"When Christine meets Hans"
or "am I a competent archivist"?
Some thoughts about competencies
This story is about an international project dealing with competencies.
However, I cannot tell it without mentioning one of my friends,
Hans Scheurkogel, who was - and still is - a major actor of the play.
Act onehow Hans tested my sense of humour (Zagreb, Vienna 2004)
- Hello. Are you Hans Scheurkogel1?
- Well, you can pronounce Hans quite correctly - and my first name is actually
Hans. But I am not sure about the last name. If you mean Scheurkogel2, that is me.
That was my first exchange with Hans, and the story of the project I will talk
about began there and at that precise moment when he introduced himself to me
in his very personal way, with a malicious gleam in his eyes. I am aware that my
accent can sometimes provoke strange reactions, even in France, but one usually
says that it is charming...In this case, it felt like I was given a test, and that this
would not be the last one...
I met Hans Scheurkogel for the first time in 2004, though I had been in touch
with him before by electronic mail: it was in Croatia whose National Archives
had accepted to host the second annual meeting of the International Council
on Archives (ICA) Committee on Professional Training. Hans was not a member
of the Committee but I had invited him because I knew that he had developed a
strong reflection about competencies and learning/teaching methods.
A year and a half previously, I had been appointed as chair of the committee.
There was - and there is still - an ICA section dedicated to education and
training3. However, the committee was created in 2002, in the framework of the
Seville international congress, to develop concrete projects addressing the needs
and expectations of professionals. The outcomes of these projects would not be
training sessions, but tools, studies or guidelines supporting professional in the
development of training policies and structures.
Among the issues the committee decided to tackle, was a reflection about
professional competencies, as a pre-requisite for effective educational processes.
Moreover competency models are so many promotional tools, which can help us
1 Pronounced with a South French accent.
2 Pronounced with a Dutch accent.
3 SAE, Section on archival education, chaired by Hans Scheurkogel from 2004 to 2006. Further information
about the section and its projects on www.ica.org