Valuation – the Spectrum standard

By accessing this resource, you agree to the Spectrum licence.

You should have a policy on valuation. This could either be a standalone document or part of a wider collections management policy. Either way, in deciding your policy you will most likely need to consider these questions:

  • What ethical principles will you apply to object valuation?
  • Why might you put valuations on objects?
  • Who is authorised to seek valuations?
  • Who is authorised to provide valuations?
  • Who has access to valuation information and how will you keep it secure?
  • How, and how often, you will update valuation information?

You should also have a written procedure that explains the steps to follow when carrying out valuations.  Spectrum’s suggested procedure is a useful starting point, but however you do it, your own procedure should meet the following minimum requirements:

Minimum requirement Why this is important
Valuation information is available as needed for collection management, and is only used in line with current ethical practice. You can insure some or all of your objects appropriately.

You do not use collections as security on a financial loan.

You have agreed, and consistent, methods for valuation. You have confidence in the valuations that you obtain.

Valuations do not depend on the ‘whim’ of individuals.

Valuation information is treated as confidential, and only available to authorised people. Valuations are only available on a need-to-know basis.

You do not increase the security risk to high-value objects.

Valuations are kept up to date. Incorrect valuations are not used when renewing insurance, leading to inadequate cover.


Date created: 2017

Author: Collections Trust

Publisher: Collections Trust