Increase Your Knowledge And Skills In 2017 With AIM

If you are looking to increase your professional knowledge and skills to enable you and the museums that you lead or support to flourish in 2017, then make sure you apply for the AIM Hallmarks Leaders and Enablers Programme which is now open for applications.

You might be a Museum Director who wants to build a supportive network of peers facing similar challenges – or to share ideas – or perhaps you are a Museum Development Officer or Consultant looking to extend your range of tools to resolve dilemmas and address complex issues. Whatever your role, the range of practical tools, ongoing support and new networks will inspire you with new ideas and enhance your confidence.

The AIM Hallmarks Learning Programme has been developed to address the needs of those who lead or support museums and is delivered on behalf of AIM by Ruth Lesirge and Hilary Barnard: highly experienced consultants with a strong track record of supporting chief executives from across the voluntary sector.


The learning programme is delivered over a series of short residentials to make it as easy as possible to fit in around work and personal commitments and participants in Round 1 commented that they appreciated the flexibility of the programme.

Each residential features expert guest speakers; usually one from the museum sector and one from the broader voluntary sector to offer a rich range of perspectives and we will be announcing our 2017 schedule of speakers very soon.

There are 12 places on each of the programmes for people working in or for museums in England, supported by Arts Council England. There are 2 places for museum leaders working in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, supported by AIM. If you work in a museum development role in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland and are interested in the Enablers programme, please contact us to discuss the possibility of a self-funded place.


Round 2 of the AIM Hallmarks Leaders and Enablers Programme is now open for applications with a closing date of 9 January 2016 and further information including the benefits of participating, scheduled dates for the residential and costs and eligibility are available to download below and from the AIM website:

Leaders – Programme Outline: Leaders – Programme Outline PDF

Enablers – Programme Outline: Enablers – Programme Outline PDF

Full information on the AIM website: AIM Hallmarks Leaders and Enablers Programme


New Museums Workforce Research Report Highlights Sector Skills Gaps

What attitudes, behaviours and skills are needed to ensure a thriving workforce in the museum and heritage sector over the next decade? A research report published earlier this week has found that professional and personal development should be a priority for the sector and that better resources are needed to enable this to happen. A summary of this report can be found here: Character Matters attitudes, behaviours and skills in the UK Museum workforce.

The Museums Workforce Research was commissioned by Arts Council England, together with the Association of Independent Museums, Museums Galleries Scotland and the Museums Association. The research included evidence based on 2000 online survey responses, interviews and consultations carried out by BOP Consulting with the Museum Consultancy and has highlighted 30 recommendations that focus on recruitment, skills and CPD, organisational and sector development.

AIM has welcomed this research, in particular the need for better business skills to support income generation. AIM members already excel at increasing their own income in a way that complements rather than conflicts with their core purpose and  AIM Success Guides such as Successful Retailing for Smaller Museums and Successful Business Planning can help strengthen skills in this area. The research also highlighted the need for development opportunities for boards and trustees. AIM has recognised the need for support for trustees’ development for some time, and we are able to offer opportunities in this area through the AIM Hallmarks Governance Programme.


 Image: courtesy of Brooklands Museum

Other research recommendations that particularly reflect needs in the independent museum sector include:

Recruitment campaigns which aim to give a fuller picture of what it is like to work in museums

*Museums and sector bodies should develop recruitment campaigns that promote the sector as a place to work. This could involve developing messages that give insight into what it is like to work in museums, and the broad range of skills and “personal qualities” needed. (Recommendation 4)

More funding opportunities for skills development, especially digital and business skills

*Sector bodies should create funding opportunities to support skills and knowledge development throughout the sector. Key areas for development include: • developing and applying digital skills • developing further business, management and leadership skills (Recommendation 12)

Encouraging workforce diversity in its broadest sense

*Sector bodies and employers should ensure that initiatives and approaches to diversify the workforce encompass the broadest definition of diversity, and are tailored to reflect regional and local needs (Recommendation 28)

Tamalie Newbery, AIM Executive Director said: “This research offers really useful signposts for future development of the museum workforce. We know that organisations can only be changed through the people who work in them – developing existing staff, trustees and volunteers and bringing in new talent. We are looking forward to working with all our partners in taking the recommendations forward.”

