Tagged: CPD

V&A Learning Academy

Professional Development Courses

The V&A have recently launched their Learning Academy programme, which offers adult visitors unique access to V&A collections and expertise. Whether you want to study the history of art, design and performance, learn a new creative skill or build a career in the museum sector, there is a flexible part-time experience designed to bring your passion to life.

Each of the short, intensive courses are taught by V&A staff and focus on practical training, using V&A collections, best practice and current projects as case studies. 

Topics include: 

  • Digital Media
  • Innovative Leadership
  • Curating Exhibitions
  • Interpretation Strategy
  • Performance-based Programming and Object Handling.

To browse all upcoming opportunities, you can view and download their Professional Development Programme Brochure.

MDNW Emerging Leaders Programme 2017

There’s just over a week left to apply for our third Emerging Leaders programme this year and applications are now being accepted. This seven-month programme is for early career museum professionals who would like to focus on developing their leadership skills.

Programme details
The programme will consist of one full day workshop per month for seven months, starting in June. Participants will have the opportunity to shape the content of the programme to meet their needs. In previous years, the programme has focused on areas including:

  • Confidence building
  • Management style identification
  • Coaching and working effectively with others
  • Influencing
  • Time and workload management
  • Personal resilience
  • Managing change

As part of the programme, all participants have the opportunity to seek 360˚ feedback at work to help them plan their own personal development and will have time during the programme to work on their own areas of personal development. The programme also includes some homework to help apply the learning from the workshops to participants’ own workplace.

About the trainers:
The programme will be run by Alex Lindley and Shirley Collier.

Alex is a Chartered member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and has worked in Learning and Development and Human Resource Management for over 10 years. She has delivered workshops and programmes covering areas such as leadership development, personal skills, organisational and cultural change and has spent time as a mentor for new leaders. She now works primarily with the heritage sector, but brings leadership insights and best practice from a wide range of sectors and organisations, from small volunteer run museums to international banks – and a great deal in between!

Shirley Collier has 20 years’ experience in museums and management – including several years as CEO of Scarborough Museums Trust – giving her personal and practical experience of many of the issues which affect early career professionals in the sector. She has developed and delivered training for a range of organisations, from national museums to small independent museums. Shirley also works as an executive coach, focusing on transition – changing roles, promotions, moving sectors – and resilience, resourcefulness and motivation.

How to apply
There are 10 places available for those working in the North West on the programme this year and people can either nominate themselves or be nominated. If you work at a National or Major Partner Museum please speak to Alex Bird prior to submission.

If you are interested in applying, please complete the application form. The form includes a section for you and a section for your line manager to support your application. It is important that you have your line manager’s support for taking part throughout the programme, so please ensure both sections of the form are completed.

Please send all applications to Alex Bird, Sector Development Officer – alexander.bird@manchester.ac.uk by 5pm Friday 28th April.

There is no charge for participation but because places are limited there will be a drop-out fee of £150 per delegate if delegates are unable to take up a place once it has been offered or do not complete the programme.

If you would like more information about the programme please contact Alex Bird alternatively you can read the evaluation post about our 2015 programme.

Museums Association Transformers: Influence

The Transformers programme has been developed to be flexible and suitable for all roles within a museum.  Transformers is relevant to anyone working in or with a museum- paid or voluntary.

We can accept multiple applications per organisation. The programme is seeking to create a cohort of motivated, engaged sector colleagues who are committed to their professional and organisational development, who standby the commitment that Museums Change Lives and want to ensure museum remain engaging, welcoming, vibrant places for all. (See more details below)

This strand requires a commitment of 2 learning days-  Gearing up for Change day in June and an Our Museum in Action day in July.   Participants also have the opportunity to pitch an idea for the Festival of Change which will be part of the Museums Association Conference 2017.

There is a fee of £100 but this will include participation in the 2 learning days and a year’s individual membership for the participant.

This strand has been developed with feedback from the sector to be more manageable for people who cannot make the longer time commitment of the 2 other strands, people who work shifts, part-time, free-lancers, have family or caring responsibilities or just don’t feel ready or have the time for something more intensive.

For more information and details on how to apply please click here.

 Deadline for applications is Tuesday 7 March

CPD Grants

Available via Anna Plowden Trust & Clothworkers’ Foundation

The Anna Plowden Trust and Clothworkers’ Foundation – two of the leading funders of training and development for conservators in the UK – have launched a new joint programme to support those undertaking continuing professional development (CPD). The Anna Plowden Trust has provided more than 100 grants for CPD during the last two decades and the Clothworkers’ Foundation conservation programme has given over £150,000 in CPD grants during the last eight years.

