Please read our updates and practical guidance on Coronavirus (COVID-19) for South West museums.

The 2020 Annual Museum Survey has now launched across England. 

This year the survey will be more important than ever as we seek to gain insights of the impacts of the pandemic.  The 2020 survey will gather data from 1st April 2019 – 31st March 2020 and provide an important baseline from which the impact of closure and the gradual phased reopening of museums across 2020-21 can be better understood. 

Guidance for participating museums

Participants from the Annual Museum Survey 2019 will have automatically received a direct invitation to the survey on Friday 24th July.

This email came from [email protected]. It may have landed in your spam folders because it was generated from our survey software. Please check your emails.

The emailed link to the survey is unique to your organisation and automated reminders will be sent throughout the survey period.

If your organisation did not participate in 2019 but wish to complete the survey this year you can register by sending an email to your regional Museum Development team and they will issue a registration form. 

Deadline for registering: Thursday 20 August. This deadline has now passed.  

The survey questions

You may find it useful to consider the survey questions outside of the survey software.  However it is important to remember the benefits of software functionality such as skip logic, which enables you to bypass questions that don’t apply to your museum.  This can result in the survey appearing much longer than when completing online.

We will operate two surveys; 

  • one for organisations operating a single site museum
  • one for organisations which operate multiple museums or sites (multisite).  

You can find downloadable versions of the online survey questions and accompanying definitions below:

Single site survey questions

Multi site survey questions

Survey question definitions

We have created a FAQ document in Google which we will update each week to answer questions you may have about the survey. 

Annual Museum Survey FAQ – V2 updated

Please send any additional questions to [email protected]

Data and privacy statements

South West Museum Development (Bristol City Council) is commissioned by each Museum Development region to deliver the Annual Museum Survey 2020. 

As the contractor for the Annual Museum Survey 2020 we will operate as the Data Processor for each of the regional Museum Development providers.   Your survey responses will be stored and processed in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulations (2018)

No personal information will be published in publicly available reports or datasets or shared with other organisations. As the Data Processor, on behalf of the eight Museum Development providers, we supply the data generated through the survey along with the contact details of the individual providing the data survey return to each respective Museum Development provider. Links to your Museum Development regional privacy policies are provided below:

London Museum Development

Share Museums East

South East Museum Development

South West Museum Development (Data controller and processor for the South West)

East Midlands

West Midlands

Museum Development North East

Museum Development North West

Museum Development Yorkshire

The purpose of the Annual Museum Survey 2020

We run this survey to predominantly collect quantitative data, which represents the audiences, workforce and financial operational context of Accreditation museums and those Working Towards Accreditation (WTA) across England.  This data is valuable for gaining an understanding of museums in their locality and in a regional and national context.  Analysis of the data can inform a benchmark for participant museums year on year and identify trends across the sector at a regional and national level.  

Data sharing and open source data

Reports based on this survey will be published widely and made available on this webpage and the websites of regional Museum Development providers.  Data provided via the survey will be combined with those of other museums to produce publicly available reports.  The data will support sector advocacy, inform Museum Development business planning and sector wide strategic planning.  

The dataset will be published as open source data in 2022 to support further research. The aggregate data set generated by the survey in 2020 will be shared with our main funders, Arts Council England.

The dataset will be published as open source data on Museum Development websites from January 2022 – approximately one year after regional reports are published to support further research.  The datasets will not include financial information or any personal information generated by the survey process.  The aggregate data set generated by the survey in 2020 will be shared with our main funders, Arts Council England.

You can withdraw your consent prior to the publication of reports and data sets, by January 1st 2021, by contacting us: [email protected]