The Heritage Information Access Strategy (HIAS) is a programme of interlinked projects designed to simplify and improve public access to heritage information held or generated by Historic England (HE), by Local Authority Historic Environment Records (HERs) and by other bodies. This is a commitment made in the Culture White Paper (2016). Central to the Strategy is the role of Local Authority Historic Environment Records as the first point of call and primary trusted source of information about the historic environment. Transfer of the terrestrial part of the National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE), which is currently maintained by Historic England, to local HERs is proposed.
A list of Historic Environment Records (HERs) in England is available on the Heritage Gateway.
The National Security Copy (NSC) is one strand that will help deliver the Strategy. Its goal is to ensure that a secure copy of the complete shared national heritage record exists to protect against data loss, whether as a result of a technical failure or the withdrawal of service. The NSC is to be held by Historic England and local HERs as a dispersed copy with each data owner responsible for ensuring security of their own data. This model has been agreed by the project partners as the desired way forward and is to provide a near cost-neutral solution for HER host organisations. Historic England will administer and monitor the scheme.
This project will progress the National Security Copy by identifying what needs to done to implement the model for a dispersed copy. The project will have the following outputs: best practice development and documentation, a robust system for the monitoring of adherence; and a shared understanding of how and when the NSC can be accessed in the event of a HER service being withdrawn. The latter is to take the form of a code of practice, or access protocol that will be adopted by the participating organisations.
The successful consultant will have experience of organising multi-institutional collaboration and the establishment of best practice to safeguard digital data. Although a familiarity with the historic environment sector would be an advantage, this is not seen as essential.