MA to produce best practice recruitment guidelines

Patrick Steel, 12.09.2016
Arts Council England funds UK-wide salary survey for 2017
The Museums Association (MA) is to produce best practice recruitment guidelines, updating its Salary Guidelines for museums, galleries and heritage workers, with funding from Arts Council England for a UK-wide survey to be published in Spring 2017.

“I’m really excited to be able to pick up where the previous Salary Guidelines left off,” says Alistair Brown, the MA’s policy officer. “There is no up-to-date data that allows us to verify the state of pay levels in the sector. This absence of data also means that there is no benchmark for sector pay which would help museums to set appropriate pay levels.

“The Salary Guidelines are an important resource for the sector and a great foundation for future work on diversity and best practice recruitment guidelines.”

The Museums Association previously produced Salary Guidelines in 2004 and in 2009.

The 2017 survey will produce a clear picture of pay across a series of benchmark jobs including visitor services and front of house staff, education and outreach staff, curators, conservators, and directors. Comparator data will be sought from equivalent professions, and compared with inflation-adjusted salaries from previous surveys.

The 2017 survey will also seek to provide separate analyses for London and the rest of the UK, and additional data on pensions, holiday and overtime.


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Laura Waters
Assistant Collections Officer, Buxton Museum
17.10.2016, 21:37
You could also ask about fixed term contracts vs regular contracts. Lots more of these around now, which is OK to fill an additional need for a specific project but not when it replaces a regular role.
Sharon Heal
Director, Museums Association
19.09.2016, 11:49
Hi - yes agree that we need to take freelancers pay and conditions into account. I like the idea of a follow-on survey to create a comprehensive body of evidence. We definitely need funders and politicians to take note but museums need to act too. Good recruitment isn't just about pay, it's also about getting rid of the barriers to diversity that are sometimes consciously and unconsciously put in place.
Tehmina Goskar
Consultant Curator
14.09.2016, 15:55
Payrolled museum staff will only ever provide a partial view of pay, income and conditions of museum professionals. The MA must also consider the pay and conditions of freelance professionals and I hope that a specific nation-wide study of museum freelancing may follow this one. Together, the strong evidence for the museum sector supporting and inadvertently creating low-pay, unstable career scenarios will highlight the need for radical change in how museums are governed and funded, especially by major stakeholders such as ACE and HLF.