A Statement of Competency is required for each of the 9 competencies (A – I), in which I address the following questions:
What do I understand this competency to mean?
What course assignments or other work products am I submitting as evidence of my mastery of this competency?
Which source(s) or class(es) is my evidence drawn from?
Why did I select these particular work products as evidence for my mastery of this competency? How do my selections show not simply learning but also application?
What have I learned?
It should be clear to anyone examining the contents of this e-Portfolio why I have chosen each item as representative of my knowledge, skills, and accomplishments and what I have learned.
I must include a minimum of one piece of evidence for each competency; however, submitting two or three pieces of evidence is preferred. The final decision rests with my e-Portfolio advisor whether more will be required.
What do advisors look for in a Statement of Competency? While each advisor may have different specifics they would prefer that you address, in general, consider including the following:
- What you understand the competency to mean — define it and explain why it is important to you as a professional and to the profession as a whole.
- What coursework/work experience prepared you for understanding and being able to perform the competency — how you chose the evidence you are presenting to demonstrate your preparation.
- How each piece of evidence presented demonstrates your competency and the skills and knowledge you learned.
How you are able (know how to, or can) apply / transfer your skills and knowledge in the future to different [work] situations or environments.
See Examples of Evidentiary Items (below) for more specifics about evidence.
Questions about Evidence
- If I am submitting a paper or piece of work from an MARA course as evidence, and there are typos or the style is not accurate – do I need to re-write the paper? No, do not re-write papers that come from courses you have completed. If the errors are very noticeable, you may want to mention that in your Statement of Competency, but do not re-write the paper.
- How many pieces of evidence are required for each competency? As many as are necessary to demonstrate competency, hopefully no more than four. In very rare cases one may be sufficient; however, in most competencies several pieces of evidence will be needed. When you feel that you have sufficient evidence, consult with your advisor to determine what the advisor requires.
- Can I submit one piece of evidence to demonstrate ability in two or more competencies? Yes, but you must always make a good case for why that evidence is relevant for that particular competency and how it demonstrates your mastery of that competency. In other words, explain what it taught you about each competency. The criteria for assessment (is this appropriate evidence here?) will be different for each. And your advisor probably will not wish to see the same piece of evidence appearing for more than 2 competencies – best to check this with your advisor.
- To what extent can I use my work experience? Fully, as long as it is authentic evidence and provides documentation of competence. The e-Portfolio is based on competencies, not solely on what you have learned in the MARA program. Using relevant work projects and products as evidence is appropriate.
- How can I use my practicum or project/internship experience? Most advisors prefer that you don’t turn in your entire MARA 293/294/295 log as evidence. Instead – select appropriate and relevant sections of the log to submit as evidence for specific competencies. Do check to see what your advisor prefers.
- May I use group work as evidence? It is definitely acceptable to use group work as long as you make it clear your exact role and what work was your individual responsibility. If you have questions about this, please check with your advisor.
- Will I be able to use past course discussion board postings as evidentiary items? Ultimately what constitutes acceptable evidence depends on your advisor, but it seems reasonable to summarize your contribution to a discussion and submit it as evidence if relevant. Therefore, you may wish to save particularly good discussions yourself to submit for your e-Portfolio evidence later as text or Word files.
- Is there a recommended length for the 11 Statements of Competency? Please consult your advisor. In general, the recommended length is the length it takes you to write a good Statement of Competency – see Question #9 above for what advisors look for in a Statement of Competency.
MARA Competency A Articulate the ethics, values, and foundational principles of archives and records management professionals and the important role recordkeepers play in social memory and organizational accountability. “Archivists [and recordkeepers] bring the past to the present. They’re records collectors and protectors, keepers of memory. They organize unique, historical materials, making them available for current … Continue reading Competency A Collection
MARA Competency B Recognize the social, cultural, and economic dimensions of records, recordkeeping, and records use. “Indigenous cultural knowledge has always been an open treasure box for the unfettered appropriation of items of value to Western civilization. While we assiduously protect rights to valuable knowledge among ourselves, indigenous people have never been accorded similar rights … Continue reading Competency B Collection
MARA Competency C Understand the evolution of information recordkeeping systems in response to technological change. “It is clear that the impacts of technology are varied, a one-size approach to transformation is not possible. What is certain is – change is unavoidable. The ways of working that we have taken for granted are unlikely to survive … Continue reading Competency C Collection
MARA Competency D Have expertise in the basic concepts and principles used to identify, evaluate, select, organize, maintain, and provide access to records of current and enduring value. “New professionals in archives and records management must break new ground. We are not living in the age of paper anymore. Our methods MUST change. We need … Continue reading Competency D Collection
MARA Competency E Understand the system of standards and structures endorsed and utilized by the recordkeeping professions, particularly in the areas of electronic records and digital assets management “One must possess both technical skills, e.g., understanding file formats, management systems, XML, database administration, as well as, ontologies, thesauri, and controlled vocabularies. and theoretical and practical … Continue reading Competency E Collection
MARA Competency F Apply fundamental management theories and principles to the administration of records and recordkeeping organizations. “Archives had their institutional origins in the ancient world as agents for legitimizing such power and for marginalizing those without power. This initial emphasis has continued. Medieval archives, scholars now find, were collected-and later often weeded and reconstructed-not … Continue reading Competency F Collection
MARA Competency G Know the legal requirements and ethical principles involved in records management and the role the record keeper plays in institutional compliance and risk management. “Well-governed information is critical to the success of any organization” ARMA (2013). Generally accepted recordkeeping principles: Information governance maturity model. http://www.arma.org/GARP/ThePrinciplesMaturityModel.pdf What do you understand this competency to mean? … Continue reading Competency G Collection
MARA Competency H Be conversant with current information technologies and best practices relating to records preservation and security. “As with any information system, trustworthiness of data is determined by the trustworthiness of the hardware, software, and the procedures that created them. The reliability and authenticity of the data and information extracted from the [system] will … Continue reading Competency H Collection
MARA Competency I Understand research design and research methods and possess the analytical, written, and oral communication skills to synthesize and disseminate research findings. “ I would argue that anyone who does not strive to add to [the recordkeeping profession’s] discrete body of knowledge – theoretical and practical – by undertaking research and disseminating its outputs for … Continue reading Competency I Collection