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. Our vision and values underpin the Fellowship competencies.

Who are Fellows of the Museums Association?

Fellows go above and beyond their role to deliver positive impact:

  • Leading change in an organisation, area of practice, or thinking across the sector
  • Advocating for museums and the work of museums
  • Generously sharing their skills and knowledge to develop others and the sector as a whole
  • Investing in their own professional development for multiple benefits
Tamsin Russell and Steph Mastoris talk about the FMA

Fellowship pathway

Following registration, we recommend you complete a self review that enables you to identify your strengths and potentially any development needs.

This self review, alongside your CV, forms the basis of your conversation with one of our Fellowship Professional reviewers to explore the timeline for your Fellowship development.

To support you we connect you with other Fellowship candidates in the UK, all recently-awarded Fellows or those within your region or nation. In addition, you can use any of our templates for planning or recording your professional development.


When you feel you are ready for review, you would submit a draft final review, which will be reviewed and feedback given in advance of attending the professional review. The professional review is peer-assessed in a formal interview, where candidates demonstrate their established level of professional competence in relation to the Fellowship competencies.


To be ready for Fellowship, you must meet the following criteria:

1) Leading – Leads change in an organisation, area of practice or thinking which has significant wider impact

  • Leads an organisation and/or an area of practice or field of knowledge or thinking
  • Innovates in areas of work in local or regional or national practice
  • Changes and develops ways of working to support and sustain improvement in organisations, or an area of practice/field of knowledge or thinking

2) Advocacy – Advocates for museums and the work of museums

  • Demonstrates how the Code of Ethics underpins their work, and their wider sphere of influence
  • Proactively advocates and encourages others in their organisations and practice to embrace the Code, e.g. with governing bodies, in investment decisions
  • Looks beyond the sector, building relationships and advocating for the work of museums with wider organisations and/or individuals outside the museum sector

3) Developing others – Generously shares skills and knowledge to develop others and the sector as a whole

  • Contributes to the development of others
  • Supports and enables others beyond those directly managed to generate new knowledge and insights
  • Draws on external experts, expertise and resources to harness and build others’ knowledge and skills
  • Communicates with the wider sector, e.g. publishing articles, presenting at conferences, writing blogs, tweeting

4) Developing self – Invests in own professional development

  • Actively plans, acts and reflects on personal and professional development
  • Supports museums and the sector (as adviser or trustee, for example) and/or plays a leading role in the work of museum sector groups, e.g. committees of specialist groups/federations, working groups
  • Draws on external experts, expertise and resources to harness and build knowledge and expertise
  • Learns from others – both within and beyond the sector


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.


Register your interest and discuss the process with us

Sign up

You can sign up by completing the form linked below.

For more information on registering for our professional development programmes, please see our dedicated webpage.

Online sign up to the FMA will be available from January 2023. If you have any questions please contact cpd@museumsassociation.org

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



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