The Accreditation Standard requires that you “obtain expert advice for stored and exhibited collections at least every five years, and earlier if needed”, “and plan to act on that advice over time”.
There are many sources of external expert advice, however in order to get the most from external sources it is important that you already have a good knowledge of your collections, your own museum environment, and the likelihood of any security threats arising. Expert advice should be part of an on-going programme of security maintenance, revision and improvement.
The Museum Security Toolkit is a good place to start: filling out the checklist will prompt you to gather relevant information about your museum and collections, and will also encourage you to talk to your colleagues in the museum about security and the collections. Whilst completing the checklist you may also find it helpful to consult the security resources on Collections Link.
General sources of advice
- Insurance companies. There are a number of insurance companies who specialise in insurance for museums and galleries. Insurance companies will be able to discuss insurance packages and terms of insurance with you.
- In England, Accreditation advice and support is provided through a team of regional Accreditation Mentors who are not security experts, but will provide guidance on issues related to Accreditation and security requirements for Accreditation.
- In Wales, Ann Mansell Accreditation Adviser (email@example.com) and Carol Whittaker, Museum Development Adviser (firstname.lastname@example.org) at Welsh Government can provide advice about Accreditation and security requirements for Accreditation.
- In Scotland, Victoria Hawkins Quality Assurance Manager (email@example.com) or Lesley Scott Standards Support Officer (firstname.lastname@example.org). Museums Galleries Scotland. can provide advice about Accreditation and security requirements for Accreditation.
- In Northern Ireland, Heather McGuicken (email@example.com), at the Northern Ireland Museums Council can provide guidance on issues related to Accreditation and security requirements, and information on where to go for specialist advice.
Expert Advice about Preventing Theft
- Local Crime Prevention Officers. Individual police forces select the level of crime prevention support that they offer for their region. All forces have a crime prevention capacity of some sort, and you can usually find a contact detail for a local Crime Prevention Officer on the web site of your local force. If a Crime Prevention Officer is not listed, and you need to phone a Help Line make sure you have full details about why you need crime prevention advice, so that the Help Line can find the right person for you.
- National Security Adviser, Arts Council England (firstname.lastname@example.org). The National Security Adviser is responsible for advising on the security and safety of collections in national museums, when in transit and when on loan abroad, as well as being responsible for mitigating against risks to enable government indemnity for loans exhibited in public venues in the UK. If you are not working under the Government Indemnity Scheme, and you have failed to find local crime prevention advice, contact William Brown for further advice.
Expert Advice about Preventing Fire
- Contact your local Fire and Rescue Service to ask for your Fire Prevention Officer. See the Chief Fire Officers Association for a list of Fire and Rescue Services (click on the map to find contact details for your Fire Service).
- Find advice about managing explosive or flammable materials and objects from your local Health and Safety Executive office.
- See Fire safety in the Workplace for advice from GOV.UK about fire safety, legal requirements for businesses and risk assessment.
- Find advice on reducing the risk of arson from the Arson Prevention Bureau by phoning 020 7216 7522.
Expert Advice about Preventing Flood
If you think your museum may be at risk from external flooding, your local council may be able to advise you about the risk.
- Sign up for the national Flood Warning Service.
- For advice about preventing internal flooding, for example from pipes, you can check the status of your current infrastructure with a local building regulations inspector, through your local authority. Your museum should also have links with a good local plumber.