GEM: Foundation Course

GEM Foundation Course: Effective Engagement 2017
Developed in partnership with the South West Federation of Museums and Art Galleries using Museum Resilience funding from Arts Council England.


*Book early and receive a 20% discount off the course fee*


Frequently Asked Question's (PDF) for all course dates.

The course dates are:
(a) South West:*Bookings now closed*
28-29 September 2017, Taunton; 16-17 October 2017, Bath; 30-31 October 2017, Wells 


(b) East of England:   Bookings now closed*
20-21 November 2017, Luton & Bedford; 11-12 December 2017, Newmarket & Duxford; 8-9 January 2018, Ipswich & Stowmarket


(c) London:  *Booking form (PDF - fillable & printable)*
15-16 January 2018; 20-21 February 2018; 22-23 March 2018
Application deadline: 8 January 2017 (limited spaces available)


We are offering four bursaries for each of this year's courses, for more information see below. 


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. Effective Engagement complements the existing foundation course for educators: Museum Learning.

GEM’s new Foundation Course: Effective Engagement has been developed as part of GEM’s ACE-funded Learning & Sharing Centre (LSC) project. The course will equip you for meeting the challenges of a changing sector while creating impactful and lasting experiences for visitors. It explores how to achieve Effective Engagement by:

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.

The course will draw on the GEM core competencies to address the needs of the heritage workforce, experiencing stretched resources and multi-faceted roles. Participants are encouraged to work together and guided in forming a long-term peer network. Each person maintains a work-based reflective journal, but also shares their experiences, challenges and advice with the group in a friendly, supportive environment. They will also receive support from GEM throughout their reflective periods.

There are six full days of seminars, skills development workshops and site visits over a period of weeks, after which the participants design and complete a work-based visitor engagement project, which should be completed one month after the final professional development day. Participants will receive a certificate of satisfactory completion at a celebratory event two months after the end of the course. The course finishes upon the submission of the final assignment.

We are delighted to have Pete Brown as the course director. Pete is a learning and engagement professional with over 20 years’ experience in the sector, including responsibility for CPD and organisational development at senior management level and for devising and running training courses for learning, curatorial and visitor services staff.

GEM’s Foundation Course: Effective Engagement 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,

GEM is offering four bursaries for each of this year’s Foundation Courses: Effective Engagement, taking place in the South West, North East and East of England. Each bursary is worth £250.

To qualify for one of these discounted places, it is expected that a course participant will be a museum, heritage or cultural educator at the beginning of their career, or possibly a career-changer. Priority will be given to those satisfying most of the following criteria, which are in order of importance:


For more information and how to apply, please download the following documents:
GEM Foundation Course: Bursaries - Terms & Conditions (PDF)
GEM Foundation Course: Bursary Application (Word doc)
GEM Foundation Course: Bursary Application (PDF)

Read more about GEM’s foundation course: Museums Learning.



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