Introduction by Sharon Heal

Sharon Heal, 01.03.2018
Sharon Heal is the director of the Museums Association, a membership organisation for everyone in museums, galleries and heritage
Museums have three things that make them special: collections, buildings and people. The collections are a resource that make us different from other leisure and entertainment venues; our buildings are often historic, sometimes quirky and usually full of stuff; and our people, from front-of-house staff to volunteers and subject specialists, are what bring these institutions to life.

While our sector is good at making the case for investment in collections and buildings, we often neglect the investment we should be making in ourselves.

Changes in the sector and more broadly in society mean we need a workforce that is flexible, adaptable and effective. There are some obvious skills gaps, such as in fundraising and brokering community partnerships, that have been identified through surveys and reports, but we also need attributes such as tenacity, empathy and determination to see us through the challenging times.

The Museums Association (MA) is campaigning for museums to be more socially engaged – we know they can make a difference working with their communities, but we also realise that the people who work in these institutions need the right mixture of support and development to work effectively.

The MA is committed to delivering professional development for the whole workforce, from those beginning their career in museums to people in leadership roles. And we know that committed and skilled individuals can have a transformative impact on their institutions and their communities.

So why not make 2018 the year that you invest in your development and put your new-found skills to good use?


Courses guide and listings 2018 (pdf)