Download the summary report:

Character Matters attitudes, behaviours and skills in the UK Museum workforce.

Download the full report:

Full Report:  Character Matters attitudes, behaviours and skills in the UK Museum workforce.








Dates for AIM Trustee Seminars Announced

As part of the AIM Hallmarks Governance Programme, AIM is launching a new series of in-depth seminars for trustees of museums, galleries and heritage organisations. These seminars build on the introductory regional workshops for trustees held in March and April and offer greater insight into some of the topics raised by attendees at those events.

All the seminars are free and open to trustees who are members of AIM or come from AIM member organisations. For further information about any of the seminars or to book your place please email:

Engaging Board Meetings, led by Anne Murch and Gaby Porter

Manchester, 7th July, 12.30 – 4.30pm or London, 19th October, 11.30 – 3.30pm

Strengthening the Chair/Chief Executive Relationship, led by Hilary Barnard and Ruth Lesirge

London, 15th July, 11.30 – 3.30pm or York, 12th December, 11.30 – 3.30pm

For this seminar, we strongly encourage Chief Executives and Chairs of Trustees to attend as a pair.

Reviewing your Board for Succession Planning, led by Joy Allen of Leading Governance

28th September, Birmingham, 11.30 – 3.30pm or 14th November, London, 11.30 – 3.30pm

There will be more information about all of these seminars in the first edition of the AIM Trustee e-Newsletter, published later this month. To sign up for this free new round up of information, news and opportunities of particular relevance to Trustees, please email: or visit

The AIM Hallmarks Governance Programme is supported by Arts Council England and sponsored by Development Partners.

AIM Workshop: What’s Eating Your Collection?

AIM Workshop: What’s Eating Your Collection?

An Introduction to Integrated Pest Management (IPM 1)

Moths munching your textiles? Beetles in your carpets?  Learn how to spot the pests in your collections at this new workshop for AIM members. Funded by The Pilgrim Trust, this free workshop for AIM members will take place in Bodmin, Cornwall on 6 May 2016 at Cornwall’s Regimental Museum.

Staff, Trustees and volunteers from AIM member organisations can attend the workshop for free and it is suitable for anyone who has responsibility for collections that wants to ensure that they are not being damaged by insects.

This workshop aims to provide an introduction to insect pests in museums including recognising damage and monitoring. You will discover:

*Why are insects in museums and which ones are problems?

*What does insect damage look like?

*How can we find out if insects are present and where they are located?

*Where in buildings might problems occur?

Pests collage

Participants will also learn how to monitor appropriately and how to assess a building for possible risk areas. At the end of the course the participants will be able to implement an IPM programme in their museum.

Run by Jane Thompson – Webb, the Conservation Team Leader at Birmingham Museums Trust, this fun and hands on workshop starts at 10.30am and runs until 4.30pm with lunch and refreshments included.

Excellent in content and presentation. Answered all of my questions and was a very practical session. It was also very entertaining!” Course delegate.

Book your free places by downloading the booking form: STR Booking Form CORNWALL

Interested in other AIM collections care workshops? Please see all upcoming events and venues here: AIM Collections Care Workshops 2016

AIM also runs grants schemes to help fund conservation projects. The next deadline is 31 March and information can be found here: AIM Conservation Grants




Latest Events – Dates For Your Diary

This is a busy time of the year for the sector, with lots of events taking place that could help you or your museum, gallery or heritage site. We have rounded up some of the latest events to help our members – please see the list below for contacts, all details and how to book. If you have an event coming up and would like AIM’s help in promoting it, please email:


Free online webinar from Julie’s Bicycle is coming soon



Online Events

Julie’s Bicycle – The Resilient Museum

Free Webinar: Wednesday 27 January 11.00 – 13.00

What is a resilient museum? What can museums do as buildings, social spaces, and cultural institutions to embody sustainable practice – environmentally, socially and economically? This webinar is designed to provide a holistic overview of sustainability within museums and will include examples from the sector and transferable actions for improvement. Lucy Latham, Environmental Sustainability Coordinator at Julie’s Bicycle will be joined by Hilary Jennings, Director of the Happy Museum Project.

