New initiative to improve sharing of expertise across UK museums 8 Mar 2011

Bodies representing museums of all kinds have joined together to collaborate on a new programme of work which aims to increase and improve the sharing of skills and expertise across the UK museum sector.

The Association of Independent Museums, Collections Trust, the Museums Association, the National Museum Directors’ Conference and the University Museums Group have committed to working more closely together to enable museums of all types to better share their skills and expertise throughout the professional and volunteer community through a joint Sharing Expertise group. At a challenging time for museums this collaboration aims to help make existing resources work harder, ensuring a greater impact and a more sustainable future for the UK museum sector.  This work will also examine how frameworks should operate within national strategies of the devolved nations.

Two initial elements of this work are already underway and due for completion by the end of April 2011:

  • Assessing current practice to share knowledge and skills around collections and their management and developing proposals for a framework to do this better.  This work is being led by the Museums Association, with funding from the Monument Fellowships scheme and Creative and Cultural Skills.
  • Reviewing current mechanisms and scoping capacity for sharing expertise by national museums, in all areas of museum operation and management.  This work is being led by the National Museum Directors’ Conference.

The findings of these projects will inform next steps in the initiative.  The work will be coordinated by the Sharing Expertise Group, currently including representatives from the Association of Independent Museums, Collections Trust, the Museums Association, the National Museum Directors’ Conference, SHARE, the University Museums Group, Amgueddfa Cymru-National Museum Wales, the British Museum and National Museums Scotland.  The group will also be working closely with the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council and the Arts Council, and hopes to encourage other organisations across the UK to join in the further development of this work.

John Orna-Ornstein, chair of Sharing Expertise Group, British Museum, [email protected] / 020 7323 8882

More about NMDC's working on skills sharing.