Devise and implement strategies for the use and development of collections for cultural heritage

Business Sectors (Suites): Cultural Heritage
Developed by: Creative & Cultural Skills
Approved on: 30 Mar 2022


​This standard is about devising and implementing strategies for the use and development of cultural heritage collections. Collections can consist of objects that are on display or in storage or to parts of a historic building or site which are in situ.

It includes identifying and reviewing the scope of the collection's use and development and reviewing the policies, procedures and criteria for acquisitions, disposals, lending and borrowing.

This standard is for curators, those working in conservation or anyone else in charge of a collection strategy for a collection.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

  1. ​take account of all relevant information when developing and reviewing collection strategies
  2. ensure that strategies support the purpose, vision and objectives of collections and the organisation
  3. assess the impact of current and future use of collections on both the collections themselves and the organisation
  4. assess the risks and benefits of new acquisitions, disposals, lending and borrowing activity on the organisation on an ongoing basis
  5. assess the impact of organisational developments and resource implications on current and future collections
  6. identify the resource requirements for implementing acquisition, lending, borrowing or disposal policies
  7. establish procedures for monitoring and reviewing acquisition, disposal, lending and borrowing policies in line with organisational procedures
  8. establish the options, priorities and criteria for acquisition and disposal in line with organisational policies and the resources available
  9. determine criteria for lending and borrowing cultural heritage objects in line with the lending and borrowing policies of the organisation
  10. use information from reliable sources to assess the effectiveness of current criteria for acquisitions, disposals, and loans on a regular basis
  11. communicate information and guidance on acquisitions, disposals, lending and borrowing to relevant people
  12. establish standards of care for cultural heritage loaned to borrowing organisations
  13. record relevant information about collection strategies, policies, and criteria in organisational system

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. ​the acquisition and disposal policies, procedures and criteria of the organisation including any long-term organisational partnerships
  2. the purpose, vision and objectives of the collections in your care, the criteria used to determine their strengths and weaknesses and the relationship between them, organisational requirements and relevant policies
  3. relevant information to consider when developing and reviewing collection strategies including the effectiveness of previous strategies, the scope, significance, strengths and weaknesses of existing collections and the views of colleagues
  4. how to obtain information about the insurance requirements and security considerations of the collection and the resource implications and new developments that have affected, or may impact on, the organisation
  5. how to find out about the acquisition, disposal, lending and borrowing policies and practice of other similar organisations
  6. how acquisitions and disposals contribute to the maintenance of collections and the options available for the expansion of collections
  7. the previous and likely effects of acquisitions or disposals on the organisation, resources that are likely to be needed and the consequences of the different types of acquisition
  8. ethical considerations in relation to acquisitions and disposals including the types of acquisitions and disposals that could be seen as unethical and why
  9. sources of information on potential acquisitions and disposals, how to generate resources for them, who should be informed of potential acquisitions or disposals and why it is important to have a plan for acquisitions and disposal
  10. the effect that lending or borrowing has on the organisation and the resources that are used for lending and borrowing
  11. how to generate standards of care for items that are loaned
  12. the current loan policy, procedures, and criteria of the organisation, why a loan policy and criteria are important for both incoming and outgoing loans, the different procedures for loans that are for research rather than display, different categories of borrower and how to ensure that the policy can work in practice
  13. how to evaluate the effectiveness of policies, procedures, and criteria
  14. communication channels within the organisation and who you need to communicate with
  15. types of organisational information systems in use, how to operate them, the main differences between digital and manual systems, possible problems with them and how to use them to record information about collection strategies, policies, and criteria


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

30 Mar 2026





Originating Organisation

Creative and Cultural Skills

Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Arts, Media and Publishing, Crafts, Creative Arts and Design, Leisure, Travel and Tourism, Media and Communication, Performing Arts, Publishing and Information Services

SOC Code



collections; artefacts; cultural heritage; strategy; collection use; collection development; historic building; historic site;