3. Individual & institutional integrity - Museums Association

3. Individual & institutional integrity

Museums and those who work in and with them should:

  • act in the public interest in all areas of work
  • uphold the highest level of institutional integrity and personal conduct at all times
  • build respectful and transparent relationships with partner organisations, governing bodies, staff and volunteers to ensure public trust in the museum’s activities.

Upholding the principle

All those who work in and with museums should:

3.1 Avoid any private activity or pursuit of a personal interest that may conflict or be perceived to conflict with the public interest. Consider the effect of activities conducted in private life on the reputation of the museum and of museums generally.

3.2 Avoid behaviour that could be construed as asserting personal ownership of collections.

3.3 Avoid all private activities that could be construed as trading or dealing in cultural property unless authorised in advance by the governing body.

3.4 Refuse to place a value on items belonging to the public.

3.5 Make clear when communicating personally or on behalf of another organisation that views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the museum in which you work.

In addition, museums and governing bodies should:

3.6 Carefully consider offers of financial support from commercial organisations and other sources in the UK and internationally and seek support from organisations whose ethical values are consistent with those of the museum. Exercise due diligence in understanding the ethical standards of commercial partners with a view to maintaining public trust and integrity in all museum activities.

3.7 Abide by a fair, consistent and transparent workforce policy for all those working in the museum, including those in unpaid positions.

3.8 Be sensitive to the impact of the museum and its visitors on natural and human environments. Make best use of resources, use energy and materials responsibly and minimise waste.