MA president David Fleming

MA publishes Annual Report

Patrick Steel, 14.10.2015
Agenda includes draft Code of Ethics
The Museums Association (MA) has published its Annual Report 2014-15, which includes the draft Code of Ethics to be voted on at the MA’s AGM in Birmingham.

The MA is encouraging all of its members to vote in the AGM. Any members unable to come to Birmingham can nominate a proxy to vote for them (details below).

The AGM will consider the board’s proposal to freeze individual and institutional membership rates for 2016-17 at the same level as 2015-16, and changes to the articles of association that remove some of the transitional arrangements for the transfer from the old council to the new board of trustees.

Members will also vote on changes to the MA’s Code of Ethics, which has been redrafted and includes new clauses on financial support from commercial organisations and on repatriation requests.

The draft Code of Ethics for museums was agreed following an 18-month consultation process during 2014-15. The development of the code has been a collaborative process involving representatives from across the museum sector, funders, interest groups, members of the public and other stakeholders.

The draft document represents the general consensus of the sector on the ethical standards that are expected of all museums and those who work in and with them.

MA president David Fleming, in his introduction to the annual report, writes: “Our relationship with the public is at the heart of the MA’s revised Code of Ethics, which we shall be discussing at the 2015 conference.

“The MA has consulted with and listened to members, people who work in the sector, sector bodies, and other stakeholders and has worked hard to create a code that is fit for our times.

“The intention is that it will help guide decision-making in museums at a time when there are increasingly difficult decisions to make. I look forward to the discussions that will centre on the new code.”

Sharon Heal, the MA’s director, says: “The draft revised Code of Ethics represents a turning point for the sector. It puts public benefit and public engagement at the top of our ethical principles and signals a significant commitment to working in partnership with communities as well as caring for collections and acting with integrity.

“The draft is a result of a huge amount of consultation with people who work in and support the sector. We have spoken to hundreds of people and engaged stakeholders in all four nations of the UK. I am proud of the rigorous process of debate and listening that has informed the new code.

“I hope that going forward this will be a living breathing document that is used to inform ethical decision making in museums.”

Proxy vote

All individual members of the MA are entitled to attend and vote in the AGM.

The AGM will take place at 2pm in Hall 1 of the ICC Birmingham on Thursday 5 November.

Any individual member unable to attend the AGM is entitled to appoint a proxy to attend and vote on their behalf. Members may nominate as their proxy the chair of the meeting or any other individual.

The nominated proxy does not need to be a member of the MA.

Proxy nomination forms should be sent to Charlotte Lindus,, to arrive no later than 5pm on 2 November 2015.

Links and downloads

Annual report 2014-15

Notice of AGM and draft Code of Ethics

Draft Articles of Association

Proxy voting form