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The Academy of Certified Archivists, founded in 1989 at the annual meeting of the Society of American Archivists, is an independent, nonprofit certifying organization of professional archivists. Individual members qualify for certification by meeting a series of defined professional standards. They have either passed the examination for Certified Archivist, first offered in September 1989, or have qualified by petition for Certified Archivist. The petition program was closed in September 1989. Today, archivists can become certified only by meeting educational and experience requirements and passing the archival certification examination.
Prior to the establishment of the Academy of Certified Archivists, the Interim Board for Certification (IBC) was established by the Society of American Archivists to develop a certification program for the archival profession. With support from the society, the IBC conducted the initial phases of certification by petition and examination.
Each year the membership elects a Vice President, who serves as Vice President for a year, then President for a year, then Regent for Nominations for a year. The remaining Officers and Regents are elected by the membership for two-year terms:
The Officers and Regents constitute the Board of Regents, which manages the affairs of the Academy.
The Academy participates in the definition and advancement of professional archival education, concepts, and issues. It identifies and promotes understanding of archival goals, ethics, and standards. Professional certification provides the only available standard by which employers are able to judge the qualifications of prospective staff members.
Individual members demonstrate continuing professional commitment that goes beyond education and experience. Working throughout the United States and around the world, Certified Archivists possess expertise in and knowledge of all aspects of archival management. By demonstrating mastery of a defined body of knowledge and skills for successful archival practice, Academy members share a high level of professional attainment that has been verified by certification.
The Academy of Certified Archivists has contracted with Capitol Hill Management Services of Albany, New York for administrative and psychometric services for the Academy.