Tree Icon ICOM Curricula Guidelines for Museum Professional Development
Career Tree - Curricula Guidelines - About the Guidelines - Development Process - Resources

I. General competencies:
All museum staff should be able to demonstrate skills in and knowledge of:

Communications

Inter-cultural communication
Written, oral and non-verbal
Terminology / vocabulary

Environmentalism and its impact

Conservation ethic
Environmental audits - compliance, energy, activities, issues
Environmental custodianship
Sustainable development practices

Evaluation methods

Analysis of data
Data collection
Project design
Purpose
Report methods

Financial management

Elementary numeracy
Basic analysis, monitoring, and reporting methods

Information Technology

E-mail
Web sites
Multimedia formats
Database management

Interpersonal relationships

Collaboration and networking
Disability awareness 
Strategies for museums
Political considerations

Museums and society

Accountability
Issues of identity and discrimination
Ethnic, racial, cultural and intellectual diversity
Knowledge of local, national, regional, international issues, resources and conditions
Promotion of peace and understanding amongst people
Public trust

Nature of work

Administrative and management policies and practices
Affiliations with other organizations / consultancy / outsourcing
Multi-disciplinary environment
Quality maintenance of services and products

Professionalism

Contributions to field
Continued education
Ethics and values
Personal
Specific to an individual museum and culture
Relative to discipline and occupation
Identity
Intellectual curiosity
Initiative, self motivation, self-evaluation, flexibility
Leadership
Organization of museum associations - local, regional, national, international
Self-management of career
Standard-setting
Recognition and integration of diversity into all processes
Recognition of excellence
Vision of and purpose for museums and personal role at individual institution

Project Management

Delegation and review
Multi-disciplinary environment
Planning and organizing
Priority-setting
Problem-solving
Resource management, implementation and evaluation
Team processes

Research

Ability to seek out and acquire new information, apply learning to tasks
Critical thinking
Methodology

Resources in the field

Literature and information sources including bibliographies, directories and  indexes
Professional associations: international, national, regional and local

II. Museology Competencies: Knowledge of and skills in the application of the intellectual foundations of museum work

Community museology

Assessing / understanding community needs
Exhibition techniques as tools for mobilizing community members for the use of their common resources
Interactions between communities, their heritage and economic development
Processes which originate from community efforts

Development of the museum profession

Criticisms of museums
Definitions of / distinctions between / numbers of museums of different disciplines / types
History, philosophies and current status of museums, the profession and collections generally and in local, regional, national and international contexts
Rationale for museums

Roles and functions of museums

Traditional core practices
Leisure and tourism
Identity and nationalism

Vision

Governance

Board (or other governing body) composition
Monitoring responsibilities
Types
Policy making
Roles and relationships

Issues in museum practices

Business orientation vs. larger public "good"
"Collections" vs. "Ideas"
Dominant voice / power in museum interpretation
Cultural democracy
Intellectual access
Physical access
Professional vs. vocational occupation
Repatriation of cultural patrimony, human remains, funerary goods

Legal context for practice

Cultural heritage - local, regional, national and international approaches including conventions
Copyright and artists' rights - national laws and International Conventions
Artistic freedom of expression - local, national and comparative approaches
Political, economic, social and cultural contexts of museums in local, national and international arenas including globalization, environmentalism, sustainable development, and cultural diversity

Research activities, both discipline-based and museological

III. Management Competencies:
Knowledge of and skills in the theory and practice of museum operations

Accreditation

Advisory bodies

Public, professional, discipline-based

Architecture

Accessibility standards
Adaptive use
Environmental controls
Furnishings
Museum architects
Relationship of form and function
Theory and practice of museum architecture:
Discipline, cultural milieu, and climate considerations 
Visitor amenities - lounge, restrooms

Business and operational management

Contract management
Policy development
Program development
Goal setting
Priority setting
Clarification of objectives
Strategic planning
Resource management
Implementation
Evaluation

