Professional Development

A list of training courses and other professional development opportunities and events for those working within the museum and heritage sector.
Know of a professional development or training opportunity we haven’t listed here, let us know by emailing –

CONFERENCE: Sporting Heritage Summit 2019

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When: Wednesday 23 and Thursday 24 October 2019

Where: CC4 Museum of Welsh Cricket, Cardiff

How Much: £20.00 – £105.00

Sporting Heritage’s annual conference brings together key members form the heritage and sport sectors, along with sharing best practice case studies, providing hands on advice and guidance, and increasing the confidence and knowledge of those wishing to develop sporting heritage activity. This year’s summit will aim to explore the key issues effecting the sector and work together to draw conclusions about how to ensure sporting heritage in the UK is able to grow and thrive.

To view the full programme and book a place, Click Here

FUNDING: Islamic Art and Material Culture – Calligraphy Support Scheme 2019-20

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Deadline for Applications: Friday 20 September 2019, 5.00pm

The calligraphy support scheme aims to provide regional museums with specialist and practical support to help them unlock the potential of their collections of Islamic Art and Material Culture (IAMC) and how they can use them to engage with new and diverse audiences. The scheme focuses on Calligraphy in Arabic script on a range of object types.

Through an open application system, one participating institution in England will be selected to receive support from experts in collections and engagement. The support scheme aims to identify and, where possible, translate Arabic (or Persian / Urdu) inscriptions on around 50 objects per institution (note that if you do not have 50 objects with inscriptions other associated objects can be included). Further support will include a collections report, engagement plan and support from an artist specialising in Calligraphy in Arabic, to deliver outreach events in a format that is repeatable and sustainable in the long-term. Funding is provided through an Arts Council England Grant awarded to the Subject Specialist Network for Islamic Art and Material Culture.

For further information and details on how to apply, Click Here.

CONFERENCE: Museums Association Conference & Exhibition 2019

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When: 3 – 5 October 2019

Where: Brighton Conference Centre

How Much: £130.00 – £650.00

The Museums Association Conference & Exhibition is the largest event of its kind in Europe for museums and heritage professionals.  The theme of Brighton 2019 is Sustainable and Ethical Museums in a Globalised World. The conference looks at how the sector can help to create a more sustainable world, how it can communicate challenges such as poverty and climate change to audiences, and how museums can support campaigns that are working for a fairer and more sustainable society.

The conference will explore what the environmentally, financially and socially sustainable museum of the future might look like. How can institutions adapt to a rapidly changing world and what of kind leadership is needed in the sector to make change possible?

TKeynote speakers include Clayton Thomas-Müller, campaigner for indigenous rights and environmental and economic justice. He is based in Winnipeg, Canada, and is a member of the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation, also known as Pukatawagan, in Northern Manitoba. He is a senior campaign specialist with, an international movement working to end the age of fossil fuels and build a world of community-led renewable energy for all.

Other sessions throughout the conference cover topics such as decolonisation, repatriation, sponsorship, curation, health and wellbeing, biodiversity, leadership, gender, workforce and diversity. There are also a host of seminars and training – all developed to facilitate fresh thinking.


Conference is a vital forum for debate, exchange and networking – join us for the biggest event of its kind in Europe and help shape the future of museums.

For further information and details on how to book your ticket, visit the conference’s website, Click Here.

CONFERENCE: Connection, Action, Innovation: Forging dynamic and lasting partnerships with communities

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When: Wednesday 11 – Friday 13 September 2019

Where: Torquay Museum, Devon

How Much: £185.00 – £365.00

This year’s annual GEM conference is a great opportunity to connect with the fantastic heritage learning community, sharing our challenges and celebrating our innovations. For this edition, GEM are collaborating with South West Museum Development to learn about the huge achievements in community relationship-building, volunteering and managing limited resources in this area. The GEM conference is always a friendly, supportive and positive environment where delegates can create a buzz and leave with renewed passion and concrete next steps, striking a balance between reconnecting with the philosophy of what we do and generating practical takeaways.  This year’s keynote speakers will include: David Anderson, National Museums Wales, Ali Bennett, Qatar Museums, and Piotr Bienkowski, Consultant.

For more information and details on how to book your place, Click Here.

CONFERENCE: Bright Ideas – New Perspectives on Museum Lighting

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When: 11 September 2019

Where: Science and Industry Museum, Manchester

How Much: £55.00 – £195.00

Hosted by the Museums Association, this one-day conference will explore the current opportunities that lighting innovation offers, examining the benefits as well as the challenges for those working in displays, exhibitions, conservation, design and interpretation, bringing you up to date with innovations in museum lighting.

Lighting designers will share some of the most recent and exciting technological developments, and explain how these might be used in museums to create atmosphere and show off objects without compromising conservation and environmental standards.

Delegates will have the opportunity to talk to designers over an extended lunch period, visit tabletop stands and enjoy specially commissioned demos.

To find out more and to book places, Click Here.


The deadline is approaching for applications to the Transformers training scheme for mid-career professionals looking to develop new ways of thinking, influence more effectively, and create change for themselves, their colleagues and their organisations.

Museum professionals from anywhere in the UK can subscribe to the Innovate and Influence programmes, while the Diversify programme is open to applications from England, Wales, and Scotland.

In all around 170 trainees will be supported across the three programmes in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Katy Swift, the MA’s project coordinator, Transformers, says: “The Transformers programme is an exciting opportunity for people working in and with museums to proactively meet the opportunities and challenges the sector is facing.

“The MA has built on the success of Transformers by expanding the programme to include three strands: Innovate, Influence and Diversify.

“As the programme coordinator, I passionately believe that it is the people working in museums who change lives.

“Transformers creates a timely opportunity to support and develop museum professionals and I am looking forward to building a cohort of people across the UK who are committed to building a radical and thriving sector.”

Applications to Innovate close on 27 January 2017, and applications to Influence and Diversify close on 28 February 2017.

Before submitting an application to any of the programmes, please ensure you have read the guidance notes to check that the programme is suitable for you.

Transformers 2016-18