Leading Museums, Museum Leaders

Character Matters UK Museums

Patrick Steel, UK Museums Workforce Steering Group publishes workforce delivery plan, Museums Association, 11 May 2018

Aims to diversify workforce, develop individuals and create supportive work culture.

The UK Museums Workforce Steering Group, which includes representatives from the Museums Association (MA), Arts Council England, Museums Galleries Scotland, the Association of Independent Museums, the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Welsh Museums, Archives and Libraries Division, and the Northern Ireland Museums Council has published the Character Matters Delivery Plan 2018-2020.

The delivery plan has three key aims: to develop effective recruitment to create a diverse and skilled workforce; to develop attitudes, behaviours, skills and knowledge to support individuals to develop themselves; and to develop organisational culture to achieve a supportive atmosphere for individuals.

“The Character Matters research and report has accelerated a cross sector organisation conversation,” says Tamsin Russell, the MA’s professional development officer. “This delivery plan, for the first time in recent history, begins to dovetail commitments, activities and needs across the sector that will affect change at an individual, museum and sector level.”

The delivery plan follows the publication in September 2016 of Character Matters: attitudes, behaviours and skills for the UK Museum Workforce, a report exploring the future of the UK museum workforce.

That report led to the formation of the UK-wide steering group, which will provide a focal point for museum sector workforce initiatives across the UK over the next two years. The group has a rotating chair, with John Orna-Ornstein from Arts Council England 2017-18, Sharon Heal from the MA this year, and 2019-20 to be decided.

The group will review the impact of the delivery plan and consider next steps in March 2020.

Links and downloads

Character Matters: Delivery Plan 2018-2020 (pdf)
Character Matters: Attitudes, behaviours and skills in the UK Museum Workforce (pdf)

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