Oral History Trainer (up to 3 places)

Oral History Trainer Recruitment 2019

Applications are invited from members of the Oral History Society with the relevant knowledge and experience to become an accredited British Library National Life Stories/Oral History Society trainer. The successful applicant(s) will join the BL/OHS team leading oral history courses around the UK. As demand for oral history training continues to grow, the current training team is seeking experienced trainers to provide training locally and bring new skills to the group.


BL/OHS-accredited oral history trainers are expected to teach at least five to ten one-day workshops per year. The workshops are run in a variety of UK venues and include both programmed courses and courses tailored to the needs of particular clients. All courses are administered by oral history staff from National Life Stories at the British Library. It is our aim to match trainers with a local venue if this is possible, however some workshops may require travel, and evening and weekend work.

From 1 January 2020 payment for the trainer will be £350 per workshop, plus travel expenses, for the programmed courses; and £400 per day for tailored courses plus expenses.

Accredited trainers are members of the OHS-BL Training Liaison Group and are expected to:
– attend the annual OHS-BL Training Liaison Group meeting (part of which will be a trainers’ Continuing Professional Development workshop) at the BL in London (expenses are paid)
– ensure the issue and return of evaluation feedback forms
– teach to an agreed curriculum
– submit an annual report to the OHS Treasurer

The OHS-BL Training Liaison Group is responsible for:
– Setting training fees and remuneration
– Deciding on whether there are vacancies for OHS/BL trainers
– Selecting, appointing and accrediting new trainers based on applicants’ CVs, covering letters, and references
– Designing and reviewing the content of courses to ensure that we are offering up-to-date advice
– Reviewing feedback from participants
– Monitoring the quality of training delivery: reserving the right to withdraw accreditation from individual trainers
– Making recommendations to the Committee of Trustees of the Oral History Society on new course proposals
– Reporting all decisions to the Committee of Trustees of the Oral History Society

Instruction and guidance on the present format and content of the training workshops will be given to the new trainer at an (unpaid, but expenses will be covered) workshop led by members of the current training group. Training materials will be supplied. For more information on the format of existing one-day workshops see the OHS website: www.ohs.org.uk/training/


If you wish to be considered please send a CV (of no more than 2 A4 pages) and a covering statement (of no more than 2 A4 pages), which includes your OHS membership number and shows how you meet the following essential requirements:

– Knowledge of oral history theory and methodology
– Experience of oral history interviewing
– Experience of oral history project management
– Experience of training/teaching (especially in oral history method)
– Knowledge of ethical and legal considerations connected with oral history
– Knowledge and understand of archiving oral history material in a digital environment
– Practical knowledge of digital recording technologies
– Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
– Experience of using audio and possibly video digital editing software

We welcome applications from both all-rounders and those who feel they may be able to offer a particular specialism to the present training programme. Please note that, in addition to the skills outlined above, we are keen to recruit trainers who meet the following desirable criteria:

– With experience of video oral history
– Who are willing to travel
– Who possess a driver’s licence

Please send your CV and covering statement (as PDF documents), together with the names of two referees who would be willing to comment on your oral history work, to: nls@bl.uk by 2pm on Friday 1 November 2019.

Candidates will be notified if they have been invited to an interview by Wednesday 13 November. The interviews will take place at the British Library in London on Wednesday 27 November. The candidates’ travel expenses (excluding overnight stays) will be reimbursed.

Applications will be scored against the job criteria and shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview where they will be asked to make a short presentation.

For more information email nls@bl.uk and your email will be forwarded to the recruitment panel.