Banish the Backlog

The Banish the Backlog programme will offer targeted support on resolving collection documentation backlogs

South West Museum Development Programme

A stack of files and paperworkAbout the session 

The Banish the Backlog programme from Collections Trust will offer targeted support and guidance to a cohort of five Accredited/ provisionally Accredited museums in partnership with Museum Development South West. The programme focuses on resolving collection documentation backlogs and focuses primarily on implementing the Spectrum 5.1 procedures Inventory and Documentation planning.

There will be group meetings on Tuesday 10 September, Tuesday 14 January 2025 and Tuesday 29 April 2025. Alongside these, each museum will be invited to two 121 sessions with Collections Trust staff. This will be an opportunity to report on progress and receive tailored support and advice.

The group meetings will look at the potential steps and considerations involved with undertaking an inventory project. We will look at the barriers and issues that museums may face and how to create a realistic and SMART documentation plan. Alongside exploring Inventory and Documentation planning we will look at relevant Spectrum procedures such as Cataloguing and Audit. There will be the opportunity for peer support and sharing.

The group meetings and 121s will be online and will include breakout rooms.


  • Expression of interest submissions close 12 noon Monday 15 July
  • Outcomes notified no later than Friday 19 July

Who should attend?

The programme is for Accredited museums is the South West Area. The programme is aimed at staff and volunteers who are responsible for managing collections. Their role should include documentation and they should be able to implement actions that arise from undertaking this programme and they should have intermediate knowledge in this area.

The primary representative of the museum should have with intermediate or advanced knowledge but those with beginner knowledge can join as a second delegate.

What will you learn?

By the end of the session, delegates will: 

  • Have a clear understanding of the Inventory procedure and the practical know-how on how to undertake an inventory project.
  • Have a clear understanding of Documentation planning and how to create a written documentation plan.
  • Have knowledge of the differences between Inventory, Cataloguing and Audit procedures.
  • Have an understanding of the policy considerations for Inventory and Documentation planning and how these relate to the Accreditation requirements.

How does this meet the Accreditation standard?

4.1 To take responsibility for all the collections you manage

About the trainer

Anna has over 15 years collections management experience having worked at Buxton Museum and Art Gallery, Macclesfield Museums, Science and Industry Museum, Manchester and Wordsworth Trust. She has experience across a variety of collections but has a particular interest in art and ceramics. She holds an MA in Art History and the Museums Association AMA. In her role as Outreach Officer for Collections Trust she delivers training on the Spectrum procedures and runs advice surgeries across England.

Submit your expression of interest here