TEG Standards for Good Practice
TEG expects its members to meet - or aim to meet - certain standards when organising a tour or hosting an exhibition. The aim of the Standards is to promote professional behaviour and consistent practice between organisers of touring exhibitions and their venues. A TEG member should be able to derive some assurance that the other party, by signing up to a common set of standards, will contribute to a joint project in a responsible and competent manner. Even if they do not yet have a particular skill or knowledge, they will do their utmost to bring themselves up to date with best practice.
TEG’s Standards for Good Practice’ are an abbreviated version of the Standards for exchanging exhibitions, which TEG revised for MLA in 2006 and which are posted on the Collections Link web site. Detailed information for implementing the TEG Standards is available in the Handbook on this web site and in the MLA Standards on the Collections Link web site.
When looking at the feasibility of an exhibition and/or tour, members should ensure that..
1. Arrangements are made promptly: responses to exhibition proposals are made quickly to ensure that other parties are not disadvantaged; agreements between organisers and venues are made as early as possible in the life of a tour or collaborative project; and the list of exhibits is agreed as soon as possible.
2. The hire agreement is as comprehensive as possible, with clear information about the nature, scope and contents of the exhibition, about the responsibilities of the different parties, and about the method and timing of payments, including complaints and cancellation clauses.
3. Tasks are arranged into a clear and realistic timetable: sufficient time is given to each task; the needs of other partners, lenders (especially overseas) and other parties are taken into account; progress is monitored against schedule; appropriate action is taken where there are delays; and other partner(s) are informed about any changes (and the reasons for them).
4. An exhibition is based on expert knowledge or scholarly research (with sufficient time and funding allowed for any additional research), takes into account any legal and ethical implications, and involves lenders and other interested parties as early as possible.
5. A concept is tested at the outset whether it is appropriate to the exhibition medium, whether a tour is feasible, and whether owners will lend.
6. The use of the intellectual property and right of recompense for services are respected for artists and designers.
7. Expenditure and income are estimated for each aspect of the exhibition: requirements for crating, transport and couriers are costed and agreed with all parties; the viability of the exhibition is assessed; adequate resources are allocated; any shortfall in funding made good; and actual expenditure and income is controlled against budget..
8. Health and safety are given due consideration, to avoid unreasonable nuisance as much as actual danger, and to ensure that work is carried out in accordance with relevant statutory requirements.
9. Acknowledgements, publicity and other benefits to sponsors are agreed and implemented.
When considering the exhibits and associated material, members should ensure that..
10. Conditions attached to any loans are agreed and observed throughout a tour.
11. A valuation is agreed for each exhibit, and appropriate insurance cover arranged.
12. Documentation is prepared and maintained, recording the title, nature, source, condition, location, value, display requirements etc. of each exhibit.
13. Time and funding is allowed for any remedial conservation and preventive measures that might be necessary to safeguard the exhibits on tour.
14. All loans are treated with equal professionalism, irrespective of whether they are borrowed from individuals or from major collections.
15. The circumstances in which an image may be reproduced are agreed with lenders and copyright owners, and any restrictions on the use of photographs and on photography and filming are observed.
16. Risks to exhibits are assessed, and frames, display cases and other protective measures are provided.
17. Materials for display and packing are selected for their inert qualities and fire-retarding characteristics.
18. Environmentally-friendly materials and recycling practices are used where possible.
19. Exhibits are adequately protected by packing materials, which are designed to support and protect from physical and environmental shocks; packing is designed to withstand the wear and tear of a tour and to be moved without damage or injury in and out of venues' premises; packing is also marked with appropriate symbols and instructions for handling and access, and accompanied by documentation and instructions for unpacking and repacking.
20. Each party’s obligations – especially where responsibilities begin and end - in transit are confirmed in writing.
21 Agreements and instructions to carriers, agents, couriers, etc. are prepared and maintained: details of itineraries and schedules are kept secure and confidential, with relevant parties informed of contact names, addresses, dates and times of delivery and collection on a ‘need-to-know’ basis.
22. Transport is arranged to take into account the length and duration of each journey, the facilities at each end, and precautions to protect exhibits in transit.
23. A safe and secure environment is provided for storage of exhibits, with time allowed for acclimatising exhibits and empty packing as appropriate.
24. The financial and administrative implications of any requirement by lenders, that couriers should be present during the installation and removal of exhibits, are taken into account at the outset.
25. The condition of exhibits is monitored throughout the tour: a checking procedure is agreed between all parties; condition is documented by experienced staff when exhibits are unpacked and repacked; relevant parties are advised and appropriate action taken in the event of any new damage, deterioration or infestation.
26. Experienced staff and suitable equipment are used for moving exhibits, after a full risk assessment has been carried out.
27. The appropriate method of handling each exhibit is agreed, and handling is kept to a minimum.
28. An exhibition is designed to be: (i) robust enough for the proposed tour; (ii) adaptable to the different venues; (iii) accompanied by checklists, instructions, special tools, repair kit and replacement parts as appropriate; (iv) moved easily by the staff and equipment available to each venue; and (v) installed and dismantled with minimum risk to exhibits and within strict Health & Safety procedures.
When considering how an exhibition is to be accomodated within each venue, members should ensure that..
29. The exhibits are included in a temporary supplement to any formal Disaster Plan, with procedures for protection and priorities for rescue in the event of an emergency.
30. All harmful, biologically-active agents are eliminated from buildings, plant, storage and display areas, and exhibits and their packaging are monitored for infestation.
31. Steps are taken both to protect sensitive materials from excessive exposure to light whilst at the same time allowing visitors to experience the exhibition.
32. Environmental conditions for exhibits and any measures to control variations in temperature and humidity are agreed and maintained.
33. Design and layout facilitate both supervision and environmental continuity for the exhibits.
34. Equipment is robust and meets current safety standards.
When designing provision for visitors, members should ensure that..
35. Target audience(s) for an exhibition are agreed with relevant parties.
36. A marketing strategy is agreed, appropriate to the exhibition and the target audiences, which specifies when and by whom publicity materials should be produced and circulated, and to whom acknowledgement should be made.
37. Publishing plans and retailing opportunities are agreed.
38. Design and layout allow visitors to experience the exhibition in comfort and safety, avoiding physical, intellectual or cultural barriers: the exhibition should be designed to deliver its message in an interesting, meaningful and relevant way, using appropriate methods to cater for a variety of learning styles; interpretation should be devised in consultation with the venues; it should be integral to the exhibition, accessible, intelligible, accurate and stimulating and take into account the needs of all visitors.
39. The nature, time, requirements and cost of educational materials and activities are planned at the outset.
40. Facilities are appropriate for visitors to experience the exhibits, with high standards of courtesy, cleanliness and maintenance.
41. Layout is designed to avoid fire hazards, and there are adequate fire protection precautions and plans for emergency evacuation at each showing.
42. Each showing is fully evaluated and any lessons passed to subsequent venues.
Last updated 25th November 2008