PROGRAM GUIDE

Introduction

The Training, Evaluation, Advice, and Mentorship (TEAM) for Museums Program is a self-driven program, that aims to provide comprehensive assessment, training, and support to museums, galleries, and heritage organizations across British Columbia. Drawing upon BCMA’s rich 75-year history and leveraging insights from museum training programs nationwide, the TEAM Program identifies areas where museums can enhance their practices, address long-standing issues, and drive progress in matters of equity and inclusion.

The TEAM Program does this by ensuring museums manage their collections properly, engage with visitors, and are governed appropriately by contemporary standards. The TEAM Programs encourages museums to reflect on how they’re run, how they manage their collections and how they engage with their visitors.

Aiding organizations in identifying their strengths and opportunities for support the TEAM Program is for museums of all sizes and types across BC. The directions below will provide practical information on how to move through the assessment process while completing the modules. The program will support you with links to resources.

The B.C. Museums Association gratefully acknowledges funding support of this project

Modules 

 

Getting Started

 

There are some aspects of the TEAM program that are applicable to all museums and some that will only apply to specific museums.

How to Use This Program:

This is a self-driven program. Organizations can continue through the program at a pace they find appropriate. Supplementary resources and training are available through webinars, workshops, resources and the BCMA Brain. When an area of improvement is identified organizations can use the resources and training available to address their concerns and learn.

Organizations will be asked to self-select where they fall using the evaluation rubrics. This rubrics will not apply to all questions but should be referenced when answering yes or no questions.

The full collection of evaluation rubrics are available to view and download.

 

Governance

 

 

Consider the governance, management and planning of your organization while moving through this section.  Your organization may have, or may have a combination of, mission, vision, values, guiding principals, purpose and core value statements.

Mission Statement

What is it?

A mission statement communicates a museum’s focus and purpose and its roles and responsibilities.

Why is it important?

A mission statement summarizes a museums reason for existing. A mission statement may take into account audiences or users, and makes sure that the overarching purpose of the institution or it’s collection will not be lost.

Mission Statement Rubric

 

Resources

Core Values

What is it?

Core values are a short list of values or principles that guide and direct a museum and creates a moral compass for the organization.

Why is it important?

Core values guide and direct a museum. They can provide an internal framework for a museum that can be upheld and acted upon. They should be unique to your museum, its future and the work your staff uphold.

Core Values Rubric

 

Resources

Organization Structure:  Societies Act

What is this?

Organizations that are registered non-profit organizations must comply with the BC Societies Act. The Societies Act outlines the rules that govern societies in BC.

What does this look like?

The BC Societies Act lists what is needed to be in compliance with the act. This includes having a name, a defined purpose, a constitution, adequate bylaws, a board of directors, annual reporting, annual general meetings, record management and revenue that does not benefit the members.

Name: Start with a name. Non-profit organizations must have their names approved and confirmed that they are not already in use. Naming rules and how to apply for a name can be found online on the BC Government website.

Purpose: Define your purpose. Your purpose should indicate your reason for being an organization and what your focus will be on. As a non-profit organization your purpose cannot be for revenue generation.

Bylaws: Adopt bylaws. Model bylaws are available on the BC Government website, or you can write your own bylaws. Bylaws should address membership, societies directors, general meetings, and any restrictions. Ensure that the bylaws meet your organizations needs.

From the BC Societies Act:

A society must have bylaws that contain provisions respecting the internal affairs of the society, including provisions respecting the following:

(a)membership in the society, including

(i)the admission of members and any rights and obligations arising from membership,

(ii)if there is more than one class of members, a description of each class and the rights and obligations that apply to each class, and

(iii)if members may cease to be in good standing, the conditions under which that may occur;

(b)the society’s directors, including

(i)the manner in which directors must or may be elected or appointed, and

(ii)the expiry of directors’ terms of office, if other than at the close of the next annual general meeting after a director’s designation, election or appointment;

(c)general meetings, including

(i)the quorum for general meetings, if greater than 3 voting members,

(ii)whether proxy voting is permitted, and

(iii)if the bylaws authorize indirect or delegate voting or voting by mail or another means of communication, including by fax, email or other electronic means, the rules respecting how that voting is to occur;

(d)any restrictions on

(i)the activities that the society may carry on, or

(ii)the powers that the society may exercise.

