Written by Anna Cottle, International Training Programme Coordinator

We contacted you at the end of November about the Career Update Survey we recently conducted and thanks so much to everyone who responded with fascinating projects, extremely useful feedback and exciting career changes.

We received 59 responses in total, from the countries you can see in the table below.

Overall, we had respondents from 25 of the 48 countries in the ITP network and Fellows from the last three years had the highest level of response to the survey.

We found out that there had been 16 job changes in the network and many inspiring projects currently being worked including:

  • Training programmes
  • Educational programmes
  • Exhibitions
  • Conservation and restoration
  • Workshops
  • Schools and children’s projects
  • Virtual tours and exhibitions
  • Documentation
  • Collections digitization
  • Book research
  • Object registration
  • Interpretation
  • Storage renovation
  • Building refurbishment
  • Object moves
  • COVID-19 object collecting
  • Social media projects
  • Gallery reorganisation
  • Writing articles
  • Cataloguing
  • Research
  • Online projects and websites
  • Accessibility
  • COVID-19 related training
  • Architecture projects

19 COVID-19 specific projects or programmes were also described, including lectures, posters, volunteering, webinars, photography, seminars on COVID-19 precautions, relief funds, exhibitions, social media projects, workshops to raise awareness around COVID-19 safety, COVID-collecting, Children’s projects, mental health awareness, conferences, special needs workshops, staff testing, and e-learning training.

Three respondents were working on collaborative projects with the British Museum, which was great to hear about.

Education and training

There were 32 updates on recent courses, training or education programmes and new qualifications gained within the network. These impressive achievements included:

  • Courses, workshops and training (some online) including: leadership, management, programming, English language, safeguarding heritage, web development, museum curation, climate action, disaster risk, and museum studies.
  • Masters Degrees
  • PhD studies
  • M.Phil studies
  • Post graduate diplomas
  • Residencies
Museum closures, changes and working from home

We discovered that most organisations had to close because of COVID-19 and during lockdown, as you can see below. There were approximately equal amounts of respondents working from home and in the workplace. Answers also showed that the majority of those who completed the survey are now back at their museum/workplace.

Most of the Fellows who responded said that their museum or organisation was back open with COVID-19 induced changes – many fellows answered that there are no visitors, or fewer visitors. Numerous projects have been cancelled or deferred projects or projects moved online, although in one case, the pandemic has seen a rise in projects focusing on finance or display. Digital is mentioned extensively, with staff working from home and everything from departmental meetings to webinars to exhibitions going online.

Online museum tours are gaining popularity as visitor numbers and exhibition plans are slowing down. Collections are digitised and social media is gaining importance according to several answers. Although the most common answer surrounds digital activity and moving online, it is noted that internet connection problems have made this difficult. In some cases, budgets are cut, frozen and even salaries are stopped. Other notable changes are renovation works which are being done whilst galleries and workplaces are closed to the public and COVID-19 health and safety changes have been put in place such as hand sanitisation stations and the wearing of masks.

We really enjoyed reading your feedback of our online subject specialist sessions. Feedback regarding the online sessions was very positive, with many saying that they surpassed expectation. We will be sharing more details about your feedback, along with announcements of our next set of online sessions, in a blog very soon.

Thanks again to everyone who filled in the survey!