Gail Boyle FMA

Senior Curator (Archaeology & World Cultures), Bristol Culture

There are many reasons why a museum professional might choose to pursue the FMA. In my own case I had been faced with the prospect of being made redundant on more than one occasion and so this caused me to take stock of how I might adequately benchmark or demonstrate my level of professional practice – primarily to myself but also to others. What had I already achieved, where did my competencies lie and how might I identify gaps to enable me to continue to move forward?

In the end it was a long-standing colleague who suggested that I should apply since they felt I was already capable of demonstrating what was required to meet the criteria.

The process itself provides an opportunity to do some structured self-reflection and I found this to be a personally positive and affirming experience, which improved my self-belief and self-concept. The latter was particularly important since it gave me the opportunity to think about what I might become or want from my ongoing museum career – it renewed my energy and determination to continue to do my best to make a difference in museums because it not only showed me what effect I had already had but more importantly that it had mattered and continues to matter. 

In short I found that undertaking the FMA was really more than just a professional next stage form-filling exercise about my past achievements and capabilities because it helped me to be more confident and excited about the future.

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