MDN Organisational Health Check Tool

The Museums’ Organisational Health Check is a self-assessment tool for museums that is now being used across all of the English Regions by the Museum Development Network.

It is designed as an indicator to help you highlight your museum’s current best practice, understand where the museum has areas of development and to feed into your forward planning.  This will enable you to prioritise areas of working over the next 12 months and provide you with a benchmark for future work.

It helps MDNW to provide bespoke support for your museum as well as tailored programmes and grants across the North West that respond to regional need. It is open until the end of March 2021 to all Accredited museums in the region and those officially working towards Accreditation to complete and is completion is a mandatory condition of our new Recovery Grants.

The tool can be accessed directly through our blog along with supporting documents and information.

Guidance and information for completion

Please note there are no right or wrong answers or penalties for low scores, it is a self-assessment tool for your museum.

The Museums’ Organisational Health Check asks an overarching question about your museum’s Forward Plan and then addresses six themes:

  1. governance and leadership
  2. financial planning and resources
  3. people development and management
  4. working practices
  5. audiences
  6. collections

Each theme is followed by several statements for you to score your organisation against between 0-4:

  • 0: We don’t do this at all
  • 1: We only do this a small amount
  • 2: We’re okay at this
  • 3: We’re good at this
  • 4: We’re excellent at this

Covid-19 – due to the current outbreak of Coronavirus the Museums’ Organisational Health Check includes text boxes after each section.  These are provided to capture information on how your museum is affected and provide context for your scoring.


Submitting your Organisational Health Check

Please complete your Museums’ Organisational Health Check on our online survey platform which can be found here:

To help you with the process you can also download a word version of the form – please note however we will only accept online submissions. Click here for a word version of the form.

The questions need consideration by a cross section of your team and require involvement from someone managing your organisation, either a senior member of the team or someone from the governing body, as well as someone involved in operations, for example collections management, learning or front of house; these can be staff or volunteers.  We recommend at least two people engage with the process, which should take no longer than 45 minutes to complete.

Consider each theme and the individual statements within it.  It’s helpful at this stage to discuss with colleagues what a score of ‘4: We’re excellent at this ‘could look like for the museum and how your current practice matches up against it.

Next, discuss a possible score for the statement; can you think of evidence or real examples to support this score?  When you have reached a consensus, record the score and move on to the next statement.

Once you have completed the scoring please complete the section within each theme to identify what your museum is doing really well and what you’d like to develop or improve.

Further Support:

To help you to complete the tool, Heather Lomas, Organisational Health Consultant created a supporting film and PowerPoint presentation which can be viewed below. This is aimed at anyone completing the tool and can be used in advance or whilst completing the online form. You can also contact Heather by email to arrange bespoke support with completing your assessment:

You can view and download the supporting slides to the film which explain the process of completing the Health Check here: PowerPoint Slides

If you are using the film which you complete the form, you can use this timing script to skip ahead to the relevant sections: Video Script

Advisory report:

By completing the Museums’ Organisational Health Check, you will receive a bespoke advisory report with a summary of your results and suggestions of where to access support in your highlighted areas of need. We expect a museum to receive this within 4 weeks of completing the online form. For museums that have identified a priority of developing their forward plans, extra support will be available from Heather Lomas and MDNW will get in touch with you to arrange this support.

If you have any questions about the tool, how to submit or previous submissions then please email