6.3. Planning for staffing
The plan should specify the staffing that is required at various levels. The staff requirements should of course be closely linked to the work that needs to be done, to the quantities and types of records and archives to be received processed and serviced, to the support activities required such as typing' procurement, material management and cleaning. The problem at the moment is that such staffing requirements are made without empirical demonstrations of their necessity. How can one argue that an additional ten professional archivists are needed if one cannot quantify the output of each archivist and relate it to the anticipated rate of accessioning or deposit of records and archives. Without any models for relating the number of archivists to pare professional and support staff how can staff requirements be postulated. Without a mechanism for assessing average processing outputs for archival staff how can one be sure that processing backlogs are a result of too much archival material being accessioned and requiring processing and not the result of an inefficient processing system. It is not accidental for instance that some factories have adopted the production line. They have found that given a certain number of people and certain goods to be produced allowing each of these people to process the product from stat to finish is slower and more inefficient than putting these people in a production line and allowing each to do only a limited range of tasks within the total production process. In archival institutions the tendency is to assume that a fair day's work is being done. It is rare to find works and study officers being utilised or invited to come and analyse the records and archives processing, to identify and eliminate areas of inefficiency and to isolate ineffective performance by staff.
What is being argued for is that the formulation of plans by archival institutions should be used as an opportunity for reviewing the performance of the institution as a means of achieving efficiency and therefore making realistic bids for additional resources. Each institution must closely examine the manner in which current resources are being deployed and utilised.
Staff need to be trained to undertake archival work. It has for a long time been recognised that archival work is extremely specialised and that training facilities are not easily available. The training of certain service staff is relatively easy as training facilities are available at various institutions. Thus the secretaries, typists, accountants and receptionists can be recruited with qualifications in these areas and easily put on upgrading programmes.
Training archivists, records managers and technicians however poses more problems especially in developing countries where such facilities may be non-existent or may be found only at a regional level which in turn may create other problems such as the availability of foreign currency to send trainees to other countries. The plan however, must identify the overall training needs, the availability of training facilities, the recruitment and increase of the establishment and the financial resources required. These must then be phased into the plan, and phased over the plan period. Account should be taken of such factors as the wastage that will occur as trained staff resign and leave for greener pastures.
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