Fair Museum Jobs: A Manifesto for Job Adverts and Recruitment


Fair Museum Jobs has divided each point in the following manifesto into three categories:

‘Must’: Issues for which Fair Museum Jobs believes that there is an imperative to comply with the terms of this manifesto. Job adverts which fall short of these demands will be robustly and comprehensively challenged.

‘Should’: Issues for which Fair Museum Jobs believes there is a pressing and very strong case for compliance with the terms of this manifesto. Fair Museums Jobs may challenge job adverts which fall short of these demands, while examples of best practice will be championed, as and when they appear.

‘Recommendations’: Issues for which Fair Museum Jobs believes there is a strong case for compliance with the terms of this manifesto. Recommendations will be championed through examples of best practice, as and when they appear.

  1. Qualifications

1.1 Undergraduate Degrees: Should only be required when a role requires significant amounts of research, analysis, source criticism, citation and theoretical knowledge.

1.2 Undergraduate Degrees: When these qualifications are required, all candidates must be free to demonstrate equivalent skills to those gained by completing an undergraduate degree (e.g. research, analysis, source criticism, citation and theoretical knowledge) if they have been gained outside of the formal educational environment. ‘Or equivalent experience’, or similar phrasing, must be explicitly stated when asking for degree qualifications.

1.3 Postgraduate Museum Studies or Heritage qualifications: When required, equivalent experience must also be accepted. It is imperative to acknowledge that broad sector awareness, knowledge of professional standards and understanding of theory can be gained in a variety of environments.

  1. Salaries and Contracts

2.1 Salaries must always be clearly indicated on a job advert.

2.2 Salaries must conform to the National Minimum Wage, as mandated under law in England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland (

2.3 Salaries should conform to the National Living Wage or (if within Greater London) the London Living Wage, as set by the Living Wage Foundation ( and championed by the Mayor of London (

2.4 For more skilled roles, salaries should be commensurate with the required expertise, experience, and reflect the local cost of living. Remuneration should be in line with the Museums Association’s 2017 Salary Guidelines (

2.5 Contract types and lengths must be clearly stated. If a contract is fixed-term, a job advert should not promise future extensions based on prospective funding without a clear and up-front discussion of the funding context.

2.6 You must not ask for previous or current salaries.

  1. Internships

3.1 The term ‘internship’ is vague and continues to mean different things to different people. Fair Museum Jobs does not recommend the use of the term, but when used it must meet the following criteria:

3.2 Internships must be paid, at least, at the level of National Minimum Wage (for all other paid roles, see Paragraph 2 above)

3.3 Internships must be of fixed length.

3.4 Internships must have clearly defined learning and development outcomes, which are clearly set out on the role advert.

3.5 Internships must be provided with adequate training and support, and a named manager or supervisor.

3.6 Internships must not replace roles which were previously paid jobs.

3.7 For the avoidance of doubt, internships should be advertised with the word ‘paid’ in the role title.

  1. Voluntary Roles, Placements and Unpaid Labour

4.1 When advertised, a voluntary role must clearly and unambiguously be stated as such and must not be allowed to pose as a paid job. For clarity, the word ‘volunteer’ should be included in the role title.

4.2 Entitlement to reimbursement of expenses (or absence thereof) must be clearly set out in the job advert.

4.3 Voluntary roles should not be advertised with a requirement to commit more than 1 day or 8 hours per week (except for shorter-term periods) and ideally the volunteer should be able to commit as much or as little time as they like, within reasonable bounds. Volunteers can be free to choose to commit more of their time beyond this minimum.

4.4 Voluntary positions should not ask for minimum qualifications or prior experience of specialist technical knowledge (e.g collections management systems or documentation standards).

4.5 Voluntary positions must not be used to replace roles which were previously paid, or which carry duties and responsibilities one would normally expect from a paid role.

4.6 Adequate training and Personal Protective Equipment must be provided, depending on the nature of the role.

4.7 Each volunteer should have a designated supervisor, manager or mentor.

4.8 Appropriate volunteer agreements should be in place between volunteers and hosting organisations, so that the expectations of both parties are understood.

4.8 Organisations should not seek to claim title to Intellectual Property produced by their volunteers.

4.9 Commercial, profit-making organisations should not advertise for voluntary roles, with the sole exception of placements, as defined below.

4.10 Placements are understood to be fixed-term periods of unpaid work, within the context of an educational programme, with clearly defined learning and development outcomes and adequate training and support.

  1. Clarity, Accessibility, Transparency and Communication

5.1 Job adverts must be clear and concise, avoid unnecessary jargon, and be as accessible as possible.

5.2 Job adverts must be clearly divided into a role profile element and personal specification element. It must be made unambiguously clear that the candidate will be assessed for their suitability for the role against the criteria of the personal specification alone.

5.3 The number and scope of the criteria on the personal specification must be proportional to the role applied for, and criteria must not be duplicated.

5.4 Criteria must be transparent and must apply to everyone equally within the bounds of the Equality Act 2010.

5.5 Job adverts must be made available in .pdf and large-print format.

5.6 Contact details for sources of further information about the post must be made available as part of the job advert, and any queries received must be answered promptly.

5.7 Job adverts must have a clearly stated closing date, which is, as far as possible, adhered to by the organisation. Vacancies should not close early due to volume of applications. If the closing date is extended, the extension and the reasons for it must be clearly communicated to existing applicants.

  1. Interviews and Outcomes of Recruitment

6.1 Candidates invited to interview must be informed of the outcomes of those interviews in a timely fashion.

6.2 Candidates invited to interview, should they be unsuccessful, should be provided with meaningful feedback about their performance at interview.

6.3 Fair Museum Jobs recommends that job applicants, should they be unsuccessful in progressing to the interview stage, should be informed of the outcome of shortlisting in a timely fashion.

6.4 Fair Museum Jobs recommends that job applicants, should they be unsuccessful in progressing to the interview stage, should be provided with feedback regarding their applications.

6.5 Fair Museum Jobs recommends that recruiting organisations pay reasonable travel expenses to candidates who attend for interview.

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