Fellowship of the Museums Association (FMA) - Museums Association

Fellowship of the Museums Association (FMA)

The Fellowship of the Museums Association (FMA) is a professional development award that recognises and encourages an advanced level of professional contribution, development and achievement, by people in any area of museum work.

This contribution is underpinned by the values of our Competency Framework:

  • Inclusive – ensuring equitable access to opportunities and resources 
  • Participatory – placing and valuing people at the heart of everything 
  • Sustainable – ensuring the sustainability of museums, collections, communities and the planet 
  • Ethical – ensuring ethical practice underpins the decisions and actions we take

Who are fellows of the Museums Association?

Fellows consistently look for areas to improve and they challenge the status quo. They work to develop a sector that both meets the needs of and creates positive participatory experiences for the communities they serve.

This is reflected in the knowledge, skills and behaviours they demonstrate. These areas of competence are captured in the Competency Framework, and we expect all fellows to be delivering at Level 4 where applicable.

Tamsin Russell and Steph Mastoris talk about the FMA

Fellowship pathway

Before you formally register, we invite you to provide an expression of interest by emailing us with a copy of your CV or a link to your LinkedIn profile.

We will then contact you to have an informal conversation, outlining the fellowship process and exploring whether fellowship is the right professional development programme for you.

Once we have established this, we will arrange for you to have a conversation with one of our professional reviewers who will explore with you your strengths, achievements and development needs. This is facilitated by the completion of a self review, which asks you to reflect on your career and performance in accordance with the Competency Framework. This conversation helps you identify the timeline for your fellowship.

Following registration, we support you by connecting you with other fellowship candidates in the UK and all recently-awarded fellows (or those within your region or nation). We also offer opportunities to participate in our professional development workshops which reflect the sector’s priorities, for example exploring values-led practice or allyship and solidarity.

As part of the process, you can use any of our templates for planning or recording your professional development.


When you feel you are ready for your professional review, you can submit draft final paperwork, which will be reviewed and you will be given feedback in advance of attending the professional review.

In addition to this paperwork you will also submit an up-to-date copy of your CV or LinkedIn profile and a future CPD plan. As part of your portfolio of evidence, we contact two referees to support your application.

The professional review is peer-assessed in a formal interview, where candidates demonstrate their established level of professional competence at Level 4 of the Competency Framework.


There is a £120 fee to participate in the fellowship programme.

If you are interested in becoming a fellow, please contact the MA’s professional development team to register your interest and to discuss the fellowship and assessment process in more detail.

You need to be a full or concessionary member of the Museums Association in order to apply and retain fellowship status.

Contact us

Register your interest and discuss the process

Case studies

Kevin Gosling
Chief Executive, Collections Trust
Kevin Gosling FMA
Neil Curtis
Head of Museums and Special Collections, University of Aberdeen
Neil Curtis FMA
Gail Boyle
Senior Curator (Archaeology & World Cultures), Bristol Culture
Gail Boyle FMA
Janette Park
Curator, Stromness Museum
Janette Park FMA



Learn through conversation, challenge and reflection in a safe and non-judgemental space