A grant of £20,000 from Clothworkers’ Foundation to the Anna Plowden Trust, will offer new opportunities for conservators seeking to improve their knowledge or skills, or to broaden their professional experience.

Anna Plowden Trust / Clothworkers’ Foundation CPD grants can be awarded for up to £1,000 or 50% (whichever is the smaller amount) of the cost of conferences, training events or other CPD opportunities. Application forms can be downloaded from the Anna Plowden Trust, which will administer the award on behalf of both funders. There are three remaining deadlines for applications in 2017: March 22nd, June 5th and September 14th.

Museums Association Transformers Programme – Deadline extended

From the Museums Association:

The deadline for applications to the Transformers training scheme for mid-career professionals has been extended to 30th January. The programme is for those looking to develop new ways of thinking, influence more effectively, and create change for themselves, their colleagues and their organisations.

Museum professionals from anywhere in the UK can subscribe to the Innovate and Influence programmes, while the Diversify programme is open to applications from England, Wales, and Scotland.

In all around 170 trainees will be supported across the three programmes in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Katy Swift, the MA’s project coordinator, Transformers, says: “The Transformers programme is an exciting opportunity for people working in and with museums to proactively meet the opportunities and challenges the sector is facing.

“The MA has built on the success of Transformers by expanding the programme to include three strands: Innovate, Influence and Diversify.

“As the programme coordinator, I passionately believe that it is the people working in museums who change lives.

“Transformers creates a timely opportunity to support and develop museum professionals and I am looking forward to building a cohort of people across the UK who are committed to building a radical and thriving sector.”

Applications to Innovate close on 30 January 2017, and applications to Influence and Diversify close on 28 February 2017.

Before submitting an application to any of the programmes, please ensure you have read the guidance notes to check that the programme is suitable for you.

Links and downloads

Transformers 2016-18

Moving on Up: Own your career

Tuesday 28th February
Royal College of Surgeons,Edinburgh
Members – £75.00
Non-members – £115.00

A one-day professional development and networking event aimed at museum professionals in the first five years of their career.

The event, which is chaired by consultant, facilitator and coach Hilary Carty aims to empower and inspire a proactive museum staff who challenge themselves and the sector, and includes keynotes, practical sessions and speed mentoring.

The programme aims to strike a balance between professional development and bigger picture issues affecting the sector such as diversity, funding, technological advancements and the social and political landscape.

Keynote:  Developing a personal brand and networking with confidence

What can someone find out about you from a quick Google search? Otegha Uwagba, brand consultant, writer and founder of Women Who, will give a talk on how to develop a personal brand that open doors. Uwagba will shed light on creating compelling online profiles and how museum professionals can maximise their impact face-to-face, as well as how to get the most out of networking opportunities.

Participatory session: Be a museum activist
Sharon Heal, director of the MA, will demonstrate how museum professionals can create change inside and outside their institutions.

Keynote: Taking a stand on diversity
Sara Wajid, head of interpretation, Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery and founder of Museum Detox – a networking group for BAME museum professionals will introduce Peju Oshin, a freelance educator at London Transport Museum, who will discuss how tackling diversity at a grassroots level raised her profile and resulted in an unexpected television appearance.

Participatory session: How to embrace failure
Jess Turtle
, Transformers project coordinator at the Museums Association and co-founder of the Museum of Homelessness, will lead a discussion on how use process failure and use it as a tool for empowerment.


  • inspirational keynotes covering a wide range of topics including: museum activism, embracing failure, diversity and how new technology is shaping the future of museums
  • delegates will get the chance to quiz a panel of senior museum professionals about their careers
  • speed mentoring with a number of high profile professionals from museums, galleries and heritage sites all over the UK
  • networking events, activities and games
  • workshops designed to empower delegates to reflect on their practice and equip them with skills in fundraising, budgeting and social media.

Other speakers

Chris Henry, director of heritage, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh

Stephen Allen, head of learning and programmes, National Museums Scotland

Sarah Munro, director of the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art

Sebastian Deterding, founder of design agency Coding Conduct and senior research fellow at the Digital Creativity Labs at the University of York.

We are offering Scottish Museums Federation members the Museums Association member rate. To book at this rate please download a booking form and return this along with a covering email stating that you are a Scottish Museums Federation member to lorraine@museumsassociation.org

Full details and timetable of event

To book your place online please click here

To download a booking form please click here

Follow this event on Twitter: #MOU2017

Career Development Courses in Partnership with Whitechapel Gallery

From the Art Fund:

Following the success of our 2016 programme of training courses for curators, we’ve once again teamed up with the Whitechapel Gallery to offer a new series of professional development courses to curators and museum professionals. 