Directors: Your organization must have at least three directors with at least one of them being a resident of BC. There are restrictions on becoming a director.

From the BC Government Website:

A director must be qualified under the Societies Act and the bylaws of the society.

They must:

  • Be an individual ‚Äď not an organization or a corporation
  • Be at least 18 years old ‚Ästyounger directors may be permitted under certain conditions
  • Not be found by a court to be incapable of managing their own affairs
  • Not be a person for whom a certificate of incapability is issued
  • Not be undergoing bankruptcy
  • Have not been convicted of fraud or corporate offence within the last five years unless a pardon was issued

Meet any qualifications noted in the society’s bylaws

Annual Meetings and Annual Report: Your organization must host an annual general meeting and submit an annual report. Your bylaws will outline what must be covered during an annual meeting. Financial statements must be shared with members at annual meetings. Within 30 days of the annual general meeting, an annual report must be submitted to the registrar.

BC Societies Rubric

 

Resources

Organization Structure: Management structure

What is it?

Your management structure is the hierarchy of the people needed to run your organization. This would include staff, seasonal staff, and volunteers.

Why is it important?

There needs to be a management structure in place outlining appropriate authorities, roles, and responsibilities to allow formal decision making and accountability. Your museum needs an appropriate workforce to run it effectively and must have effective employment policies, plans, procedures, and roles in place to meet its responsibilities.

What does this look like?

Organization chart with every position, title, role, and reporting relationship. An employee handbook, human resource policies and procedure manual. Succession planning should be included and indicated in your management structure documents.

Org Chart Rubric

Ethics and Conduct

What is it?

In addition to the legal obligations of a registered non-profit society, your organization should conduct itself in an ethic and professional manner.

Why is it important?

Museums are seen as trusted institute; ethical conduct maintains the trust within your organization as well as outside your organization with your community and museum audiences at large.

What does it look like?

An ethics policy that addresses collections management, please see the collections section of this document, as well as staffing considerations, please see the HR section of this document, and financial management. Your policy should align with legislation such as the Human Rights Code, the Personal Information Protection Act, and BC Occupational Health and Safety.

Ethics Rubric

 

Resources

Financial Security

What is it?

Having the financial security to cover operating costs and capital projects. Finances are the responsibility of the board of directors. The board advises management on financial direction.

Why is it important?

Being financially secure ensures the future operation of an organization and protects against potentially unethical actions, such as unlawful sale of collection items.

What does it look like?

  1. Business plan
  2. Financial Sustainability
  3. Closure Plan

A closure plan should be integrated into your financial sustainability plans as a full closure of your site will require adequate funds to pay for staff and potentially interim storage of your collection. A closure plan should also be part of your collections management policy, please see the collections management section of this document. Closure plans should address your collection, your staff and volunteers, your audience, your building and your records.

There are steps in the Societies Act that muse be followed during the dissolution of a society.

Financial Security Rubric

 

Resources

 

Truth, Reconciliation and Repatriation

 

 

Truth, reconciliation, and repatriation are an important part of the work our sector does. All organizations and all departments can embody and participate in reconciliation, while this is its own section in this document it is also reflected in all sections. Reconciliation cannot happen without truth. Reconciliation is open and honest relationship building with Indigenous communities.

 

Repatriation Policy

What is it?

Repatriation is the return of culturally significant belongings or human remains to Indigenous communities. Repatriation is the return of something to its country or community of origin. A repatriation policy is a document acknowledging your organizations role, plan and course of action in returning belongings or ancestral remains to Indigenous communities or families. A repatriation policy is part of reconciliation and comes from relationship building, not before.

Why is it important?

