The Annual Museum Survey 2021 has now launched across England.

This year the survey will be more important than ever as we seek to gain insights on the impact of the pandemic.  The 2021 survey will gather data from 1st April 2020 – 31st March 2021 in order that the impact of closure on the audiences, workforce and finance of museums can be better understood. The Annual Museum Survey 2020 provided the strongest statistical and representative response rate of our survey across the past ten years, engaging 54% of museums across England.  Read about the Annual Museum Survey 2020 regional and national reports.

Guidance for participating museums

Participants from the Annual Museum Survey 2021 will receive a direct invitation to the survey on Thursday 15th July 2021.  New registrants to the survey will receive a direct invitation to the survey w/c 26th July 2021 following registration.

Invitations are issued via email from [email protected]. Please save this email to your address book to prevent it being directed to spam folders due to it being 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 2019/20 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: Monday 26th July 2021.

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 (PDF)

Multi site survey questions (PDF)

Survey question definitions (PDF)

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 2021.

As the contractor for the Annual Museum Survey 2021 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 (Updated)

Share Museums East

South East Museum Development (Updated)

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

East Midlands

West Midlands

Museum Development North East

Museum Development North West (Updated)

Museum Development Yorkshire

The purpose of the Annual Museum Survey 2021

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 2023 to support further research. The aggregate data set generated by the survey in 2021 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 2023 – 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 2021 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 November 1st 2021, by contacting us: [email protected]