Competency models

We believe in end-to-end curating that values equally generating knowledge and communicating that knowledge.

We use the 50% model of a curator, part knowledge creator, part communicator. This equation underpins all of our educational work.

50% model of a curator, half knowledge creator + communicator = curator
What is a curator? 50% model of a curator © Tehmina Goskar, 2017.

The balance between these aspects of a curator can be skewed towards one or the other. We create learning experiences that aim to narrow the gap between knowledge creation and communication in a way that is focused on audiences, consumers, users and communities.

Our curatorial model has underpinned learning for Cornwall Museums Partnership and seven Cornish museums as part of the Citizen Curators programme, University of Helsinki Department of Museum Studies and University of Exeter medical studies (humanities longitudinal).

Medical students examining Victorian blood letting objects at Royal Cornwall Museum.
Medical students examining Victorian blood letting objects at Royal Cornwall Museum.

Curatorial learning is based on our unique competency model that seeks to develop an individual’s abilities and confidence in five key areas. These key areas can be adapted to your particular discipline, profession or area of interest. For example, as a curator of music your Awareness competency in organising festival programmes or playlists will differ from that of an auctioneer curating a sculpture sale aimed at a particular audience.

Curatorial competencies illustration. A blue triangle with boxes stacked above each other on the right hand side. The boxes have words in them. From top to bottom: Research, Communication, Technical, Theory, Awareness
Five competencies of a curator (c) Curatorial Research Centre 2018-20.

Our competency model is highly translatable to non-English speaking contexts and we are exploring how we can do this in different curatorial cultures. If you are interesting in developing a learning model to suit your students and learners, contact us today.