A repatriation policy is important as it provides structure to a process. It communicates to all parties the steps that will be undertaken during this work. The Repatriation Policy directly communicates your museum’s position within the greater scope repatriation work, including who is eligible to receive repatriated objects as well as the scope of time and money that the museum is willing to invest in the process. The repatriation policy should also state what Indigenous objects are currently in the museums’ collection, and if the museum will seek to collect or accept any Indigenous items in the future, and under what premise if any.

What does it look like?

A repatriation policy is a written document, addresses the steps taken by an organization in repatriating cultural belongings or ancestral remains. The policy should:

  • Clearly outline the process in full along with anticipated timelines and/or processing times;
  • Be easily located on your institutional website;
  • List the name of your Institution‚Äôs repatriation contact person along with their contact details.
  • Be designed to be open-ended, flexible, and responsive to community‚Äôs needs
Repatriation rubric

 

Resources

Calls to Action

What is it?

The Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action are a result of the largest class action settlement in Canadian history. The settlement included the creation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission who heard testimony and created a report of the atrocities experienced and inflicted during at Indian Residential Schools. The report was completed it recommended 94 Calls to Action to the Canadian Government to redress and reconcile.

Why is it important?

The Truth and Reconciliation is important because it is an accurate record and account of the Indian Residential Schools. Read cover to cover it informs on the history and lived experiences of Residential School survivors. The Truth and Reconciliation Report Calls to Action are a path forward in reconciliation. There are explicit calls that address our sector.

Call #67 was recently completed with the Canadian Museum Association release of their Moved to Action Report.

Call #67:

‚ÄúWe call upon the federal government to provide funding to the Canadian Museums Association to undertake, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, a national review of museum policies and best practices to determine the level of compliance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and to make recommendations.‚ÄĚ

 

What does it look like?

The Canadian Museum Association Moved to Action report lays out 30 Standards for Museums and 10 Recommendations. These standards and recommendations aid museums in implementing UNDRIP.

Moved to Action rubric

 

Resources

Relationship Building

What is it?

Relationship building is honest, truthful, and genuine. Relationship building in a Truth and Reconciliation approach is no different than relationship building with friends and loved ones. It comes from a place of interest, compassion, and respect.

Why is it important?

Indigenous communities are not stakeholders or partners, they are rights holders. Reconciliation is relationship building.

What does it look like?

The BCMA Candid Actional Reconciliation Education for Museums Workbook guides organizations though a self assessment to ready themselves and embark on relationship building.

MOUs – Memorandums of understanding can be a component of relationship building. They are a written agreement between an organization and an Indigenous community that recognizes a shared goal and plan of action.

Relationship Building Rubric

 

Resources

 

Collections Management

 

Collections management is the care, storage, and display of an organizations collection. This includes physical and digital collections.

 

Collections Management Policy

What is it?

A Collections Management Policy is the foundation of an organizations collection. The policy guides acquisitions, deaccessions, loans, and collection mandates.

Why is it important?

A Collections Management Policy is important because for the proper documentation and care of an organizations collection. A thorough policy will help organizations conduct themselves ethically and maintain the public’s trust.

What does it look like?

A Collections Management Policy is a written document that should include:

Purpose/Mandate

  • A collection‚Äôs purpose or mandate guides an organizations collection and ensures items with the strongest provenance are added into the collection.
  • A strong purpose or mandate provides a structure for the items an organization will turn down and why. Having a public collections policy will also aid donors in understanding what and why an organization is collecting.
  • A collections mandate can be used to support strategic planning and support an organizations thematic interpretation by strengthening its collection.

Acquisitions

  • Acquisitions are the legal transfer of an object from one party to another.
  • Setting an acquisition criterion will ensure objects entering into the collection have provenance and that the proper documentation is in place.
  • Ensure you follow the steps set out by the CRA regarding donations.

Deaccessioning/Disposal

  • Deaccessioning is the process of removing an item from your collection. This can be for many reasons but cannot be for the financial gain of your organization.
  • If your organization is a registered charity with the Canadian Revenue Agency, you cannot return the item to the original donor. If you do you would face losing your charity status.
  • Deaccessioned items can be sold or destroyed if all other options have been exhausted.