Community relations

Advocacy
Coalition-building 
Public programming activities

Financial planning and management

Audit 
Budget 
Financial control 
Documentation 
Reporting 
Risk management

Formal structure

Authority under which museum is established 
Governing laws under which museums are constituted
Articles of incorporation 
Constitution and by-laws 
Statement of purpose / intent / mission

Fund raising and grant development (income-generation)

Development (income-generation) plan
Record keeping and acknowledgments
Resource identification
Capital campaign
Gifts / bequests
Techniques / Strategies

Human resource planning and management

Allocation of resources
Analysis of tasks
Authority
Compensation structuring (pay/salary scales)
Consultancy and contract workers
Cross-cultural training
Diversity
Hiring (recruiting) / discharge (dismissal) of employees
Labor relations
Management of multi-discipline, multi-cultural teams and organizations
Staff morale and motivation
Performance measures and evaluation
Supervision
Training needs analysis of organization and staff and provision
Volunteers

Income producing activities

Concessions (franchises) 
Fees 
Retail operations

Information management

Insurance / indemnity

Law

Legal system - national and international comparisons
Legal status of museum
Legal responsibilities of personnel and board
Law and the collection - accessioning, de-accessioning and bequests
Contract law, including loans and exhibition exchanges
Tax law

Marketing

Audience (visitor) research
Promotional materials
Public image
Tourism / business links
Tools for communicating

Membership / "friends" organizations

Services 
Hospitality management

Physical plant and site management

Emergency preparedness
Fire, safety, and security
Plant maintenance

Public affairs

Media relations

Organizational Theory

Best practices
Cross-cultural skills 
Processes of change
Change management
Models of organizational change
Reflexive practice
Techniques for fostering creative thinking and action in work 
Understanding of how innovations emerge within complex organizations
Re-engineering

IV. Public programming competencies:
Knowledge of and skills in serving the museum's communities

Communications

Communication theory
Knowledge of the dynamics of symbolic experience
Developing communication linkages and creating relevant focal points and forums for exchange of ideas
Orientation - physical and intellectual
Semiotics - what things signify
Signage (labeling etc.)

Exhibitions

Exhibition theory
Graphics 
History and philosophy
Lighting
Planning, design, fabrication, installation and evaluation
Principles of visual presentations
Types / styles of exhibitions
Use of audiovisuals, computers
Virtual exhibitions
Web site creation and management

Education and interpretation

Educational theory, psychology, and sociology
History and philosophy
Learning theory
Planning, design, production and evaluation of programs
Models of practice
Use of text, objects, graphics, manipulative materials and media
Policies

Publications and products

Visitor service and public relationships

Circulation
Local, national, international and regional situations, issues
Management of visitation
Non-visitors characteristics
Numbers and types
Preservation requirements of collection and structure
Visitor characteristics

V. Information and collections management and care competencies:
Knowledge of and skills in creating, preserving and sharing museum resources

Archives

Records management

Collections

Access: cultural, physical and intellectual: visitation, tourism
Agents of deterioration: physical, chemical and biological factors
Automation: Computer software and hardware selection
Cataloguing
Collection issues
Collection management
Preventive care
Copies / reproductions / digitization
Copyright 
Quality control
Development
Documentation / Data management 
Generation, organization and care
Electronic / world wide web aspects
Environmental monitoring and control
Temperature, relative humidity, light and atmospheric pollutants
Handling
History and philosophy
Kinds of collections
Ancillary collections including audiovisuals, slides, negatives
Built environment including sites, landscapes, structures
Cultural heritage including oral history, folklife, language
Documents, manuscripts, archives
Objects, artworks, sculptures, specimens, prints
Packing and transporting
Pest management
Policies
Principles of conservation / restoration
Properties of materials, implications for preservation
Registration
Accession
Deaccession
Disposal Loans
Resources
Standards
Storage
Theft
Use of (in):
Natural and cultural contexts
Exhibitions
Public service role
Research
Library and information services
Scientific activities
Data collection, preparation and analysis
Research design
Phases of the research process
Sampling procedures / survey tools / procedures
 
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Career Tree - Curricula Guidelines - About the Guidelines - Development Process - Resources

Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies

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          Updated 28 August 2009