On this page we provide answers to the questions that DPC Members have asked us about using DPC RAM. If you have any other questions you think we should add to this list, please let us know.


What support can I get for completing a RAM self-assessment?

All DPC members are eligible for advice and support on their annual RAM assessment from the DPC. We can talk through your assessment with you, discuss your target levels and answer any questions you might have. Do contact us if you would like to arrange some immediate support, or join one of our member-only RAM events (e.g. RAM Jam or RAM-bulance surgery sessions).


When should I complete and share a RAM assessment?

The DPC encourages Members to complete and share a RAM assessment on an annual basis. You will receive communications about this in April each year so that the DPC can collate assessments in early June. If you would prefer to carry out an annual RAM assessment to your own internal timetable that is absolutely fine too. Do feel free to use RAM whenever suits you and share it with us at any time of year - we will always be happy to hear from you.


How do I share a RAM assessment with the DPC?

We would like to make the process of sharing your assessment with us as simple as possible. Simply email Jenny Mitcham (jenny.mitcham@dpconline.org) a copy of your RAM worksheet and we will take it from there. 


Is it worth sharing our RAM results if nothing has changed?

Yes, please do let us know if nothing has changed when you carry out your RAM assessment. This is still useful information for us and we can roll over your results from last year to include in our analysis.


What are the benefits of carrying out a RAM assessment every year?

Like any maturity model or assessment framework, DPC RAM will have most impact if carried out on a regular basis to check in on progress, refine goals and inform forward plans. Even if targets set within RAM focus on a longer time period, checking in on where you are every year can be helpful and shouldn’t be too onerous a task to complete.


What are the benefits of sharing our RAM assessment with the DPC?

Sharing your RAM assessment with the DPC has benefits both for your organization and for the DPC community as a whole. 

  • For you: If DPC staff have access to your RAM assessment it will enable better and more appropriate support to be provided when you contact us for advice and support - it gives us a quick and easy way to understand your current digital preservation capabilities and a good overview of the challenges you are facing.

  • For the DPC community: Combining the RAM assessments of all members provides useful summary statistics which can be used not only for benchmarking by the community but for tailoring DPC activities going forward to target those areas where more support is needed.


How will the DPC use our RAM assessment?

The DPC will be able to use your RAM self-assessment to better understand your organization and its digital preservation practices, along with your current challenges and areas where support might be most needed. We can use this baseline of information to inform our interactions with you and provide better advice and support. Each year we also collate RAM information that is shared with us to get a broad understanding of where the membership sits as a whole. This information is used on an annual basis to inform our work planning and build our prospectus for the year ahead. 


What benchmarking information can I have access to?

Summary information from RAM self-assessments can be found on the benchmarking with RAM page. Note that as access to this information is a member benefit and you will need to log into the DPC website in order to view the page.. Please do not share this information outside of the DPC membership.

DPC Members are also entitled to request more specific benchmarking information if they would like to do so. Perhaps you are interested in benchmarking against summary data that is specific to a particular geographic location (for example the UK) or sector (for example higher education). Do contact us with your requirements and we will see if we can help. Note that our ability to service requests such as these is dependent on the availability of an adequate dataset and is typically only available to those members who have submitted information themselves. In order to protect the identity of specific organizations we will not distribute benchmarking data unless a large enough sample of RAM responses is available.


We don’t want others to see our assessment - will it remain confidential?

The DPC are committed to ensuring that individual Member self-assessments are not made available to others and that benchmarking information is made available in summary form only and fully anonymised. When we share benchmarking information, we ensure that the individual organizations cannot be identified within the results.

We are very happy for you to share your own results and compare them with peers and we know many members find this to be a useful process. Though we may set up opportunities to share experiences between members we would never share your RAM results with another organization without your explicit permission.

Will you ever share RAM information outside of the DPC membership?

Access to benchmarking information is only available to members, however, broad observations on RAM results (for example, “this section is typically one of the highest scoring among DPC Members”) may be shared with the wider digital preservation community in the form of blogs or conference papers. More detailed statistics or information about which organizations have engaged with the process will not be shared.


What else can I do to help the community move forward with DPC RAM?

We are always keen to read blogs, articles or conference papers that describe member experiences with DPC RAM. It is particularly helpful to read how an organization has made progress towards their target levels and what tools, techniques and resources helped them do so. If you have a story to tell and would like to write a blog for us we’d love to hear from you. 


Do you have advice to help us move towards our RAM targets?

We have produced a Level up with DPC RAM resource that provides tips, resources and case studies intended to provide inspiration and help to move forward with RAM. 

Every year (typically November/December), the DPC holds a members-only 'RAM Jam' event which is a forum for DPC Members to share their experiences of using and moving forward with RAM. This can be a great way of picking up tips and ideas from others within the community. Keep an eye out for this opportunity on our events programme.

Another opportunity to discuss DPC RAM with the DPC is our RAM-bulance surgery sessions which occur in April and May every year. Members can book a drop-in session and talk with DPC staff in confidence about any aspect of their RAM self-assessment.

The DPC-DISCUSSION mailing list is a useful forum for asking questions of the whole DPC community. Do use this channel as appropriate.


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