Closure plan

Care and Use of collections 

  • Organizations must ensure items are stored, exhibited, and cared for using preventive conservation best practices.
  • Organizations should have handling guides for staff and volunteers including training.
  • Consider who will have access and how access will be provided to your collection.

Documentation

  • Items entered into a collection must be properly documented. The data from this documentation must be properly managed and stored.
Collections Management rubric

 

Resources

Conservation

What is it?

Conservation is the preservation and care of items in an organizations collection.

From the Canadian Association for Conservation of Cultural Property:

‚ÄúConservation is all actions aimed at the safeguarding of cultural heritage for the future.¬† The purpose of conservation is to study, record, retain, and conserve as appropriate, the culturally significant qualities of an object with the least possible intervention.¬† Conservation includes examination, documentation, preventive conservation, preservation, restoration, and reconstruction.‚ÄĚ

Why is it important?

Conservation is important because it preserves collections for the future.

What does it look like?

Organizations should have a conservation policy in place addressing the care and safety of their collection.

The policy should have considerations on care and handling, storage and display, environmental influences, pest management, emergency response and hazard management of items.

Areas of consideration for a conservation policy:

  • Awareness of vulnerable objects
  • Identifying threats to the collection
  • Emergency Response
  • Checking building condition
  • Building maintenance
  • Inspecting and cleaning the museum
  • Housekeeping and cleaning objects on open display
  • Collections Care and Conservation records
  • Environmental monitoring including temperature, relative humidity, light and dust
  • Environmental control and improving the environment
  • Pest monitoring and managing the threat from pests
  • Equipment maintenance
  • Storage materials and methods
  • Display materials and methods
  • Transporting objects
  • Collection care resources
  • Professional advice
  • Remedial conservation and working with conservators
  • Training for the collection care team

Areas of consideration for a conservation policy:

  • Basic requirements provided by building features
    • A reliable roof
    • Reliable floor, walls, windows and doors
    • Fire detection system plus automatic fire suppression system
    • Adequate locks on all doors and windows
    • A detection system for unauthorized entry, plus alarms and knowledgeable response
  • Basic requirements provided by portable fittings
    • Shelving and plinths
    • Enclosures, e.g. envelopes, encapsulation devices, bags, boxes, cabinets and cases
    • Strong backing boards made of stable materials for delicate flat objects
  • Basic requirements provided by procedures
    • An inventory of the collections, with off-site backup
    • Reasonable order and cleanliness in storage and displays
    • Regular and sufficient inspection of collections, in storage and on exhibition
    • All problems of sustained damp are addressed quickly
    • Understanding and acting on too much light and ultraviolet
  • Community and staff understanding of, and engagement with, the museum’s mission
Conservation Rubric

 

Resources

 

Facility Management

 

The safety and security of your staff, volunteers, visitors, and collections starts with your facility. Facility management is the day-to-day responsibility of managing your building(s) as well as the long-term planning of the sustainability of your building.

 

Secure building/land

What is it?

Ensuring that your organization has secured access to your building or land. This can be through purchase, rental, or leaseholder.

Why is it important?

Having sustained access for storage, display and interpretation is important for your collection but also for the education and enjoyment of your visitors. Confirming access for the future allows your organization to plan and invest.

What does it look like?

This can look like:

  • Purchase agreement or
  • Rental Agreement or
  • Leaseholder Agreement
Secured Access Rubric

 

Security

What is it?

Building security is the protection of property, collection, and occupants from intruders, incidents of violence, and unsafe situations that can cause harm or damage.

Why is it important?

Building security is important because it is a way of preventing or mitigating harm to your staff, volunteers, visitors, buildings and collection.

What does it look like?

  • Building Access – This includes measures used to limit unauthorized access to your building, areas within your building, or your collection. This can look like locks, pin codes, id badges, key fobs, and more.
  • Surveillance – This includes closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems, security staff or onsite caretakers.
  • Intrusion Detection – This includes motion sensor devices, and and intruder alert notification systems.
Security Rubric

 

Resources

Building Access and Accessibility

What is it?