This series is targeted at both early-career and more experienced curators, whether new to the topic or wishing to refresh and expand their existing knowledge. These popular hands-on courses will draw on the expertise of staff from across the Whitechapel Gallery, as well as other industry leaders. Each course will focus on practical training and use current projects as case studies, allowing you to gain invaluable guidance and insight from behind the scenes, and develop key skills that are rarely covered in other training schemes. 

The courses are scheduled throughout February – March 2017, and are in the following fields:

  • How to curate an exhibition
  • How to fundraise: corporate development
  • How to curate a youth programme
  • How to effectively market and promote art and culture
  • How to publish art catalogues
  • How to interpret art law and ethics

Places normally cost £195, but curators and museum professionals are invited to apply for one of 30 funded places offered by the Art Fund. More details and information on how to apply can be found on our website.

CPD – An Art Therapy Journey

This blog details my journey from being interested in Art Therapy to wanting to pursue a career in the area in the near future. I’ve been extremely lucky to have the support and opportunity to find out more about Art Therapy and the role of the therapist in this 5 day foundation course.

For an art therapist the image is always the starting point to working with a client. Understanding and knowing a client is key to working in an effective way with them, as well as understanding their psychological challenges an art therapist also has to take into account the types of materials they use, whether the client can/is willing to get messy, how they’re feeling in that exact moment, they’re creative background and much more.

First and foremost I have to thank MDNW & Gallery Oldham for supporting me to complete the course. I’ve always been extremely interested in Art Therapy ever since one of the last art classes in year 11 and we looked at career pathways in the arts.
I would also like to thank Paula Gillespie – Fotheringham for delivering such a well thought out, provocative, enjoyable and inspiring course and all of my course mates who were always inquisitive, welcoming, happy and dedicated.

The course was split over two weeks, 3 days in the first and 2 in the second.
This split gave us all the breathing space needed to process everything we had learnt. As well as a theoretical course it was also quite an emotionally draining one and I think we all benefitted from having the time and the space to reflect. We learnt the ins and outs of Art Therapy, what is and isn’t expected from a therapist, what materials are best for which clients, the importance of choosing the correct material and how to develop a client’s confidence using a creative therapy. We looked at a number of different approaches but focussed on the client centered approach. Ultimately what all of the approaches agree on is supporting a client to set comfortable and sometimes changing goals for themselves and successfully achieve them.

The course leader Paula created a safe and welcoming environment right from the beginning. Her knowledge, passion, wealth of experience and flexibility made it extremely easy to learn everything in such a short space of time. It was obvious she wanted to share her wealth of knowledge with the group and as she’s worked in a variety of settings from one on one client based to psychiatric wards in prisons etc. she was able to give us a well-informed insight into the sector.

Personally, one of the most interesting and unique elements of the course were the self-reflection and self-care components. It’s rare to have the opportunity to focus on yourself so at first it felt strange and selfish but this is obviously an essential in therapy. It goes without saying on a course like this with so many experiential workshops and self-reflection opportunities it’s easy to share and feel quite vulnerable but as a group we bonded extremely well which made it all the easier to share in a supportive environment.
By the end of the course I think we all understood the importance of giving yourself time to reflect on who you are. It’s definitely something I’m going to try and give myself more time to do.

As a gallery and museum organisation, and sector as a whole really, I can easily see the benefit Art Therapy can have on our sector. Many galleries now see the benefit the arts can have on Health and Wellbeing, especially on developing resilience and positive mental health/attitudes. Although there are lots of similarities between arts for health and Art Therapy there are many and major differences. But I believe both can benefit from each other and develop new skills from learning off one another.
With some of the skills and ideas we learnt from the course I feel comfortable implementing them and using them in a workshop setting.
Some of the simple ice breakers like ‘The squiggle game’ would be perfect for a group of teens reluctant and worried that they’re art work wouldn’t be good enough.

I love the ethos of Art Therapy; it isn’t about creating a beautiful image to be judged by a therapist. It’s the act of creating, taking that first step and putting mark to paper and understanding where you want to go. As part of my workshops I deliver I always want to incorporate some form of Art Therapy, whether that’s a simple ice breaker or enabling others to self-reflect as part of the creative process

I think Gallery Oldham will benefit from my taking part as I’m going to try and implement some of the essential components learnt into workshops I deliver from now on. This might be simple ice breakers as mentioned above or a deeper self-reflection activity. The course has also developed my understanding of creating a safe environment for participants, looking at what, if anything, I can do to make it an inviting space.

