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Part of The National Archives’ innovative digital capacity building strategy, ‘Plugged In, Powered Up,’ the Novice to Know-How (N2KH) courses aim to provide learners with the skills required to develop and implement digital preservation workflows within their organisation.

The “Novice to Know-How: Digital Preservation Skills for Beginners'' course is aimed at those who are new to the topic. It starts with a broad introduction to digital preservation issues and describes the measures we can take to address these. It then delves into potential workflows in more detail, examining the issues to consider, steps to take, and technological solutions that can be deployed. An emphasis is placed on free, easy-to-use options, and includes a number of tool demos. Course content is provided as a mix of video, text, and quizzes. On average learners take two to three days to complete the learning pathway. 
After completing the learning pathway learners will be able to:

1. Explain what digital preservation is

2. Prioritize digital preservation actions at their organization

3. Develop and implement digital preservation workflows


The "Providing Access to Preserved Digital Content" course is included in the main beginner pathway but is also available as a stand-alone for those who completed the learning pathway prior to April 2021, and for those specifically interested in the topic of providing access but do not want to complete the full learning pathway. On average learners take a day to complete the course.

By completing the course learners will gain the skills to allow them to:

1. Implement the beginner’s aspects of the Access Workflow

2. Achieve Level One of the Born-Digital Levels of Access, and understand the steps that will lead to achieving Level Two

3. Achieve a ‘Basic’ maturity level for ‘Discovery and Access’ according to DPC RAM, and understand the steps that will lead to a ‘Managed’ maturity level


From 1st July 2023 a new course is offered: “Novice to Know-How: Email Preservation”, again conceived of and funded by The National Archives (UK) and delivered by the DPC. This course is aimed at learners who already have a solid foundational knowledge of digital preservation (e.g. they have completed the original N2KH learning pathway) and wish to gain practical skills in relation to the preservation of email.

After completing this learning pathway, learners will be able to:

1. Explain what email preservation is and why it is important

2. Plan and implement an email preservation program at their organization

3. Develop and execute email preservation workflows 


As of 1st June 2023, all Novice to Know-How courses are moving to a self-registration model, allowing learners more control over when they want to learn. To register, please sign-up on the DPC's learning portal and then register for the course of your choosing. If you have any problems, please contact eleanor.oleary[at]


Completed the course and want to access copies of the N2KH content to keep?

Download full text surrogates of the N2KH Learning Pathway Modules and Lists of Additional Resources (6.5MB)

Did you know the N2KH content is available for upload to your organization's own learning management system?

If your organization has it's own learning management system, we can provide you with copies of the N2KH learning content for upload under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA licence. Organizations have found this useful for internal staff development and to help support teaching of information management Masters courses. Please contact sharon.mcmeekin[at] if you would like to know more.



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