Jenny Mitcham

Jenny Mitcham

Last updated on 21 September 2020

It is one year since DPC’s Rapid Assessment Model (DPC RAM) was launched at the iPRES conference in Amsterdam (and in this blog post)

With a busy DPC week of #WeMissiPRES we couldn’t squeeze in a proper first birthday party for DPC RAM, but we do like an opportunity to celebrate so we couldn’t let this special occasion go by unmarked.


A reminder: DPC RAM is a digital preservation maturity model designed to be quick and easy to use. We designed it in conjunction with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority in the UK, initially as a means of assessing their digital preservation capabilities and setting goals...but ultimately as a useful benchmarking tool for the whole community.


RAM has had a pretty exciting first year since we released it into the wild. Some RAM-related highlights include:


RAM on tour

We took DPC RAM ‘on tour’ - it put in an appearance at various workshops and events around the UK and more recently, webinars and online workshops internationally. We are just about to advertise a series of online DPC RAM events at times to suit an Australasian audience (we will remember set our alarm clocks for those!)


RAM cake

DPC RAM made a stunning appearance in cake and biscuit form on World Digital Preservation Day 2019. Of course we all know that baked goods are one of the best tools for internal advocacy and awareness raising!



We hosted our first RAM Jam in June 2020. This was a workshop just for DPC Members which not only got people started with using RAM, but offered support to work through the whole model, discussing and benchmarking with others along the way. This was a successful format that we will certainly use in the future. One of the highlights for me was hearing Members talk about how they were using RAM in their own institutions, for example a “What the RAM?” session held at University of the Arts London to share knowledge internally about their findings.


A RAM with a plan

This June we successfully managed to use DPC RAM as a means to feed into the wider planning process for our next DPC year. By encouraging DPC Members to carry out a RAM assessment and submit it to us before our annual ‘Connecting the Bits’ unconference, we were able to highlight some of the more challenging areas of work for Members and open a conversation about what the DPC could do to help Members address those gaps. This was one of our early visions for RAM so it was great to be able to try this out in practice.



It has been encouraging to have some great feedback from the digital preservation community. The sheep related puns are the gift that keeps on giving (“Ramtastic”, “Baaa-rilliant”) but we have also been collecting a range of (slightly more) constructive feedback from those of you who have used RAM. We currently have list of issues to look into and would like review and update RAM in the light of some of this feedback.


A new RAM?

We’ve considered the ramifications of an update to RAM and don’t envisage bringing in too many changes. We understand that organisations will want to compare their RAM results over time and major updates will make that comparison harder. We aim to maintain the current 11 section structure of RAM and focus on clarifying some of the wording or adding further examples and explanation where necessary. We’d like to release a new and updated RAM in the Spring, so watch this space.


It takes a community...

It took a community to create DPC RAM. Particular thanks go to Adrian Brown who provided us with a starting point and to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority who supported this work, but there were a whole flock of others that provided comments and feedback on the original model (and even gave it a name). It became so much stronger and healthier because of that community validation.


Don’t be sheepish...tell us what you think

Why not celebrate DPC RAM’s first birthday by telling us what you think. If there is anything you would like us to consider clarifying or including in the new version of RAM do let us know. Contact me at

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