Luckily I’ll soon be working on a project with a registered Art Therapist linking to an upcoming exhibition. With the knowledge and learning I’ve taken away from the course I hope to be able to assist her where possible and offer a brilliant opportunity for our participants.

I feel extremely fortunate to have had this opportunity to discover more about Art Therapy and meet some brilliant people. It’s also, once again, kick-started my creativity. I’ve booked myself on to a few different creative workshops, set myself a task of doing ‘a drawing a day’ and I’m really appreciating the therapeutic wellbeing the arts can bring.

Once again, thank you to Alex Bird, MDNW, Gallery Oldham, Paula and everyone else who supported me during the course!

EvaD Ould-Okojie
Access and Interpretation Officer
Gallery Oldham






Emerging Leaders Programme 2015: Evaluation


2015 cohort

Last year, as part of its ACE Museum Development funding programme for 2015-2018, Museum Development North West commissioned the 2015 Emerging Leaders Programme for a cohort of 10 early career professionals in the region.

The programme comprised of six workshops, focussing on subject and skills based training, whilst providing 360˚ feedback for delegates, as well as support partnerships and personal development planning.

Delegates were provided with a better understanding of leadership styles and competencies, as well as a better understanding of themselves in relation to self-awareness and organisational awareness. The course also focused on helping delegates self-regulate better with advice on how to manage workload, delegate and manage stress. Other topics addressed included, working with their team, influencing, & managing change.

The programme was delivered by Alex Lindley and Shirley Collier, along with trainers, coaches and consultants with significant experience in the heritage and arts sectors.  The programme was designed and delivered in consultation with Alex Bird, the Sector Development Officer, who also attended as a participant.

Delegates from the 2015 programme had the following to say,

I have previously attended a couple of leadership courses and have always found them to be very informative and inspiring, yet once back in the office, I sometimes, like many I suspect, found it difficult to apply and make changes once back into a hectic schedule and daily routine.  However, over the course of six months, we participated in six sessions across venues in the North West and having this time in-between the workshops really gave me the time to reflect on what we’d learnt in the previous session, as well as time to embed some of the models and tools into my own practice.

Personally, I really benefitted from how skilfully Alex L tailored the models we explored to our sector through exploring scenarios which we could all relate to. Within the group, we all confidentially shared experiences and issues and this personal aspect really helped to illustrate the models, bringing them to life in a way that was accessible and relevant to our roles beyond the course. We explored a wide range of areas such as dealing with change, delegation and influencing to mention but a few. One of the many aspects which made this course personal for me was the balance of independent learning within the group sessions, allowing you to take the lead and form your own personal development plan alongside the benefits of the wider course.

The dynamic between Shirley and Alex L was fantastic and really made the course both unique and very enjoyable. Both were great support throughout this process and were always generously on hand to discuss results from the 360 or course material in between sessions. They seamlessly created an atmosphere where people could openly share their experiences and I found it both beneficial and interesting to hear from both Shirley’s and Alex L’s personal stories which provided the basis for so many ideas and solutions within the group.

I feel very lucky to have shared a fantastic experience with such a wonderful group of people and I think it’s a testament to how much we all enjoyed the course that so many of us have already planned to regularly meeting up over the coming year. The course has taught me many things, but for me, it’s given me the confidence and assurance that leadership, in all its many forms, can come from any position within an organisation and sometimes you have to step outside of your comfort zone to really challenge yourself.

As I approach my 8th year working in Museum and Gallery Education, I have attended my fair share of courses, yet what really made Emerging Leaders really stand out is it’s supportive and flexible ability help shape your experiences during the course and to tailor it to achieving our own personal goals and aims over the course of the six month programme. I feel that the balance of independent learning through our support partners and the wider group learning makes this course unique and I wouldn’t even hesitate to apply!”
Laura Ferguson, Education Development Officer, Gallery Oldham


Darren Collingwood – National Football Museum

“Last year I applied for a place on the emerging leaders course run by MDNW, I thought this would be ideal for me to gain experience and training in areas that I really wanted to have better knowledge and experience in…I can say I have never enjoyed a training programme like it, it is very informative and everyone is open about ideas…The course has made me realise what I needed to change to succeed within the museum sector, it encourages you to take a good look at yourself, your role, and your career. Since starting the course I have moved into a new role and I truly believe the motivation to apply for the role was partly boosted by the skills learnt and understanding of my capabilities realised by taking the emerging leaders course.

I cannot recommend this training course enough to anyone, I want to attend it all again!”
Darren Collingwood, The National Football Museum. 

