Code of Ethics

ICOM Code of Ethics for museums

Ethics and museum professionals’ exemplary practices are essential for ICOM.

ICOM Code of Ethics for museums
was adopted in 1986 and revised in 2004. It establishes the values and principles shared by ICOM and the international museum community. It is a reference tool translated to 38 languages and it sets minimum standards of professional practice and performance for museums and their staff.

By joining ICOM, each member commits to respect this code.

ICOM Statutes

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ICOM's Statutes are an essential document for the organisation. ICOM's rules clarify and complete these Statutes.

The Statutes are the foundations of the organisation and its functioning. They specify the objectives, the mission and the organisation of the structure.

The new version of this essential document was adopted by the 22nd General Assembly of ICOM in Vienna (Austria), held on 24 August 2007.

Article 03 - 3. Definition of Terms

Whenever used in these Statutes, the following terms, beginning with a capital letter, will bear the meaning defined in this article, without any distinction when used in the singular or the plural.

Section 1.
A museum is a non-profit, permanent institution in the service of society and its development, open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits the tangible and intangible heritage of humanity and its environment for the purposes of education, study and enjoyment.

Section 2. Institutions recognised by ICOM
The Executive Council, after seeking the advice of the Advisory Committee, may recognise other institutions as having some or all of the characteristics of a Museum.

Section 3. Museum Professionals
Museum professionals include all the personnel of museums, or institutions qualifying as museums in accordance with the definition in Article 3, Section 1 & 2, and training and research institutions which are beneficial to museum activities, having received specialised training, or possessing an equivalent practical experience, in any field relevant to the management and activities of a museum, as well as independent persons respecting the ICOM Code of Ethics for Museums and working for and with museums, but not involved in promoting or dealing with any commercial products and equipment required for museums and their services.

Section 4. Member in Good Standing
An ICOM member in good standing is a person (or an institution) whose request for membership to ICOM has been accepted under the conditions defined in Article 4, Section 2 of these Statues, and has paid the annual membership fee (dues) at the time and in the amount determined by the Executive Council.

Section 5. State
For the purposes of establishing National Committees, a State is defined as a self-governing country which is a member of the United Nations or any of its Specialised Agencies, or is a party to the Statutes of the International Court of Justice.