DAS Curriculum Structure

Core Competencies

The DAS Program is structured to ensure that a DAS Certificate holder is able to:

  1. Explain the nature of digital records and their lifecycle.
  2. Communicate and define terminology, requirements, roles, and responsibilities related to digital archives to a variety of stakeholders.
  3. Formulate strategies and tactics for appraising, acquiring, describing, managing, organizing, preserving, and delivering digital archives.
  4. Incorporate technologies throughout the archival lifecycle.
  5. Strategically plan for the sustainability of digital archives.
  6. Employ standards and best practices in the management of digital archives.
  7. Design a defined set of services for designated community.

Tiers of Study

The DAS Curriculum is broken into four tiers of study:

  • Foundational courses focus on the essential skills that archivists need to manage digital archives. They focus primarily, but not exclusively, on the needs of practitioners—archivists who are or will be working directly with electronic records. These courses present information that an archivist might implement in the next year.
  • Tactical and Strategic courses focus on the skills that archivists need to make significant changes in their organizations so that they can develop a digital archives and work seriously on managing electronic records. They focus primarily, but not exclusively, on the needs of managers—those archivists who manage other professionals and who oversee programmatic operations. These courses present information that an archivist might implement in the next five years.
  • Tools and Services courses focus on specific tools and services that archivists need to use for their work with digital archives. They are practical courses focused on specific software products and other tools and they focus primarily, but not exclusively, on the needs of practitioner archivists. These courses present information that an archivist could implement immediately.
  • Transformational courses focus on the skills that archivists need to change their working lives dramatically and transform their institutions into full-fledged digital archives. They focus primarily, but not exclusively, on the needs of administrators—those archivists with oversight over the entire archival enterprise of an institution. These courses present information that an archivist might implement over the course of the next ten years.

To view a list of DAS courses sorted by tier, visit the DAS Courses page.

Earning the DAS Certificate

A certificate participant has successfully completed (i.e., attended and/or passed examinations for) nine required courses from the four tiers listed below and additionally has passed a comprehensive examination. You have 24 months to complete coursework and up to an additional 5 months to complete the comprehensive examination following completion of coursework. More knowledgeable participants may elect to test out of Foundational courses.

  • Four Foundational courses
  • Three Tactical and Strategic courses
  • One Tools and Services course
  • One Transformational course

Please note that SAA does not provide transcripts for the DAS program. Participants may track their own progress through the curriculum using the DAS Tracking Sheet.

Maintaining Your DAS Certificate

The DAS Certificate is valid for five years. DAS certificate holders who wish to renew their certificates will need to complete the equivalent* of four one-day courses from the DAS course list, provided the following:

  • Renewal classes may be a combination of courses from all tiers; however, only one foundational course may be taken as part of the renewal
  • All classes must be new (no retakes) to the attendee
  • A maximum of four webinars is allowed in renewal

*Two webinars equal one one-day course.