Skip to main content

Museum Standards Program

What is the Museum Standards Program?

Arts Tasmania has implemented a pilot Museum Standards Program to assist museums, collections and galleries in Tasmania.

The program is based on the National Standards for Australian Museums and Galleries that offer benchmarks for museum best practice.

It consists of three online workbooks: essentials, intermediate and advanced, to build confidence as the museum develops.

The workbooks take museums through three main topics based on the National Standards: Managing the Museum, Involving People and Developing a Significant Collection.

Museums can complete each workbook at their own pace and the program also recognises the museum’s prior achievements.

The program is self-assessed, so the museum’s committee can independently assesses whether they have completed each workbook, then registered museums can forward a progress report to Arts Tasmania so that their achievements can be promoted.

Roving Curators offer registered museums support through advice and site visits. Museums can apply for workshops and Roving Curator assistance, as well as funding to help complete projects that assist with meeting standards.

A Certificate will be awarded at completion of each workbook.

The Museum Standards Program aims

  • To improve visitor experiences to Tasmania’s small to medium museums
  • To support museums in their efforts to operate sustainably
  • To strengthen relationships between museums and their local communities
  • To support the care and interpretation of Tasmania’s shared cultural heritage collections state-wide
  • To increase the profile of community museums, both in the sector and in the wider community

Who is eligible?

To be eligible a museum, gallery or collection must:

  • manage a collection of movable cultural heritage objects
  • be based in Tasmania
  • be legally constituted or incorporated
  • have an ABN (Australian Business Number)
  • open regular hours to the public

Not-for-profit organisations are eligible to apply to Arts Tasmania's Roving Curator program assistance, grants or loans to assist in the development of museum policy documents or other activities that will help meet the requirements of the workbooks.

Privately owned museums and collections are welcome to register, however privately owned museums will need to finance their own projects as they are not eligible for funding assistance through Arts Tasmania. Roving Curator assistance is available to privately owned museums and collections on a fee-for-service basis.


The Museum Standards Program will:

  • improve the experience of visitors to your museum
  • assist you in achieving museum best practice for the care and interpretation of your collection
  • improve the long term sustainability of your collection through best practice in museum governance
  • enrich the experiences of working at your museum for volunteers, staff and committee members: knowledgeable, well trained volunteers and staff know how their jobs tie into the museum’s purpose, feel proud of their accomplishments and confident to plan for the future
  • provide a framework to promote your museum’s achievements, needs and practices to funding bodies, government, the local community and other supporters

On a practical level the benefits of registration include:

  • Access to templates, model documents and support to achieve best practice through the Roving Curators
  • The opportunity to raise a museum’s profile through regular publicity in Arts Tasmania and Museums Australia Tasmania newsletters and social media pages
  • Assistance with applying for Tasmanian Arts Guide membership
  • Presentation of a certificate at completion of each workbook at a Museums Australia (Tasmania) event

What time and cost is Involved?

Our Museum Standards Program is self-assessed, with museums determining how they work through the workbooks to suit their collection, governance structure and available resources.

In addition to the museum’s own resources (more often than not volunteers), they can take advantage of a number of avenues of assistance from Arts Tasmania:

  1. A one-off site visit once registration is approved. At this visit the Roving Curator will work with the museum to identify resources needed, and a work plan to complete the workbook/s applied for;
  2. Specialised workshops and professional training through the Making Museums Work training program. Many of these courses are offered in partnership with Museums Australia (Tasmania) and cover topics that form components of the National Standards for Australian Museums and Galleries;
  3. Roving Curator project assistance (applied for through Arts Tasmania’s Roving Curator program) to help complete projects that assist with meeting the standards. For example the assistance of a Roving Curator to complete a Significance Assessment may be sought; and
  4. Funding through Arts Tasmania to help complete projects that assist with meeting the National Standards for Australian Museums and Galleries.

Great! When can we register?

Registration closed on 30 November 2017.

Contact the Roving Curators for more information on 6165 6666 or


The Museum Standards Program is designed to be completed in three stages over a number of years.

Workbook 1 Essentials: governance and incorporation, care and handling of objects, significance first concepts, cataloguing, volunteer recruitment and management.

Workbook 2 Intermediary: preventive conservation, public programs and interpretation planning, significance in interpretation, exhibition planning and audience development.

Workbook 3 Advanced: collections significance assessments, disaster preparedness, conservation planning, strategic plan and business plan, managing digital collections.