Local Government Archives and Records Administration Certificate Program

The National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators (NAGARA) is a professional association dedicated to the improvement of federal, state, and local government records and information management and the professional development of government records administrators and archivists. This certificate program was created to recognize local government officials’ achievements in obtaining a knowledge base to help them more effectively care for and manage their records.

How to Apply:

To apply, candidates should download and complete the application at the top of this page. Please be sure to include with your application all applicable evidence and information as noted below. Applications must be submitted in electronic format to info@nagara.org. No paper application will be accepted. We understand that file sizes may be too large for one email. Please feel free to send multiple emails if this is the case.


  • To enhance the professional development of local government records caretakers so that they may better manage the records that document the activities of government and protect the legal rights of citizens.
  • To offer career development goals for participants in a subject area that is critical to their profession.
  • To foster professional networking among NAGARA and federal, state, regional, and county local government associations, and between individual records caretakers and their State Archives.

Certificate Requirements:

  • 40 hours of qualified study within 5 years of the date of application.
  • A minimum of 2 hours of training toward 7 of the 9 areas must be complete (The remaining 26 hours of training may be applied to any of the 9 competency areas.)
  • A state-specific workshop on public records and meeting laws, which must be one of the seven of the nine core competencies completed. (See Legal Issues)
  • An individual event may not be listed more than once in the application.
  • $50 application fee.
  • Membership in NAGARA.

Since the minimum requirement of 2 hours in 7 of the 9 competency areas totals 14 hours, applicants may enroll in multiple workshops within certain competency areas and/or may participate in subject area workshops that are longer than 2 hours duration. This will allow participants to pursue knowledge and skills that are of special interest to them and/or of particular relevance to their work environments.

Core Competency Areas:

  1. Records and Information Management Basics
  2. Physical Storage and Environments
  3. Disaster Preparedness and Business Continuity
  4. Retention and Disposition
  5. Advocacy and Outreach
  6. Electronic Records and Information Management
  7. Legal and Compliance Issues
  8. Archives and Long-term Preservation
  9. Emerging Technologies

**Please see Appendix A for list of recommended training topics for each of the 9 competency areas.**

What are “core competencies” and why are they required to earn NAGARA’S Local Government Archives and Records Administration Certificate?

Competencies are a set of behaviors encompassing skills, knowledge, abilities, and personal attributes that, taken together, are critical to successful work accomplishment. NAGARA’s Certificate in Local Government Archives and Records Administration (LGARA) is tied to completion of education, training, and/or professional development activities designed to provide knowledge and skills to support the nine LGARA competency areas.

NAGARA acknowledges that demands for workplace skills and knowledge of government archives and records management differ from one environment to another, and from one management level to another. Further, competence grows with experience and continued education. The LGARA Certificate does not result in the CRM designation as established by the Institute of Certified Records Managers (ICRM) or the CA designation as established by the Academy of Certified Archivists (ACA). However, the LGARA Certificate does recognize that an individual has obtained a base of knowledge to help him or her perform more effectively in certain workplace environments, and NAGARA encourages certificate recipients to build upon that foundation with continued personal and professional growth in government archives and records management subject areas.

Types of evidence that should be submitted for each activity in the application:

  • Proof of attendance (certificate of attendance, copy of instructor's sign-in sheet, etc) including name, date, and title of workshop
  • Number of hours and proof of hours attended
  • Course contents description (course content descriptions may be a link to a website or a copy of a program, but should not include all the slides or handouts of a presentation)
  • Instructors' names, affiliations, qualifications

To pay your LGARA Certificate Application Fee, click below:

2018 LGARA Certificate Recipients

Kelly R. O'Brien - February 2018
Hilda Highighi - March 2018
Angela Kalke - March 2018
Vernell Hill - April 2018

2016 LGARA Certificate Recipients

Andrea Carranza - June 2016
Joyce Mascena - July 2016
Matthew Kunkle - July 2016
Michael Long - July 2016
Holly Dolan - August 2016
Theresa Rogers - September 2016
Carol Latham - October 2016
Mary Arnold - October 2016

Appendix A

Training Topics for each of the 9 Competency Areas

 Comp 1: Records Information Management Basics 
 Needs Assessment
 Records Inventory
 Strategic Planning
 Work Processes
 Basic RIM Principles
 Setting RIM Goals and Objectives
 Introduction to RIM (Value, purpose, function, records lifecycle, records management)

 Comp 2: Physical Storage and Environments 
 Storage and Environment Basics
 Offsite Storage
 Environmental Controls (fire suppression, temperature, relative humidity)
 Managing Inactive Records (physical and electronic media)
 Safety and Security (Records, Records Centers, Archives)
 Inventory Management
 Cost Effective Work Methods
 Outfitting a Records Center
 Records Storage Design

 Comp 3: Disaster Preparedness and Business Continuity 
 Vital/Essential Records Inventory
 Risk Management
 Disaster Preparedness
 Records Protection
 Recovery Techniques
 Business Continuity Plan
 Continuous IT operations
 Incidence Response

 Comp 4: Retention and Disposition 
 Records Scheduling
 Big Buckets
 Capstone Approach & Email Mgmt.
 Using Retention Schedules
 Implementation of Schedules
 Defensible Disposition
 Disposition Methods & Technologies
 R&D in Cloud
 Third-party agreements
 Electronic Records Management Systems

 Comp 5: Advocacy and Outreach  
 Developing a website
 Providing access to collections (e.g., exhibits)
 Grant Proposal Writing
 Advocacy techniques
 Marketing techniques
 Outreach and Public Relations

 Comp 6: Electronic Records and Information Management 
 Utilizing technology
 Introduction to GIS
 Electronic Records Management
 RM software and database selection
 Data security
 Data storage practices
 Enterprise Content Management

 Comp 7: Legal and Compliance Issues 
 Public records/Freedom of Information (1.5 hours mandatory)
 Legal Discovery
 Privacy Issues (PII, HIPAA, FERPA, Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) Also, EU GDPR

 Comp. 8: Archives and Long-term Preservation  
 Basics of Archives
 Archives Management
 Digital Archives
 Data Migration
 Preservation of Electronic Records
 Long-Term Storage Options
 Trustworthy Digital Repositories

 Comp 9: Emerging Technologies 
 Social media (records)
 Cloud computing (retention & disposition)
 Body cameras (capture, management, retention, disposition)
 Blockchain Technology (application for records)
 Autonomous Vehicles (capture, management, retention, disposition)
 RIM policies related to each

*Note: This competency must be continually monitored and revised as new technologies emerge.

2017 LGARA Certificate Recipients

Cynthia Conomos - February 2017
Rosa Miranda Smith - June 2017
Tracy Jolivette - August 2017
Natasha Kennedy - August 2017
Christine Shaw - October 2017
Michele Turner - December 2017

2015 LGARA Certificate Recipients

Joyce Walker - January 2015
Deidre Scott - June 2015
Monica A. Correll - June 2015
Tracy Hansen - September 2015
Cindi Mansell - September 2015