Assessment Types

Use the descriptions and chart below to choose the assessment that’s right for your museum. 

Organizational Assessment

Reviews all operational areas. Upon completion, a museum is better prepared to operate as a 21st century museum with a strong understanding of core museum standards and good practices that support sustainability. This assessment places significant emphasis on strategic planning as well as ensuring operations and resources align with the museum’s mission.

Collections Stewardship Assessment

Focuses on collections policies, planning, access and documentation within the context of the museum’s total operations. The scope of the assessment includes collections care and use, acquisitions and deaccessioning, legal, ethical, and safety issues, documentation, inventory, and emergency planning.

If applying for the Collections Stewardship Assessment, MAP staff strongly recommends that the museum has a collections management policy or draft ready before the site visit.

Community Engagement Assessment

Assesses the museum’s understanding of and relationship with its various communities and the communities’ perception of and experience with the museum. It helps museums gather better input from their constituents, develop a more nuanced view about the community’s demographics and needs, respond to the changing nature of its audiences and incorporate these findings into planning and operational decisions. It helps museums form new collaborations and strengthen old ones.

If applying for the Community Engagement Assessment, MAP staff strongly recommends that the museum have a:

  • A formal and approved mission statement. An approved mission statement indicates a clear institutional self-image that can be tested against the community’s perception.
  • Previous experience with self-study, as that helps you manage assessment logistics, which need to involve members of your museum’s community and audiences.
  • An established process for institutional/strategic planning, ensuring a way of using the large amount of information that will result from your museum’s self-study and report.


Collections Stewardship

Community Engagement

Increase staff and/or governing authority’s knowledge about

  • respective roles and responsibilities of governing authority and staff
  • museum standards and best practices
  • resources available to help the museum

Increase staff and/or governing authority’s knowledge about

  • collections standards and best practices

Increase staff and/or governing authority’s understanding of the

  • museum’s community and stakeholders
  • how the museum is perceived by its audiences and community

Improve alignment of

  • operations to mission
  • resources to mission
  • organizational structure to mission

Improve alignment of

  • collections with mission
  • collections with the institutional plan

Improve the alignment of

  • mission with audience and community
  • resource allocation with audience and community needs

Improve ability to

  • develop a mission statement or refine the existing mission statement
  • develop an institutional plan
  • develop/review/revise policies and procedures
  • assess facilities management needs
  • manage risk
  • manage renovation, expansion or the construction of a new facility
  • improve financial sustainability
  • care for collections
  • engage the community

Improve ability to

  • write a collections plan
  • raise funds to support the collections
  • improve collections stewardship
  • prioritize long-term collections management issues
  • develop/review/revise collections policies and procedures
  • manage risk
  • Assess needs in the areas of
  • collections management staffing
  • facilities management

Improve ability to

  • communicate with the community
  • serve its audiences
  • identify and develop potential audiences
  • create collaborations to address community needs
  • incorporate community needs into long-range plans
  • conduct an audience evaluation
  • improve visitor services
  • meet audience needs through exhibitions and programming
  • write/review/revise policies and procedures
  • write a long-range interpretive plan
  • write an emergency management plan

Prepare for accreditation or reaccreditation

Prepare for accreditation or reaccreditation

Prepare for accreditation or reaccreditation