Records Management Association of Australia:

Australian Society of Archivists: http://www.archivenet.gov.au/asa/asa.html

Records Management Association: http://www.rmaa.com.au/index.html

Also have a look at the web sites of the following professional bodies:

ARMA International (Association of Records Managers and Administrators: http://www.arma.org/hq/

Association of Canadian Archivists (ACA): http://www.archives.ca/aca/

International Council on Archives (ICA): http://www.archives.ca/ica/

Society of American Archivists: http://www.archivists.org/

Check out Richard Cox's views on archivists as advocates:

Richard Cox, "Archivists and Information Policy in the United States", Chapter 14, American Archival Analysis: The Recent Development of the Archival Profession in the United States, Scarecrow Press, Metuchen, N.J. and London, 1990, pp 304-327..

And read the following review which relates to the direct action campaign waged by the Archives and Records Association of New Zealand (ARANZ) to stop the NZ Government from downgrading the role of the New Zealand National Archives including taking the NZ Government to Court!

Michael Steemson, "Battle for New Zealand National Archives Status Goes Public": http://www.caldeson.com/aranz98.html

You will see that professional associations are involved in a range of activities, including:

3. Professional ethics

Professional ethics are usually considered one of the hallmarks of a profession. But there is an ongoing debate both within the recordkeeping profession and society at large as to the effectiveness of ethics in regulating professional behaviour/conduct. Professionalism also involves the acceptance of a number of legal responsibilities, including duty of care.

What are professional ethics about?

Here are some ideas. Can you think of other points to add?

Why have a Code of Ethics?

Here are some reasons. Again, feel free to add to the list.

What do recordkeeping codes of ethics cover?

Email Discussion 1: Ethics

Check out the following professional codes of ethics and Helen Smith's comments on such codes:

Australian Society of Archivists Inc., Code of Ethics, 1993

Records Management Association of Australia, Code of Ethics, 1996

Helen Smith, "Legal Responsibilities and Issues", Keeping Archives, 2nd edition (edited by Judith Ellis), Thorpe, Port Melbourne, 1993, pp. 129-133.

Society of American Archivists, Code of Ethics: http://www.archivists.org/vision/ethics.html

Reflect on why professional associations have codes of ethics.

Look at the Ethics Case Studies in your Readings. Some of these studies involve ethical issues; others don't.

Identify which cases you think involve ethical issues make notes on why and on whether any of the above codes of ethics would help in the situations described.

Post your views on which cases involve ethical issues and why to the IMS 5009 listserv. Also state briefly whether you think any of the above codes of ethics would provide guidance as to what would be ethical behaviour in these cases. [NOTE: feel free to debate differing views!]

Due Date: Post to IMS 5009 listserv by 23 April 1999 .

4. Professional education and training

The traditional model for professional education and training in records management and archives has been the life cycle. In North America this has resulted in the development of postgraduate archival programs in the universities and TAFE level programs for records managers.

In Australia, all university programs subscribe to the continuum view and provide integrated records and archives education. The Australian Records and Archives Competency Standards were also developed in a records continuum framework. Both the ASA and RMAA base their guidelines for the accreditation of professional education programs on the Competency Standards.

Readings/Web Browsing

For an overview of Australian continuum-based approaches to recordkeeping education, read:

Records and Archives Competency Standards, Australian National Training Authority, 1997 [extract].

Sue McKemmish, "Educating Recordkeeping Professionals for the 21st Century Issues and Challenges", in Redefining Records Management: RMAA 12th National Convention, RMAA, Melbourne, 1995, pp. 85-102.

For a different Australian perspective and a survey of the literature on what should constitute records management education, look at:

Vicki Wilson, "Sources of Expertise: Education and Training for Tomorrow's Records and Information Manager", Informaa Quarterly, Vol 11, No 2, May 1995.

For international and North American views on what should constitute an archival education program, browse the SAA, ACA and ICA web site sections on education.

Email Discussion 2: Education

Try to map the subjects you have done so far in GDIM/MIM/MIMS onto the Records and Archives Competency Standards Streams and Packages Matrix.

Post your mapping to the IMS 5009 listserv.

Due Date: Post to IMS 5009 listserv by 23 April 1999

5. The Heiner Affair

The Heiner documents were the records of interview and related material gathered by retired stipendiary magistrate Noel Heiner in the course of an aborted inquiry into the John Oxley Youth Centre and its manager in late 1989 and early 1990. The documents were shredded on the order of the Queensland Cabinet and with the approval of the Queensland State Archivist on 23 March 1990. It now appears that the shredding was part of a cover up of systemic child abuse in Queensland's youth centres.

