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Collections Self-Assessment Tool (CSAT)


To enable institutions to assess their collections managements against the SYNTHESYS benchmark, SYNTHESYS has developed an online self-assessment tool. This provides valuable information that institutions can use in planning, management and in seeking funding. In addition, it provides SYNTHESYS with valuable data on collection management needs across Europe so that training courses can be targeted to meet these needs.

The survey tool is available (free of charge) online until at least the end of the project (August 2017).

The self-assessment tool builds upon previous successful SYNTHESYS museum collections surveys undertaken by a panel of external experts (2006-2013). Feedback on the process was positive, with many institutions using the results to improve internal procedures. Some institutions used the results to obtain additional funding for collections management.

As part of SYNTHESYS 3, questions have been added to the self-assessment tool to enable institutions to assess the management of their virtual and new physical collections. SYNTHESYS 3 will support institutions that are shown not to be managing these new collections suitably, so that they can improve and increase their accessibility.

What is involved?
The assessment can either be completed at department or institution level. The institution must nominate an individual to register and act as the main contact point. This individual will be responsible for entering data on the institution and for completing the questionnaire.

The questionnaire has two sections that relate to the institution as a whole (e.g. management structure) and five that are department specific (e.g. collection care). The self-assessment should take approx. 2-3 days for data gathering and a couple of hours to enter the results. The results are submitted online to the SYNTHESYS administration.

Within one month of completing the form the contact person will receive a report summarising the results of the assessment which will include recommendations for improving any areas which do not meet the benchmark level.

The results of the survey are completely confidential. The report will be sent to the institution’s contact person only. The data may be used in a summary report and associated publications on the status of collections in Europe but all data will be anonymous.

SYNTHESYS Self-Assessment Frequently Asked Questions

How to complete the SYNTHESYS Self-Assessment

SYNTHESYS Self-Assessment Questions