“Alex L (Lindley) was brilliant at understanding and interpreting our needs from the very beginning. We were given plenty of opportunities to adapt the course and content to suit ourselves as individuals and as a group. The six months we spent together was a brilliant experience, it was a great feeling to know that others from national to independent museums all in different roles and stages of their careers had similar experiences, success’ and worries to each other. This shared experience really helped to create a strong bond between all of us.  I just wanted to say a huge thanks to Alex B (Bird) and MDNW for creating such a fab programme. Alex L and Shirley for supporting us throughout the whole project and always being at the end of a phone or email when we needed them, all of the other emerging leaders for being so brilliant”
EvaD Ould-Okojie, Access and Interpretation Officer, Gallery Oldham

In 2016 Museum Development North West are continuing the programme, & are currently looking for early career professionals to take part. We will share more details later in the year but if you would like an informal chat or more information about the programme, please contact Alex Bird 

Upcoming events

Here’s how our autumn programme is shaping up:

A Practical Networking Event for Industrial Heritage Museums and Groups in the North West: Marketing to your audiences
British Commercial Vehicle Museum, Leyland
17th September 2015, 10am-3:30pm

Places are still available on this networking day looking at effective marketing of industrial heritage sites. This is the second day in our series of three industrial heritage days this year. The day includes a site tour of the British Commercial Vehicle Museum. Speakers include:

  • Keith Moyes & Lou Booth, BCVM, creating an internal audience development and marketing delivery team
  • Marge Ainsley, freelance communication specialist, effective social media for industrial heritage sites

To book a place click here

Numismatic conference – Penny Lane: Using and caring for numismatic collections
Museum of Liverpool
17th-18th September 2015

MDNW and the Money & Medals Network, in partnership with National Museums Liverpool and the Harris Museum & Art Gallery, are holding a two-day conference in Liverpool exploring how to make the most of underused numismatic collections. The conference is the culmination of nearly two years of work between MDNW and the Money & Medal Network to support numismatic collections in the North West.

Day 1 will look at using numismatic collections in outreach, learning and engagement. Speakers include:

  • National Museums Liverpool, House of Memories project
  • Lancashire County Museums Service, events and activities around the Silverdale Hoard
  • Debt Advice Foundation, teaching financial responsibility in schools, in partnership with the Harris Museum & Art Gallery

Day 2 will provide practical advice on caring for, curating and identifying numismatic collections. Topics include:

  • Common problems in documenting numismatics
  • Spotting the danger signs – deterioration of metals
  • Tips on displaying coins and medals
  • Identifying medieval coins
  • Identifying Roman coins

 To book a place on one or both days click here

Regional Museums Funding Fair
Pyramid & Parr Hall, Warrington
24th September 2015, 10.30am-3.30pm

It’s our third Regional Museums Funding Fair giving museums and arts professionals the opportunity to meet various funding organisations face-to-face. This year we have Arts Council England, Association of Independent Museums, Art Fund, Arts Fundraising and Philanthropy, Arts Marketing Association, Curious Minds, Heritage Alliance, Heritage Lottery Fund, Museums Association, Museums of Cheshire and the National Museum Directors Council.

We will also have a programme of workshops and presentations which will cover succesful bid writing, Grants for the Arts and crowdsourcing. Heritage Alliance will be running 1-2-1 consultancy and support sessions for anyone involved in fundraising for a heritage project – if you’re interested in having one of these sessions please contact Abi Lester – abi@institute-of-fundraising.org.uk

Finally Arts Council England will also be running 1-2-1 surgeries about their funding – to book one of these sessions please contact Eve MacPhee Eve.Macphee@artscouncil.org.uk

To book a FREE place for the event please visit our eventbrite page

PSI: Picture Seen Investigation! How the EU Public Sector Information Directive and changes to copyright law are affecting museums
Lancashire Conservation Studios, Preston
29th September, 1pm-5pm

In 2013, the EU PSI Directive was extended to cover public museums, libraries and archives in the UK and this came into force in July 2015. The Directive means that under certain circumstances some museums will be required to make some information available to other users for re-use. In October 2014 copyright law changed to make it easier for cultural institutions to use, share and preserve their collections. Join experts in their field for an update on what these changes mean for museums in practice.

To book a place click here

A Practical Networking Event for Industrial Heritage Museums and Groups in the North West: Engagement and interpretation
Anson Engine Museum, Poynton
8th October 2015, 10am-3.30pm

This is the last in our series of three industrial heritage days this year. The day includes a site tour of Anson Engine Museum. Speakers include:

  • Mark Suggitt, Director, Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site – Interpreting heritage sites
  • Ian Bapty, Indsutrial Heritage Support Officer, Historic England – The sustainability agenda – industrial heritage’s potential for talking about the environment

To book a place click here