Version 1.2 of the National Standards for Australian Museum and Galleries has been released with updated resources and links. The release of this latest version continues the Taskforce’s commitment to continually review the document so that it remains relevant to the needs of Australian museums. This document is intended to be freely available to all of Australia’s many museums. We use the term museum to represent all collecting organizations in the sector
The Standards are focused on key areas of activity common to organisations that care for collections and provide collection-based services to the community. They aim to support museums and galleries in carrying out their day-to-day activities, meeting their responsibilities, attracting support, and achieving their other organisational objectives.
The National Standards Taskforce (see Appendix B of the Standards Document) has developed the National Standards for Australian Museums and Galleries in consultation with the museums and galleries sector and with reference to current practice, existing core standards, development and accreditation programs. The result is an up-to-date set of agreed Standards that are broad in their scope and are designed to be an accessible tool for museums nationwide.
The three parts, nine Principles and thirty-nine Standards within the document capture and explain core industry standards and practices. Benchmarks, tips and resources provide guidance on attaining or researching specific Standards.
The Standards may be used to:
• Understand principles and standards of vital importance to museum development
• Identify what can be done towards meeting specific Standards.
• Review the museum. Staff or external reviewers might use one or all parts and/or Standards as a basis for a review of operations.
• Advocate for resources to meet Standards
to governing bodies, different levels of government, and departments, regarding museum needs such as equipment, facilities and staffing
• Gain leverage to enhance access to funding
by provide a rigorous context for funding applications.
• Help make the museum more sustainable.
by providing support or measurements for a museum’s commitment to this aim.
• Identify areas to improve.
by allowing museums to discover areas of
operation that could be initiated, developed or improved.
• Promote achievements within the museum through identifying, communicating, celebrating and promoting the benchmarks they have met.
• Raise the museum’s profile with local, state/territory or federal government.
through promotion and networking, as well as forward planning with reference to government strategies and policies.
• Enhance the museum’s credibility, recognition and status within its local community.
through long-term strategic planning and in positioning themselves within their local community.
• Increase community confidence in the capacity of the museum.
The National Standards for Australian Museums and Galleries are structured in three parts:
• Part A: Managing the Museum
• Part B: Involving People
• Part C: Developing a Significant Collection
For each of these areas of activity, this document presents five levels of information:
• Principles: the core principles of museum practice addressed by the National Standards
• Standards: the criteria to be met as museums put the Principles into action
• Benchmarks: points of reference to assist museums wishing to demonstrate that they are working towards meeting specific Standards
• Tips: practical pointers and suggestions relating to specific benchmarks
• Books and online publications and/or web pages: print publications and online resources relevant to museums activities encompassed by individual benchmarks
(for use in conjunction with Appendix E; all online resources are hyperlinked)
The first five appendixes contain at-a-glance reference information:
• Appendix A: What Is a Museum? – extended definition of a museum, developed
by Museums Australia
• Appendix B: The National Standards Taskforce – information about the nine
organisations represented on the National Standards Taskforce
• Appendix C: Key Acronyms – a list of acronyms used in this document
• Appendix D: Glossary – concise definitions of key terms used in this document
• Appendix E: Resources – full bibliographical details for all print publications and
online resources referenced in this document.
Collecting organisations of all kinds are invited to use the National Standards framework as a practical point of reference, and are encouraged to continue providing feedback, contributing their insights, and reporting on their experiences, as the Standards continue to be developed (see Appendix F).
Contact details for Taskforce members in each state and territory are provided on the website of Collections Australia Network (CAN), the host site for the National Standards, and in Appendix F.
Importantly, the Standards offer museums opportunities for development long term, and can help them to identify priorities and develop policies, plans and procedures that will allow them to manage their activities effectively and to achieve their goals.
Benchmarks identified in this document can be incorporated into a museum’s planning in manageable stages, as resources become available.
Source: CAN Outreach blog