Julie’s Bicycle – The Resilient Museum WEBINAR



Culture24 – Museums at Night

East Midlands: Galleries of Justice, Nottingham, Monday 1 February 1 – 4:30pm

London & South East: Lighthouse Arts, Brighton, Wednesday 10 February 1 – 4:30pm

Culture24 are running two free workshops open to all staff and volunteers from museums, galleries, libraries, archives and heritage sites interested in taking part in Museums at Night.

They’ll cover how to plan and market a successful after-hours event, as well as offering guidance if you’re thinking of entering the Connect! competition, where your organisation can win £3000 and the chance to work with a top artist. Speakers include former Connect! artists, and people from winning venues. Tickets are free, but must be pre-booked:

East Midlands: Galleries of Justice, Nottingham, Monday 1 Feb 1 – 4:30pm

London & South East: Lighthouse Arts, Brighton, Wednesday 10 Feb 1 – 4:30pm


Sport in Museums Network Conference – The Impact of Sporting Heritage

Nottingham: 11 February

The Impact of Sporting Heritage will explore the role and value of sporting collections, offer ideas about how to measure your impact, focus on different agendas supported by sporting heritage such as health and wellbeing and education and provide a range of case study examples. Places are subsidised and cost just £25. Bookings close on the 4th February 2016.

Sport in Museums Network Conference – The Impact of Sporting Heritage



Museums Galleries Scotland – Developing Smart Sustainability Programme

Edinburgh: 3 & 4 February

Developing Smart Sustainability is an intensive 5 day business planning program delivered by the Social Enterprise Academy. It is an opportunity for museums and galleries across Scotland to develop and grow successful projects and sustainable organisations. It is a practical programme where you will use the time to enhance your core business knowledge and learn about tools and skills to help you to develop and sustain a thriving museum with a real impact in communities.  This programme is a 5 day programme, subsidised by MGS and SEA and costs £150

Museums Galleries Scotland – Developing Smart Sustainability Programme

For information on skills opportunities and upcoming courses please sign up to the MGS Skills Development Programme newsletter



Welsh Government – Making numbers work for you

Llandudno Junction: 28 January

This free course is provided by the Welsh Government and is open to staff and volunteers working in museums in Wales. It is suitable for those who want to develop a greater understanding of statistics and how they can be used by museums for evidence and advocacy. Run by Jonathan Durnin from DC Research, this is a half day course and training will begin at 13:30.

To book, Please contact: Seaneen McGrogan on or 0300 062 2261


The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales – Digital Past 2016: New technologies in heritage, interpretation and outreach

Llandudno 10 & 11 February

Organised by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, Digital Past is an annual two-day conference which showcases innovative digital technologies and techniques for data capture, interpretation and dissemination of the heritage of Wales, the UK and beyond. Bringing together individuals from the commercial, public, academic, third sector and voluntary sectors, the conference aims to promote learning, discussion and debate around a range of digital technologies in current use, or in development, to record and understand the historic environment. Registration cost for the two days is £89, including lunch and refreshments on both days.

Digital Past 2016: New technologies in heritage, interpretation and outreach



Trustee and Governance Training Opportunities

Having a proactive and fully engaged board of Trustees is a valuable asset for any museum, no matter what its size.

In the recently published AIM Hallmarks of Prospering Museums, Governance is featured as a key characteristic, so to help your board gain confidence in their roles, we have gathered together some upcoming training opportunities  and other information that that may be helpful for your Trustees.

Further information on good governance can be found in the AIM ‘Golden Rules for Good Governance’. You can download this as a PDF: AIM Golden Rules for Good Governance

AIM also publishes a Success Guide covering Governance issues in Independent Museums. You can download this as a PDF: AIM Success Guide – Successful Governance in Independent Museums

Trustees of Independent Museums and Heritage sites are also welcome to subscribe to the monthly AIM E-News as individuals to help them keep informed about the latest independent sector news. Sign up HERE

AIM can provide a training grant to help you cover the cost of travel, fees and accommodation (where distance travel is involved). The next round of training grant applications closes on September 9 2015 and further details about this scheme can be found here: AIM Training Grant

