Since 1985, the CAM Basic Certificate in Museum Studies has provided a convenient way to access training while continuing to work in your local museum. You do not require a university degree to register. The programme provides an introduction to the history and purpose of museums and the basic procedures involved in museum operation. It is divided into seven units of study: an introduction; organisation and management; collections; conservation; exhibitions; education & public programmes; and the role of museums in society and is designed to be completed within one year. Your work with the CAM distance learning programme coordinator and a local tutor, are evaluated based upon unit tests, an essay, a final exam and special project, and receive a certificate. CAM currently has students in the Caribbean, Africa and the United Kingdom.
If you would like to learn how you can do your job more effectively, how you can improve your museum, its collections, exhibitions and programmes, and how your museum can contribute to your community, please contact us to learn more about the CAM distance learning programme and how you can participate.
“I found I was better prepared to work in museums after having done the CAM DLP than graduates of museology programmes, when I got to the point in my career that I was hiring them. It’s good for the basics, the foundations; what you build on that is up to you.” – Mrinalini Venkateswaran, Museum Consultant at Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum and Doctoral candidate in History, University of Cambridge
“The CAM distance learning course opened up a world of possibilities for me within the museum world. It also gave me a better understanding and appreciation of what each person does at the museum, from the cleaner to the conservator to the curator to the CEO. It is definitely a must for EVERYONE working at museums” – Annelize Kotze, Iziko South African Museum
CAM coordinates an annual International Internship Programme, providing once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for one or two recent Canadian university graduates a year to work internationally throughout the Commonwealth.
Since the programme was introduced in 1997, CAM has arranged internships for more than 35 interns who have spent six months, from October 1- March 31 each year, working in museums and related organisations in Africa, the Caribbean, the South Pacific, India, and the UK. These internships provide invaluable assistance to the host institutions and CAM, as well as a unique international work experience for the interns.
If your museum is interested in hosting an intern, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information. The deadline for funding applications is the end of February, with announcements usually in June. It does take some time to develop a strong learning opportunity that will benefit both your institution and the intern’s career development so inquire early.
If you are Canadian, have graduated within the past 2 years, are under the age of 30, and are interested in a unique work experience, watch the CMA’s Job Board for announcements.
CAM is grateful for funding received from the Young Canada Works at Building Careers in Heritage Program of the Department of Canadian Heritage administered by the Canadian Museums Association.
“As an intern with CAM, I worked on so many exciting projects, both internationally for CAM – working on a Caribbean-Canadian Museum Exchange and gaining experience in networking and grant writing – and developing and installing an exhibition at the National Gallery, while also working with different departments for a well-rounded experience.” – Shona MacKay, CAM Intern
“I interned with CAM at the Vanuatu Cultural Centre in Port-Vila, Vanuatu where I produced an exhibit and educational material on ni-vanuatu women and kastoms. Thanks to this internship, I developed practical museum skills and international experience working in culture and heritage. I am now the Museum Coordinator of a local Museum and Archives in Greater Vancouver, BC.” – Kanchan Lal, PoCo Heritage Museum and Archives.
CAM organises regional workshops periodically. These workshops are either organised in partnership with local museums and heritage organisations:
- In advance of the biennial Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) or the triennial Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers (CCEM) to draw the attention of Heads of Government or Ministers of Education respectively to the role of museums in addressing the themes of these high-level Commonwealth meetings;
- Related to a specific ongoing project (e.g., four workshops were organised related to the Human Remains Management Project, 2017-2020, three related to Migration:Cities, 2017-2018, and two upcoming workshops are being organised as part of the Caribbean-Canadian Museum Exchange; or
- In responses to a request from the host institution to address a particular regional need (e.g., Access and Inclusion in South Asia, 2016 & 2019 and Disaster Risk Management in the Caribbean, 2013).
The Commonwealth Association of Museums continues to create and share free publications for the international museum community. Over the years, museums have become more focused on access and inclusion. We create publications on a range of topics, including: children’s programming, disability access, indigenous perspectives, women’s rights and more.
The Commonwealth Association of Museums has published a bulletin to its members for over a decade. The CAM Bulletin keeps members up to date with the latest CAM activities, events and opportunities. We encourage our members to share their ideas and to use our network to raise awareness for special projects.