South Western Federation of Museums and Art Galleries

GEM launches Effective Engagement course in partnership with SWFed

We have partnered with the Group for Education in Museums (GEM) to develop their new foundation course and bring it to the South West. This has been possible thanks to Museum Resilience funding from Arts Council England.

Effective Engagement is intended for practitioners and volunteers in the early stages of a career in the museum, heritage and cultural sector. Participants are most likely to already have a public facing role, though the course is also for people wishing to take up such a position or adopting engagement duties into their existing role. Since it is a work-based course, it is a requirement that applicants should be employed or volunteering in an organisation within the sector.

The course includes six full professional development days. Each pair of days will cover a different part of the course and will consist of seminars, workshops and visits to a range of museums:

Part 1:Museums and engagement” - exploring methods of engagement, access and inclusion and reflective practice.

Part 2: “The importance of ‘And’: partnerships and collaboration” - exploring building partnerships and collaborations and developing communication skills.

Part 3: “Managing to thrive” - exploring sustainability and developing management skills.



Nikky Nuttall, SWFed Executive Officer, said "We are absolutely delighted to have been involved in the development of this course in the South West. The content of the course is superb and will be run by experienced course leaders. Located at inspirational venues in the region, there will be opportunities for networking, professional development and time to focus on the professional oxygen we all need to do a great job!"

The course is part of GEM’s plans to develop a highly skilled workforce that will more effectively help to improve the education, health and wellbeing of the public. John Stevenson, GEM trustee and CEO, explained:

“As resources become increasingly stretched, it is important that educators have a variety of skills, from engaging audiences to managing budgets and partnerships. This course is part of GEM’s commitment to support those involved with heritage learning throughout their careers, creating a resilient and highly professional workforce to benefit the public. We are looking forward to seeing the progress of our participants.”

The dates for the course are

  • 28-29 September 2017, Taunton
  • 16-17 October 2017, Bath
  • 30-31 October 2017, Wells

If you book early you can receive a 20% discount off the course fee. Bursaries are also available (more information on the GEM website).

The application deadline is 25 September 2017 (limited spaces available). Application forms and further information can be found on the GEM website by clicking here.