Hallmarks Centre image

Governance Training Opportunities August – October 2015

UK Wide Training

Online Learning

*Community Action Suffolk (Free training)

*Civil Society Training (Training fees start at £195)

Understanding governance stage 1: The trustee role – London

16 September 2015

A course for new and experienced trustees

Board leadership stage 1: High-performance boards-London

23 September 2015

A course on governance for both experienced and new chairs and chief executives

Understanding governance stage 2: Governance in practice – Birmingham

6 October 2015

A course for experienced trustees

Finance for trustees

7 October 2015

Gain the knowledge and confidence to monitor and question financial information

Further courses from the Civil Society can be found HERE

*Association of Chairs training (Training fees are free for most events)

Protecting your reputation and managing the media: what Chairs need to know and do

15 September 2015

The reputation of the sector has been under intense pressure in recent weeks, so this is a timely briefing from specialist law firm Harbottle & Lewis.

Charity accounts in sixty minutes

8 October 2015

Do you feel charity finance is a dark art? Is this something you’re perhaps too happy to leave to your finance or audit committee? Or do you just need a refresher?

Further courses from the Association of Chairs can be found HERE


*FSI training (Free places available)

Trustee Role: Strategy and Development Bristol

7th October 2015

This workshop is aimed at Trustees, CEOs and charity managers.

*NCVO training (Training fees start at £175)

Charity Trustees: Induction and Refresher Training

22 September 2015

This course draws on NCVO’s cutting-edge thinking that has been developed from our governance work with a range of charities over many years, to ensure that your trustees and staff relationships go from strength to strength.

*South East Museums Development/ University of Portsmouth School of Law training

Thriving Museum Boards: Growing Trustee Diversity

Expressions of interest are open now, closing on 21 September


*Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA) training (Training fees start at £125)

Charity financial management: Costings & budgets

23 September 2015

This course enables participants to cost the services provided by their organisation, and to produce and monitor budgets and cash flows.

Further courses from WCVA can be found HERE


*Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action training (Funded places for eligible organisations only)

Effective Partnership Working

15 September 15

This session will deal with; developing appropriate governance arrangements; negotiating the nature and parameters of the partnership; considering the relationship between organisations; legal issues in working in partnership.

Further courses from NICVA can be found HERE


*Arts and Business Scotland training (Training fees start at £80)

Seminar: Introduction to being a Board Member (Edinburgh)

8 September 2015

A half-day seminar to help new board members (and those who would like a refresher) to understand their roles and responsibilities.

Further courses from Arts & Business Scotland can be found HERE

*Museums Galleries Scotland training (Training fees start at £50 for volunteers)

Forward Planning

7th October 2015

Topics covered include the new accreditation requirements for the Forward Plan, a documentation plan and a collections care and conservation plan. The day will include practical exercises to help participants review and report against their plans.

Further courses from Museums Galleries Scotland can be found HERE

If you know of any other training opportunities that would be suitable for AIM members that we have not covered here, please email and we will add them to this list.

Scotland: National Skills Development Programme

Museums Galleries Scotland runs the  National Skills Development Programme which is a ‘one stop shop’ for a broad range of skills development activities. This includes activities supported and delivered both by MGS and partner organisations with a national remit.

Upcoming courses include topics such as Accreditation, Collections Development, Digital, Partnership Working and Copyright and Digitisation.


All courses are subsidised and start from only £20 for a volunteer attending a half day ‘Hints and Tips workshop’

Travel bursaries may be available to help cover all or part of the cost of getting to a training course. For further information please contact the MGS Skills Development Manager: or Telephone: 0131 550 4131


A full list of courses can be found HERE

AIM Member Workshops: An introduction to collections care

Why don’t objects last for ever? Why does it matter where watercolours are displayed? Why is it necessary to wear gloves to handle objects? If you have ever wondered why collections care matters – or even what it is – then this is the workshop for you.

Workshop Tutor, Jane Thompson Webb, will show you what the main agents of decay are and how they can damage objects. You will also be offered a range of practical strategies to help ensure that your collections will be accessible now and in the future.

Each workshop runs from 10am – 4.30pm and delegate packs with useful conservation items and lunch/refreshments will be provided.