The Heiner Affair raises issues that are fundamental to the role of recordkeeping and professional recordkeepers in our society and to the role of our professional societies.

A debate over what position the ASA and RMAA should take in relation to these issues what role they should have played/should now play in the various inquiries relating to the Affair, and whether some kind of direct action might be required has been raging ever since the shreddings were revealed. The ASA has finally taken a stand on the issues; the RMAA remains silent.

Reading/Web Site Browsing

First read the following summary by Chris Hurley, then check out the recent postings on the Listserv:

Chris Hurley, "Shredding of the 'Heiner Affair' Records: An Up-dating Summary": http://www.caldeson.com/RIMOS/summary.html

Aus-Archivists Listserv postings on Heiner affair: http://www.asap.unimelb.edu.au/asa/
Click on AUS-ARCHIVISTS and check out the following recent postings (the asterisked ones are particularly significant):

For a more extensive account of the Heiner Affair, see Chris Hurley's detailed report on "Shredding of the 'Heiner Affair' Records", also on the RIMOS site ( http://www.caldeson.com/RIMOS). You could also follow up any of the related sources referenced/hotlinked on the site.

Email Discussion 3: Heiner

Post your views on the following issues to the IMS 5009 listserv:

Due Date: Post to IMS 5009 listserv by 23 April 1999

6. Further Reading

American Archivist, Vol 56, Summer 1993 this issue is devoted to archival education and technology.

Archives and Manuscripts, Vol 13, No 2, Nov 1985 this issue marked the 10 year anniversary of the journal with a number of articles looking back at the history of the ASA.

Archivuum, the journal of the ICA f requently carries articles on archival education in countries around the world.

Terry Eastwood, "Nurturing Archival Education in the University", American Archivist, Vol 51, Summer 1998, pp. 228-52.

Professor Eastwood (UBC) is one of the pioneering generation of archival educators in North America.

Journal of Education for Library and Information Science, Vol 34, No 1, Winter 1993 dedicated to "Educating the Archivist for the Twenty-First Century".

Articles focus on core archival knowledge, where archival programs should be placed, continuing education, and the place of IT in the archival curriculum. See in particular the article by Luciana Duranti, "The Archival Body of Knowledge: Archival Theory, Method and Practice, and Graduate and Continuing Education".

Sue McKemmish, "Core Knowledge and Skills for Information Professionals Converging or Diverging: The Implications of Diverse World Views", in Papers of the 9th National RMAA Convention, RMAA, Sydney, 1992, pp. 104-14.

Historically Australian records managers and archivists waged a long campaign to have their profession and its disciplinary base recognised as distinct from, but complementary to, that of information management and librarianship. You will see evidence of this in the Australian literature on recordkeeping education, including the above article.

Heather MacNeil, Without Consent: the Ethics of Disclosing Personal Information in Public Archives, SAA and Scarecrow Press Inc, Metuchen NJ and London, 1992, particularly pp. 127-153.

J.M. Pemberton & Lee O. Predergraft, "Towards a Code of Ethics: Social Relevance and the Professionalization of Records Management", ARMA Quarterly, April 1990.

Michael Piggott, "Educating for Recordkeeping and Information Management", Archives and Manuscripts, Vol 23, No 1, May 1995, pp. 88-99.

An overview of the Australian records and archives educational programs on offer in 1995.

Michael Piggott & Colleen McEwan (eds), Australian Society of Archivists, Archivists the Image and the Future of the Profession, 1995 Conference, ASA, O'Connor, 1996.

This conference focused on issues of professional identity.

Roy Schaeffer, "From Craft to Profession: The Evolution of Archival Education and Theory in North America", Archivaria, 37, Spring 1994, pp. 21-34.

Stephen Yorke (ed.), Ethics, Lies and Archives: Seminar Proceedings, ASA, Canberra, 1994.

This seminar involved the presentation of a number of case studies, with discussion and debate on the ethical issues involved.

Frank Upward, "Association Amongst Archivists During the 1950s", in Peopling a Profession, Papers of the 4th Forum on Australian Library History, Monash, 25-6 Sept 1989, (edited by Jean Whyte and Frank Upward), Ancora, Clayton, 1991.

IMS5009


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