A new standard for collections management

Press release - 6 May 2008

The Collections Trust and BSI British Standards have entered into partnership to create a new Publicly Available Specification (PAS) for the management of cultural collections.

Due for launch in September 2008, the new standard will provide a sector-wide definition of Collections Management to inform the next generation of products and services to practitioners.

Mike Low, Director of BSI British Standards, said, “BSI is delighted to be working with the Collections Trust on a new standard for the culture sector. The PAS will provide museums, archives and libraries with clear direction on the development of policies and practice on the acquisition and use of collections. This is a great step for cultural institutions across the UK.”

Nick Poole, Chief Executive of the Collections Trust, commented, “The development of this new standard reflects a quiet revolution in the culture sector. A new generation of practitioners and volunteers are looking for a practical, proportionate and integrated approach to managing their collections. Working with BSI gives us an opportunity to help define the future of Collections Management, and to be confident in our processes and practices.

The BSI PAS is the first of a series of important developments for the Collections Trust over the next 12 months. Our aim is to support the sector as it continues to become more professional, accountable and efficient in the management of collections and the delivery of services to consumers”.

The PAS is intended to integrate with and improve on existing professional standards in the sector. The Collections Trust and BSI are working together to set out a programme of consultation with the sector, and further information on this will be circulated shortly.

A Publicly Available Specification (PAS) is a sponsored fast-track standard driven by the needs of the client organisations and developed according to guidelines set out by BSI. Key stakeholders are brought together to collaboratively produce a BSI-endorsed PAS that has all the functionality of a British Standard for the purposes of creating management systems, product benchmarks and codes of practice. After two years the PAS is reviewed and a decision is made as to whether it should be taken forward to become a formal British Standard.

About the Collections Trust
The Collections Trust is the UK’s independent organisation for collections. Its aim is to support the delivery of excellent services to users by driving standards in professionalism, accountability and efficiency.
The Collections Trust is funded in England by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA), in Scotland by the Scottish Museums Council (SMC) and in Wales by CyMAL through the Federation of Museums and Art Galleries of Wales.
The Collections Trust is an independent charitable company limited by guarantee. To find out more about its work in the UK and internationally, visit http://www.collectionstrust.org.uk.