Our service standards


Measures to protect the health and safety of our visitors, clients and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic are affecting some of our services. While we are prioritising urgent requests for access to records, staff availability and building closures may impact our service delivery times.

Our Service Charter sets out the standards of service you can expect from us. We strive for service excellence.

Our website

The National Archives of Australia website will be available 99% of the time.

Applications for access

We are required under the Archives Act 1983 (the Act) to release information in the open access period unless it is exempt and aim to respond to applications for access as quickly as possible. When you submit an application, we will advise you of the due date.

Where you have current applications for access to 25 records or less, we are required under the Act to notify you of an access decision within 90 business days of receiving your application.

If you have current applications for access to more than 25 records, the Act extends the period in which the National Archives has to notify you of a decision. We will advise you of any extension to the due date.

Where we need advice from another agency about ongoing sensitivities in records, there may be delays in making a decision. We will contact you if this occurs.

If we cannot give you access to all or part of a record, we will give you reasons for our decision and advise you of your appeal rights.

Where you have asked us to reconsider a decision to withhold records from public access, we are required to respond within 30 business days.

Digital copies

We aim to make digital copies of paper records (up to A3 in size) that have been released for public access available on RecordSearch within 30 business days of receiving your paid order.

Requests for digital copies of World War II service records may take up to 90 business days for copies to be made available on RecordSearch if they first need to be examined for public access.

Visiting a research centre

Before visiting a research centre, please submit a request to view records. Please order records at least five days before you plan to visit. We will confirm your visit date and whether the records are available. Preservation issues may delay access to some records.

Enquiries about the collection

We aim to respond to enquiries about the collection within 30 business days.

Archives staff can guide you to resources that answer your questions and can give you general information about accessing the collection.

If your enquiry is complex, or relates to records in non-standard formats, (such as audiovisual records), we will let you know if there are any delays and suggest search strategies or other resources.

Monitoring our service standards

Each year we report on our performance against these service standards in our Annual Report.

We review our Service Charter at least every 3 years or in response to significant or unforeseen circumstances.

Tell us how we are doing

We welcome your feedback and suggestions to help us improve our services. You can:

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