Poster which reads 'How are you really?' on the side of a New York red brick building.The Organisational Health Check (OHC) is a self-assessment tool designed to highlight your museum’s current best practice, understand where the museum has areas of development and to feed into your forward planning. This will enable you to prioritise areas of working over the next 12 months and provide you with a benchmark for future work.

By completing the Museums’ Organisational Health Check you will receive a Bespoke Advisory Report from SWMD with a summary of your results and recommendations of where to access support in your highlighted areas of need.

The programme has been created in partnership with our museum development colleagues across England (MDUK) and is suitable for Accredited museums and those officially Working Towards Accreditation based in the South West.

Since launching in 2018, over 30 museums in the South West have completed the programme, using it to inform business planning and workforce development.

“The Organisational Health Check was a hugely worthwhile process of objectively working out what John Wesley’s New Room was doing well and, crucially, identifying what we must do better. The OHC gave us the confidence to target Leadership and Governance as a priority, walking through the valuable (if complex!) process of jointly recasting our vision and determining our strategy.”

Louise Wratten, Co-Director (Operations) John Wesley’s New Room

How it Works

The Organisational Health Check is an online self-assessment which is structured around six key themes. The assessment asks for both quantitive and qualitative responses to these themes.

To prepare, museums are asked to form a small sub-team to discuss the questions posed by the Organisational Health Check, facilitated by one of our Museum Development Officers. We recommend that your sub-team is comprised of at least three people – one senior manager/Trustee; one Front of House worker (staff or volunteer) and one other team member (e.g., curator, education officer, retail manager, volunteer coordinator, etc). This will ensure responses are reflective of various parts of your organisation. Many previous participants have feedback on how valuable this process is and how different perspectives across the organisation ensures rigour to the process and final results.

Once the OHC online questionnaire is submitted, your Museum Development Officer and the central team at SWMD will write a Bespoke Advisory Report pulling out key development priorities and signposting to helpful resources and support.  This report is yours to keep. It can be used for benchmarking, forward planning, workforce development, and to inform grant applications (i.e. demonstrating need).

Next Steps

We are looking to collaborate with up to 12 museums from the southwest of England to participate in the Organisational Health Check in this year. The programme is led by our team of local Museum Development Officers who will be working to identify which museums are best placed to participate in the 2022/3 programme. Please do contact your local Museum Development Officer if you interested in finding out more.

Further Support