Museums Association launches its revised Code of Ethics

Photo: Raymond Clarke


The Museums Association (MA) in the United Kingdom has launched its revised Code of Ethics, following an 18 month consultation during 2014-15, that led to approval of the changes at the MA’s annual general meeting in November 2015.

The revised code sets out three essential principles: public engagement and public benefit; stewardship of collections; and individual and institutional integrity.

This code supports museums, those who work in and with them and their governing bodies in recognising and resolving ethical issues and conflicts. It sets out the key ethical principles and the supporting actions that museums should take to ensure an ethical approach to their work.

The MA has acted as the guardian of UK museum ethics since the first Codes of Practice and Conduct were introduced in 1977. These were updated in 1987, 1991, 2002 and 2007.

The Code of Ethics for Museums is consistent with the ICOM Code of Ethics for Museums worldwide produced by the International Council of Museums (ICOM).

Although this code has been written primarily for the UK sector its approach can be applied to developing ethical standards for all museums.

Museums Association Code of Ethics (pdf)

Additional guidance to the Code of Ethics 2015 (pdf) 

About the Code of Ethics for Museums

ICOM Code of Ethics for Museums

Museums Australia Code of Ethics


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Museums & Galleries of NSW helps small-medium museums, galleries and Aboriginal cultural centres create exciting experiences for visitors and, through this, thriving local NSW communities. We don't run museums, galleries and cultural centres but we care about those who do. We develop their skills, connect them with others in the industry, provide funding, point visitors their way, and give them access to ground-breaking exhibitions.

Museums & Galleries of NSW is supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW.

Museums & Galleries of NSW
(M&G NSW) provides programs and services improving the visitor experience in small to medium museums, galleries and Aboriginal cultural centres across NSW.

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