Nations Policy - Museums Association

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Nations Policy

A commitment to the four nations of the UK

We recognise the legislative and constitutional differences between the four nations of the UK and strive to ensure equitable treatment for all members within the UK.

We appreciate that the diversity of the museum sector is one of its most important assets and that acknowledging and recognising the national differences in context, history, legislation, policy, practice, approach and culture is vital if we are to fulfil our remit as a UK body across the four nations of the UK.

It is the responsibility of our board and staff to ensure that they treat individual, corporate and institutional members equitably, regardless of the nation in which they are based; that we reflect the legal and ethical significance of devolution in all our activities; and that so far as possible our services and products are available equally in each nation. It is also the responsibility of board and staff to raise the profile of this policy and the work of our nations committee.

This policy is intended to:

  • Ensure that we represent all four nations of the United Kingdom.
  • Ensure that we are aware of current specific and relevant issues in each nation and keep up to date with any changes and developments.
  • Demonstrate our sensitivity to the differences between the four nations.
  • Boost membership in areas of low membership.
  • Provide a strategic context to policies and procedures which are pertinent to one or more of the nations of the UK.
  • Provide guidance on the manner in which we allocate our resources across each of the nations to ensure that we are operating equitably.
  • Lead the sector in understanding the legal and political differences between the four nations.

We will:

Understand and highlight the different context, priorities and policies of all four nations
  • Maintain a nations standing committee of the board.
  • Ensure that all senior staff develop expertise, understanding of issues and links with each nation.
  • Develop initiatives specific to each nation and, where appropriate, relevant for the whole of the UK.
  • Ensure that all staff, board members and reps are sensitive to and have an understanding of, the issues in each nation.
  • Develop guidelines to ensure that accurate and appropriate language is used when speaking about an issue, museum, or government in a specific nation.
  • Cover issues and news from all parts of the UK in our publications and on our website.
  • Advocate for equitable distribution of resources from both national and UK governments and agencies to meet public need across the UK.
  • Ensure training for staff, board and representatives on the different policy and cultural contexts in each nation.
Increase our effectiveness and responsiveness in all four nations
  • Ensure policy initiatives are relevant and tailored where necessary to each nation.
  • Ensure that our board and staff allocate their time equitably in each of the four nations.
  • Enhance our visibility by attending meetings and events in each of the four nations.
  • Further develop the model of member representatives and members’ meetings.
  • Develop active networks including social media in each nation.
  • Ensure a board member and a senior member of staff attend one sector conference or significant meeting in each of the devolved nations at least once a year.
  • Develop an eco-system of activities, events, launches and meetings in each nation on a proportionate basis.
  • Develop a plan to establish staff in the devolved nations, taking into account the circumstances in each nation and according to capacity, as part of our business plan.
  • Run the annual conference in each of the nations at least once in every ten years, subject to satisfying the established criteria.
Support current and potential members in all four nations
  • Regularly review networks and contacts in all four nations and ensure we have regular communication and develop working relationships with appropriate bodies.
  • Establish working relations with federations where they exist.
  • Create membership growth strategies for each nation to maximise membership and ensure it is proportionate to the museum profile of each nation.
  • Include comparative data and information about our activities in the four nations in our annual report.
  • Conduct regular membership market research to ascertain members’ views on our services for all four nations of the United Kingdom at least every three years.