Museum Organisational Health Check


The Museum Organisational Health Check (previously known as the ‘Museum MOT’) is a tool to help you track and assess the health of your organisation.

The aim is to help museums benchmark activity, identify what they are doing well and define areas of work that need improvement.

Museum Organisational Health Check 2020-21

In 2018, we piloted a ‘Museum MOT’ toolkit with 10 museums in the South East with positive feedback from both museums and Museum Development Officers.

In 2020-21, we are taking 15 museums in the South East through the second pilot phase of the Museum Organisational Health Check, and we are asking grantee museums to take part in a ‘light touch’ version of the Health Check with their MDO.

How it works

At its heart, the Museum Organisational Health Check is a self-assessment tool.

Participating museums will be sent an online questionnaire to complete with a small cohort from your museum, with support from their MDO during a facilitated session.   We recommend this team comprises of 3 people – one senior manager or Trustee; one Front of House team member (staff or volunteer) and one other museum team member (e.g. curator, education officer, retail manager, etc).

Once the questionnaire is completed, one of our Museum Development Officers (MDO) will review it and write an Advisory Report signposting to helpful resources and development opportunities. Your museum cohort is then encouraged to create an Action Plan.

Museums who complete the Health Check will be eligible to apply for a £1,000 grant from us to help deliver one item on their Action Plan in 2020-21.

One year on, we will catch up with participating museums in a follow up visit/interview so see what progress has been made.

Who can take part?

The Museum Organisational Health Check is open to:

  • Museums in the South East (Sussex, Surrey, Kent, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Hampshire, Isle of Wight)
  • Museums must be Accredited or Working Towards Accreditation
  • Museums who are non-NPO and non-National
  • Non-Accredited museums can take part in the process, but won’t be eligible to apply for the £1,000 grant.
  • Recipients of our Recovery Grants will not be eligible for the £1,000 grant.

The Museum Organisational Health Check is particularly useful for museums that:

  • Are undergoing significant change
  • Have outstanding Accreditation Areas for Improvement
  • Require support to develop their Forward Plans

How to apply

The deadline for museums to apply for the 2020-21 cohort for the Health Check has passed.

Any museum in receipt of one of our Recovery Grants will need to fulfill a ‘lighter touch’ version of the Health Check as part of the grant conditions.

What happens next?

  • The 15 participating museums were sent a link to an online survey in July 2020, along with a Word version of the questions to enable effective collaborative work.
  • Your MDO (Museum Development Officer) will get in touch to arrange a virtual facilitated meeting with your team to complete the survey.
  • Once the survey has been submitted, your MDO will complete an Advisory Report signposting to relevant support material.
  • If you choose to create an Action Plan based on the Advisory Report, you have the option to apply for a £1,000 grant from us to help action one or more elements of the plan in 2020-21. Grant Applications must be received by 31 January 2021.
  • Your MDO will contact you one year on to review your progress.
  • We will announce the details of any further Museum Organisational Health Check programmes for 2021-22 in due course.

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