Training & Coaching

Burns CottageOver the years we have delivered training and coaching in collection care to hundreds of people whose work involves caring for portable heritage.

Training courses

Our training usually takes the form of a one-day course for a group of about 10 to 15 people. The day will be relaxed, with quite a lot of participation by everyone attending. A lot of information will be delivered, and a comprehensive pack given to support what is explained on the day.

Courses that we have run include:

  • Care of paper and photograph collections
  • Care of textile and costume collections
  • Care of metal collections
  • Introduction to environmental monitoring
  • Advanced environmental monitoring
  • Handling and moving museum objects
  • Housekeeping for museums

We tend not to advertise these courses, but if you have a group of people who would be interested in attending such a day we would be happy to hear from you and discuss your requirements. The courses are often held on museum premises, and collection items can be used as examples in the training if required.

Some of our training courses are hosted by Museums Galleries Scotland. The courses are advertised on their website when they have been arranged.


More hands-on teaching in collection care is given in our coaching courses. These are very much led by the needs of our clients and their collections. We cannot teach you how to do conservation treatments, but less interventive work with objects, and work to improve storage and display can be taught.

Topics that have been covered in coaching courses in the past include:

  • Mounting and refurbishing frames for works on paper
  • Reducing soiling on archive papers
  • Mounting textiles for display
  • Packing costume and textiles for storage
  • Packing artefacts for safe storage

Coaching is usually delivered to individuals on a one-to-one basis, or to groups of two, three, or four people, depending on the activities to be undertaken. Coaching is often done at the conservation studio, where we have all the necessary equipment and facilities, but it may be possible to deliver it elsewhere, such as at a museum. As with our training days we do not advertise coaching sessions, but would love to hear from you if you think you have a project that we could help you with.


Recent clients for training and coaching courses

  • Museums Galleries Scotland
  • National Trust for Scotland
  • National Museums Scotland
  • Skills Building for the Future - Highlands and Islands Museums training initiative
  • Regional Museums Training Project
  • Arran Heritage Museum
  • Smith Museum and Art Gallery, Stirling
  • Tain and District Museum


Feedback from participants on training and coaching days:

'The trainer showed pure professionalism with a friendly and energised manner.'

'Very good indeed, should love to come on another course, great to have the practical session, I've never circled so many 5's!'

Paper and Photos training day, Smith Museum and Art Gallery, Stirling

'Lots of very useful information clearly presented in a comfortable and approachable way - a good balance of talk, demo,and group work.'

Paper and Photo training day, Edinburgh

'By far the best course I have ever been on, real good practical experience, well taught, brilliant.'

Coaching in mounting and framing, The Scottish Consevation Studio

'The course has been really enjoyable and I hope I'll get the chance to use the skills I've aquired at work. The staff has beed brilliant and the facilities superb.'

Coaching in basic treatment techniques, The Scottish Conservation Studio

'A good refresher - well pitched for those less familiar in moving and handling but with useful ideas / techniques / materials for improvement for those more experienced in the topic.'

Handling and Moving Museum Objects, Perth Museum and Art Gallery

'The section on the interpretation of data was excellent as it removed the mystery that could arise from unfamiliar graphs and charts. The practical session was also very useful as it gave the opportunity for hands-on experience to be developed.'

'Two excellent trainers, with just the right balance of technical info and opportunity to use real experience of participants as part of the discussions.'

Introduction to Environmental Monitoring, Scottish Fisheries Museum, Anstruther

'Lots of group discussion made understanding easy and explored different ideas.'

'The leader was knowledgeable and fun.'

Care of Textiles, Tower Mill, Hawick