Training and Events

Opportunities and training with a small coloured logo in the title, are those that have been organised, funded and facilitated by the South East Museum Development Programme.

Financial Strategy & Governance Workshop

Tuesday 21st May 2019


Rachel Cooper, Charity Finance Group.

Kate Hebditch, Accreditation Adviser, and Elaine Sansom, Museum Development Officer.

Date / Time: 21 May 2019 (10.30 coffee; 10.40am – 4pm)

Location: River and Rowing Museum, Henley, Oxfordshire

Plan your journey

Free parking is available for delegates in the museum car park


All museum trustees are jointly responsible for their charity – its’ financial activity and charitable compliance. This is the first free workshop being run by South East Museums Development Partnership to help museum trustees feel confident in meeting their charitable responsibilities (the second is on 12th September in Brooklands on Trustee Recruitment).

Who should attend?

  • Any trustees from independent museums who want to improve their understanding and confidence in meeting financial and charitable responsibilities
  • Trustees from smaller museums without professional staff
  • Museum managers and honorary curators that have a role in supporting their museum boards to meet financial and governance compliance requirements
  • New trustees and experienced trustees that are new to the museum sector, will find this workshop useful as part of their introduction to museum trusteeship.

What will it cover?

This workshop offers guidance and facilitated peer discussion to share best practice and individual experiences of financial governance. It will include:

  • Museum sector overview of financial challenges and support
  • Compliance – what are your obligations?
  • Understanding financial information
  • Risk management and financial policies
  • What policies do you need and how can you ensure that they are fit for purpose?
  • Museum Accreditation – governance and planning requirements

Delegates are encouraged to visit this acclaimed independent Museum before or after the workshop (free entrance is provided to delegates). It opened in 1998 to celebrate the River, the international sport of Rowing and the town of Henley on Thames. New galleries have opened recently – including a Community Gallery which showcases a wide variety of local projects. 


10:30 – 10:40

Registration and refreshments

10:40 – 11:30

Introduction  and overview of museum sector support mechanisms

11:30 – 12:00

Understanding your challenges

The facilitator will give an insight into the financial challenges which are facing the sector. In this session, you’ll be able to frame your own governance concerns, and to discuss these with peers.

12:00 – 12:45

Compliance – what are your obligations?

As well as driving the governance and strategic direction of your organisation, your role as a trustee includes a number of legal obligations. When it comes to financial reporting and compliance, you need to ensure that your charity is meeting these requirements. This session will outline you need to do, and the elements that influence what actions you should be taking.

Lunch (provided)

13:15 – 14:30

Understanding financial information

With such a wide range of financial tools and approaches, how can you ensure you are using these effectively? This session will explore the different ways of tracking your charity’s finances and how you can use them to support your organisation’s purpose.

14:30 – 15:00

Risk management and financial policies

What policies do you need and how can you ensure that they are fit for purpose? We will look at what other reports and information trustees need to fulfil their roles and responsibilities. There will be an outline of how to mitigate key risks, fraud and financial mismanagement.

15:00 – 15:45


Arts Council England launched the revised Museum Accreditation scheme in November 2018. This session will highlight the changes to governance and planning requirements that museums will need to address in their next Accreditation return. We will also provide details of the SEMDP project to help unincorporated museums move to incorporation.



Depart or visit the Museum


Following qualification with KPMG, Rachel Cooper spent 12 years in senior roles in the voluntary sector, from small charities like the British Tinnitus Association to large charities such as the Institute of Cancer Research. As well as finance, her responsibilities included strategic planning, continuous improvement, risk management, HR and data protection.

After taking a career break to spend time with her family, Rachel spent three years teaching at Southampton Solent University, then worked as finance manager for the Third Sector Research Centre. More recently, she has brought her finance and training skills back to the voluntary sector, setting up her own consultancy, Welbeck, to provide accountancy services and training for charities, delivering over 90 training sessions and webinars over the last 2 years

How to book

Due to support from the Arts Council England and the Association of Independent Museums It is free to attend this workshop. However, please note, we reserve the right to charge a cancellation fee of £15 for late cancellations where the place cannot be re-filled.

Please book your place here:

To ensure fair distribution, please limit bookings to two representatives from each museum. If a further place is required – please email