AIM Hallmarks

National Maritime Museum Cornwall
National Maritime Museum Cornwall
Black Country Living Museum
Black Country Living Museum
Derby Museums Trust
Derby Museums Trust

What are the AIM Hallmarks?

The ‘AIM Hallmarks of Prospering Museums’ are a framework to help museums and heritage organisations throughout the UK. The Hallmarks identify characteristics that are typical of successful heritage organisations and enable them to prosper and thrive.

The Hallmarks identify that successful museums share certain traits: a culture of resourcefulness, passion and willingness to try new things. These are all things that give prospering museums and heritage organisations their independent spirit and are rooted in how organisations think and behave, rather than in their size or structure.

How were the AIM Hallmarks developed?

The AIM Hallmarks distil and share the experience of two generations of leaders of these independent, innovative and imaginative museums, combined with respected thinking and research.

Our paper, ‘AIM Hallmarks – Some work that shaped our thinking’ outlines some of the key resources we drew on in developing the Hallmarks, and is available in the:

resources section of this website

Using the AIM Hallmarks in your museum

Since the Hallmarks were launched in June 2015, museums have used them as the basis for management away days, board discussions or to help with their business planning. The Hallmarks are not intended to provide a rigid process which must be followed in a particular way, but rather to start a creative conversation, which museums can use in developing their work.

The AIM Hallmarks are not intended as a substitute for Accreditation, but can offer a useful supplement to Accreditation and other standards schemes.

You can download the AIM Hallmarks of a Prospering Museum in PDF format by clicking on any of the individual Hallmarks pages below, or by clicking the below link.

The AIM Hallmarks of Prospering Museums

How is AIM supporting the Hallmarks?

AIM wants to help museums to apply the principles of the AIM Hallmarks to help their organisations prosper. Our learning and investment opportunities offer direct support and we will soon be producing further resources to support museums in using the AIM Hallmarks, supported by Arts Council England through the Museums Resilience Fund.

To find out more about our programmes or resources, please contact Helen Wilkinson, AIM Assistant Director.

  • Purpose

    Know, articulate and embrace your ‘purpose’

  • Leadership & Culture

    Create an organisational culture that can readily adapt and respond

  • Governance

    Consciously practise Good Governance following Charity Commission and AIM Guides

  • Innovation & Risk

    Be adaptive, resourceful and prepared to take risks

  • Awareness & Networks

    Take part in varied, active networks and partnerships and have good external awareness

  • Visitor Focus

    Understand your visitors and supporters,especially the visitor experience, and invest in its improvement

  • Collections

    Collect, guard and make accessible your collection

  • Finance

    Be financially resilient andwell-managed as a charitable business