At the end of the workshop, participants will be able to spot the causes of damage in their own collections and introduce monitoring and/or mitigation strategies.

Taking part in collections care workshops is also a lot of fun and a great opportunity to get up close to some interesting objects!

If you work or volunteer in a museum, this workshop will give you a greater understanding of caring for your collections, why objects deteriorate and what practical steps you can take to limit damage.

This is a free workshop for AIM members, funded by The Pilgrim Trust

Booking early is advisable with 20 places available at each workshop.

For further information, please contact:

Cons, 162 Salisbury pitt rivers

Dates and Venues

     Firing Line, Cardiff Castle (CARDIFF) – Friday 27th March

The Interpretation Centre, Cardiff Castle, Cardiff, Cardiff CF10 2RB

National Football Museum (MANCHESTER) – Thursday 9th April

Urbis Building, Cathedral Gardens, Todd Street, Manchester M4 3BG

Derby Museum & Art Gallery (DERBY) – Monday 13th April

The Museum and Art Gallery, The Strand, Derby, DE1 1BS

The Quilt Museum and Gallery (YORK) – Thursday 16th April

St Anthonys Hall, Peasholme Green, York, North Yorkshire YO1 7PW

The Black Watch Castle and Museum  (PERTH – SCOTLAND) – Friday 24th April

Balhousie Castle, Hay Street, Perth PH1 5HR

Download: AIM Members Conservation Workshops Information


Two events for Trustees in Scotland

Thank you to the Trustees Week Newsletter for information about these two events for Trustees in Scotland in November. Trustees Week is 10-16 November 2014 across the UK. It will be launched with a conference in London on 10th November. 

Trustees Network Conference, from SCVO – 8th November 2014, Edinburgh

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is holding a Trustees Network Conference, to provide a unique learning and networking opportunity trustees from charities, community groups, social enterprises and voluntary organisations of all shapes and sizes.

The conference will help trustees to develop their knowledge and understanding of governance, and make new connections to assist them in their roles.

Date: 8th November 2014
Time: 10am – 3.30pm
Location: Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Nicolson Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9DW

For more information about conference content, and to book, click HERE. The early bird rate ends on 30th September!

Excellence in Trusteeship: Developing Trustees in Scotland – free event from Scotland’s Third Sector Leadership Forum, Dundee, 14th November 2014

Targeted at past, present and future trustees, this conference is an opportunity to share Scotland’s collective experience of working as, and with, trustees, highlight the great work that trustees are currently doing and present opportunities for people from all walks of life to get involved and make a difference.
In honour of the vital role charity trustees play, Scotland’s Third Sector Leadership Forum is proud to present this flagship event celebrating their work across the country.

Date: 14th November 2014
Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm
Location: Queen’s Hotel, 6/7 Nethergate, Dundee. DD1 4DU
To book, or for more details on the agenda and discussion topics, as well as on location and parking, click HERE.
This is a free event with lunch provided.

Giving to Heritage looking for fundraising mentors and mentees

Giving to Heritage is an HLF catalyst funded programme in England to support heritage organisations with their fundraising. There is information about similar programmes in Wales or Scotland.

In England, Giving To Heritage are looking for fundraising mentors and mentees for a free programme. Training is provided. You can download a mentor/mentee application form. The deadline for all applications is 13thOctober 2014.

They also have a few more spaces on 1:1 support and consultancy sessions lasting one hour. The aim of the sessions is to assist people at all levels of heritage fundraising through support and guidance from a fundraising expert.

  • Talk through any issues or development areas
  • Put your training theory if you have previously attended a workshop
  • Discuss a particular fundraising challenge you might be facing
  • Review your materials* and receive feedback

*materials for review, need to be submitted in advance

To book a session, contact

Giving to Heritage Workshops

Workshops are available around England throughout the Autumn. Topics include

  • Developing a Heritage Fundraising Plan,
  • Making the Heritage Case to Donors,
  • Major Donor Fundraising for Heritage Organisations,
  • Community Fundraising for Heritage Organisations,
  • Corporate Partnerships for Heritage Organisations
  • Securing Support for your Heritage Project from Grant-Making Trusts & Foundations