All museums are entrusted with collections which they hold for the benefit of the community they serve. Accordingly they have a responsibility to act in the best interest of the public in terms of the stewardship of those collections. Underlying this principle is the need for museums to act ethically, and Lord Nolan's seven principles for public life, presented below, are as applicable to those who work in museums as in any other public service; they also apply to those who serve on museum governing bodies. The seven principles are:

  • Selflessness - all decisions taken should be undertaken solely in the public interest
  • Integrity - individuals should not place themselves under financial or other obligation to outside bodies that jeopardises their performance for the Museum
  • Objectivity - all choices made should be on merit
  • Accountability - individuals should be accountable for their decisions and actions
  • Openness - individuals should be open about the decisions reached and actions taken
  • Honesty - any private interests should be declared and any conflicts resolved in favour of the public interest
  • Leadership - individuals should promote these principles by leadership and example

Amgueddfa Cymru — National Museum Wales endorses the Museums Association Code of Ethics and strives to ensure that all of its employees and members of its governing body adhere to the principles contained therein.