Museum MOT

What’s it all about?

Some Museum Development regions in England already use a toolkit to work with museums in their areas. Tools such as the ‘Business Diagnostic’ in the East Midlands, or ‘Survive and Thrive’ in London, are used as ways of discussing development needs with museums, and gathering information directly from museums to help shape Museum Development support. In some areas, this is delivered as a self assessment tool – where museums answer a series of questions annually, and the results are used to shape the museum development programme of training and support. In other areas, this is a facilitated conversation between Museum Development and museums.

The use of a facilitated approach between an MDO and a museum will particularly benefit:

•    Museums undergoing significant change.
•    Museums with outstanding Accreditation Areas for Improvement.
•    Museums who require support to develop their Forward Plan.

South East Museum Development ‘Museum MOT’ pilot

During 2018/19 we worked with colleagues from four other Museum Development regions in England to pilot a diagnostic tool developed by the East Midlands Museum Development team. This was our pilot ‘Museum MOT’ which we used to assess and evaluate how the approach works in order to contribute to national discussions within Museum Development.

The pilot enabled MDOs to produce an appropriate package of support for museums through a ‘level up’ framework – where all museums got a standard level of support from Museum Development, but where museums need additional support, we were able to respond to deliver targeted and intensive help over a sustained period of time. This was in the form of bespoke multi-year packages of support ranging from grants, training, mentoring and referrals for expert intervention or specialist advice.

Museums who took part in the 2018/19 MOT pilot should now be receiving follow-up visits to evaluate the impact of the grant process for your museum. If you haven’t yet heard from your MDO, please get in touch.

If you would like to express an interest for a future MOT, please email Juliet Thomas, Assistant Programme Manager.