Being open to the public and a space that is usable and accessible to people with a wide range of abilities and needs.

Why is it important?

Organizations have a responsibility to their communities and audiences to be open and accessible. Museums should be spaces where people feel welcomed and able to learn, connect and explore. Feeling welcomed in a space includes the ability to safely move around the space regardless of abilities and needs. Consider all forms of access such as physical, intellectual, sensory, social, geographical, cultural and financial.

What does it look like?

An access policy or statement can guide and support your organizations initiatives as it considers how your community and audience can see, use, and reference your collection and gain access to your museum buildings and sites. This includes having operation hours, directions to your site, collections access information and how this information can be accessed by your community. Considerations include signage, web presence, social media presence and print media.

Accessibility access

An accessibility policy or plan addresses the physical and sensory accessibility of your organization or site. This process should be ongoing and with input from your community and audiences. This policy should be reflected on annually. This includes considerations such as doorways, lighting, paint colors, circulation, display cases, washrooms, elevators, fonts, and interpretive text.

Access rubric

Lifecycle Maintenance

What is it?

Proper maintenance of your building and site is the best way to prevent decay and increase cost savings.

Why is it important?

Maintaining your building and sites an increase their longevity. Protecting your site, staff and collection.

What does it look like?

A maintenance schedule should be cyclical and include inspections, maintenance, planning and implementation. A maintenance schedule will have tasks that are addressed, daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annually. Considerations should include: foundations, walls, roofs, windows and doors, signage, grounds, painting, interior walls, ceilings, washrooms, plumbing, electrical and HVAC.

Maintenance rubric

 

Resources

IT Policy

What is it?

An information technology policy is a guideline for the use of information technology at your organization.

Why is it important?

The security and safety of the data at your organization is important.

What does it look like?

An information technology policy will address the access of data at your organization, steps to protect data from threats, backup policies and usage considerations.

IT rubric

 

Resources

 

Emergency Preparedness

 

Emergency preparedness includes activities, such as plans, procedures, contact lists and exercises, undertaken in anticipation of an emergency.

 

Emergency Response Plan

What is it?

An emergency response plan covers the steps taken to prevent harm during an emergency. This includes emergencies that are man-made or natural. The plan will address the safety of your site, staff, visitors and collection.

Why is it important?

The safety of your staff and visitors is important. Organizations have a duty as places of public trust to also mitigate damage to the collections they care for.

What does it look like?

An emergency response plan will prioritize the safety of people followed by the safety of site and collection. An emergency response plan will include:

  • Emergency Contact Information
  • Emergency Response procedures describing the step-by-step actions performed by staff for:
    • Fire
    • Water ingress
    • Electrical Outage
    • Mechanical Failure [gas leak]
    • Human Threat
    • Natural Disasters [earthquake, hurricane, floods, blizzards, etc]
  • Emergency Response Training schedule
  • Clean up and Salvage Plan
    • Site and collections assessment steps
    • Logistical management of collections
    • Treatment of objects
    • Object tracking and documentation
  • Evacuation Plans
    • Exit instructions for all buildings
  • Facility Maps
    • Posted maps
    • Labelled with emergency exits
    • Labelled with emergency equipment
    • Labelled with emergency supplies
Emergency Rubric

 

Resources

Closure Plan

What is it?

Closures can be temporary or permanent as well as planned or unexpected. Closure plans should be part of your governance plans as well as your emergency response plans. Closure plans will address the steps and procedures of closing your organization.

Why is it important?

It is important to have a plan in place before you need it to help ease this challenging, costly, and time-consuming situation.

What does it look like?

A closure plan will consider your staff, volunteers, community, collection and legal obligations.

Closure Rubric

 

Resources

Insurance

What is it?

Insurance is risk management. It is an agreement, and fee, between an insurer and an insurance company agreeing that the insurance company will help provide financial assistance.

Why is it important?

Insurance protects your organization from financial risk.

What does it look like?

