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MUA Directors

Modes Users Association is recruiting Directors
These are exciting times for the Modes Users Association (MUA). As we think about the next generation of Modes products, we are looking for people to help us shape the strategic direction of the business over the next few years.


The MUA was formed as a not-for-profit company in 1996 to provide support to the growing number of museums using Modes collections management software. We have owned the Modes suite of programs and provided support to users for over 25 years.

With more than 680 member organisations using our software, Modes is the most popular collections software used in UK museums. Modes is the trusted digital repository for the documentation, history and stories of millions of items held in museums across the UK.

Since its creation in 1987 Modes software has been developed by museum people for museum people. The MUA has a staff team of 3, based in Derby, who deliver software, support, training and consultancy services.

Current context

Modes and the MUA has adapted and changed over the years, in-line with the needs and expectations of our users. We have continued to refresh our software since the 1980s, and currently our implementation of the Spectrum standard supports many museums in achieving Accreditation standards for their documentation.

We have now started thinking about the next generation of Modes products to ensure we continue to deliver what our customers need and adapt our offer to compete in a changing market.
In particular, the MUA will be responding to the opportunities and challenges of:

  • New and emerging technologies
  • Alternative models of delivery, subscription and membership
  • Retirement of our Software Development Partner and Services Manager
  • The impact of COVID-19 and the rise of home working
  • Promotion of equal access to collections knowledge for all

The MUA is overseen by a Board of Non-Executive Directors which meets 3 or 4 times a year, either in Derby or online. Currently the Board has 3 members, all of whom are museum professionals. The Board shapes the overall strategic direction of the MUA and scrutinises the performance of the business.

What do we do as a board?

  • Engage with our community of active users to shape the future of Modes
  • Set strategic goals for the future of the business
  • Liaise with MUA Services Manager and staff team, monitoring business plan delivery
  • Ensure the business is run in an efficient, financially robust and legal manner

What are we looking for?

There are key decisions to be made over the next few years that will have a significant impact on the UK museum data landscape and with that in mind we are particularly keen to hear from people with the following skills or attributes:

  • Business development
  • Change management
  • Museums (including non-Modes users)
  • Marketing
  • Income generation
  • Emerging technologies
  • Not-for-profits

We are also interested in people seeking their first board appointment.

What’s in it for you?

  • Opportunity to shape the future of the MUA and our offer to the museum sector
  • Contribute to maintaining and developing our successful not-for-profit ethos

Our current board members say:

  • It’s an opportunity to try something different that makes an impact on something other than work
  • It’s outside my comfort zone and outside the bubble of my own organisation
  • Good on my CV!
  • As I work alone it is a good opportunity to meet and work with other museum professionals
  • The biggest benefit is working with people from very different institutions with different outlooks and it doesn’t matter where you are in your career or what position you hold within an organisation

Additional Information

  • All reasonable travel and subsistence expenses are paid
  • Successful candidates would initially be co-opted for one year, after which appointment is subject to election by the membership on a three-year cycle

How to Apply

To apply please send your CV and a covering letter or email to
If you want to know more or arrange an informal chat please email us.