There are many different types of insurance. Some insurance to consider for your organization would include:

  • Property – Coverage for buildings and collections.
  • Board and Officers Liability – Coverage for Directors and Officers arising out of their responsibilities.
  • Liability – Coverage for third party bodily injury and property damage.
  • Abuse – Coverage for financial protection for your organization, including legal liability, civil and criminal defense costs
  • Errors and Omissions – Coverage for lawsuits due to a negligent act, error, or omission.
  • Cyber – Coverage for incidents of a data breach and cyber-attack.
Insurance Rubric

Resources

Hazards

Collections, facilities and learning programs can all involve potential hazards. Risk management is essential for the safety of your staff, volunteers and visitors. Exposures to hazards can result in an emergency situation.

What is it?

Hazards are materials occurring in collections which may pose a risk to the health of staff, volunteers, visitors, or to the collections themselves. Additionally, hazards can be substances used in the maintenance of the building, or during learning programs.

Hazards can include chemicals, particulates, biological, mechanical, electrical, and radioactive materials.

Why is it important?

Organizations have a responsibility to their communities to care for their belongings and to ensure a safe working environment for staff, volunteers and visitors.

What does it look like?

Hazard mitigation should include:

  • Inventory – Having the correct information and documentation of your collection and its hazards can mitigate the risk of exposure. Inspect your collection on a regular basis using this inventory for any warning signs.
  • Personal Protective Equipment – Ensure you have personal protective equipment available for staff, volunteers and visitors when needed. PPE can include masks, gloves, safety glasses, smocks, respirators, and more.
  • Training – Training staff and volunteers on hazards, hazard response procedures and how to correctly use PPE is the best way to prevent an emergency situation arising from hazards. Ensure the training is comprehensive, ongoing, and documented.
  • Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) – The Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) is Canada’s hazard communication standard. The key elements of the system are:
    • hazard classification
    • cautionary labelling of containers
    • the provision of safety data sheets (SDSs)
    • worker education programs

Employers must:

  • educate and train workers on the hazards and safe use of hazardous products in the workplace
  • ensure that hazardous products are properly labelled
  • prepare workplace labels and SDSs (as necessary)
  • ensure appropriate control measures are in place to protect the health and safety of workers

Workers must:

  • participate in WHMIS and chemical safety training programs
  • take necessary steps to protect themselves and their co-workers
  • participate in identifying and controlling hazards
Hazard Rubric

 

Interpretation

 

Interpretation is how we communicate information about our collections, and their stories and meanings to our visitors. Interpretation can be non-personal interpretation such as displays, labels, apps, interactive displays, hands on displays, graphic panels and personal interpretation such as guided tours, staffed exhibits, field trips, costumed interpreters and educational programs. Its important to plan your interpretation, be clear about your audiences, and pay special attention to whose stories are being told in your organization and where that information is coming from.

 

Interpretation Plan

An interpretation plan ensures your collection is being interpreted effectively and in alignment with your strategic plans and organizational goals.

What is it?

Your interpretive plan should be a detailed document, which outlines how your interpretation will take shape. Your interpretive plan will include details on what you are trying to interpret, why, and who your audiences are. Interpretation plans include

Why is it important?

Having an interpretation plan establishes the vision, mission and goals for the interpretation of a particular project, exhibition, collection or entire organization. It answers the questions of what, why, for who and from who.

What does it look like?

An interpretation plan should include:

  • Vision – The goals and objectives of the interpretation.
  • Approach – Non-person or person interpretation. Take into account learning guiding principles.
  • Theme – The stories and information shared and the research that supports it.
  • Audiences – Current audiences‚Äô motivations and descriptions as well as potential audiences‚Äô motivations and descriptions. Visitors‚Äô surveys will tell you who is coming to your organization and will also tell you who is not coming to your organization. Interpretation plans should include methods to engage audiences who are not currently present at your organization.
  • Voices
Interpretation Rubric

 

Resources


Evaluation Rubrics 

The full collection of evaluation rubrics are available to view and download below:

TEAM Program

Training. Evaluation. Advice. Mentorship. for arts, culture, and heritage organizations.