Join Us

Benefits include free entry to museums in 147 countries and access to travel bursaries

Join Us

Applications and renewals for 2020 membership are now closed.  ICOM membership runs on the calendar year (1 Jan – 31 Dec).  We will open again for applications and renewals in mid-October 2020.

Museums have no borders, they have a network.

ICOM is the only global organisation in the museum field.  Join us to connect with over 40,000 museum professionals in over 141 countries.

ICOM is a membership association and a non-governmental organisation which establishes professional and ethical standards for museum activities. As a forum of experts, it makes recommendations on issues related to cultural heritage, promotes capacity building and advances knowledge. ICOM is the voice of museum professionals on the international stage and raises public cultural awareness through global networks and co-operation programmes.

By becoming an ICOM member, you can access a range of professional membership benefits, including:

  • The ICOM card, giving you free access to thousands of museums and exhibitions worldwide
  • Demonstrating your support for the international museum community and supporting museum professionals in developing nations*
  • Eligibility to join up to four of ICOM’s thirty International Committees – subject specialist networks connecting you to the latest professional thinking.  By joining an International Committee, you gain access to professionals in your field all over the world
  • Connecting you through networking opportunities with museum professionals in other countries
  • Access to the ICOM UK Travel Bursaries Fund and the Camilla Boodle Bursary Fund
  • Regular email bulletins from ICOM UK with news and opportunities for working internationally
  • Access to ICOM’s interactive online platform
  • Receiving ICOM News, ICOM’s monthly digital magazine
  • Access to ICOM’s online database of publications
  • Subscribe to Museum International magazine (online or in print)
  • Involvement in ICOM’s international missions to shape the museum profession, advocate for standards, support the fight against illicit traffic in cultural goods, and cooperate in emergency preparedness and response actions
  • Free mediation for settling art and cultural heritage disputes through the ICOM-WIPO

* A proportion of your Membership Fee goes to subsidise the cost of ICOM membership for museum professionals in developing nations.


The ICOM Card

As an ICOM member, you will receive an ICOM membership card which gives you free access to many museums and exhibitions all over the world.  The ICOM card is one of the most widely-recognised membership programmes for museums in the world and is accepted at thousands of venues.  If you visit museums regularly, the ICOM Card will quickly save you the cost of your membership fee.

Acceptance of the ICOM card is discretionary.  If you plan to visit a specific museum or exhibition in the UK or abroad (especially popular museums and blockbuster exhibitions), we always recommend you contact the museum ahead of your visit to check if the ICOM card is accepted and if there is a booking procedure.  This is especially important during the current COVID-19 pandemic and as museums in the UK and around the world begin to reopen.  Capacity will be limited for museum and exhibition entry for a period of time.


Individual Membership (Voting)

Regular: £89

Retired: £45

Regular Individual membership is open to working museums professionals and consultants providing services, knowledge and expertise to museums as their main professional activity.

Retired Individual membership is open to individuals who have retired from professional museum work (in an institution or as a consultant), are no longer working in a paid capacity and do not intend to return to paid work.

Active museum volunteers may join depending on their CV and a letter of recommendation from the museum(s) at which they volunteer.

Institutional Membership (Voting)

Institution I (3 x cards) < £30,000 operating budget: £299

Institution II (4 x cards) £30,000 – £100,000 operating budget: £399

Institution III (5 x cards) £100,000 – £1,000,000 operating budget: £599

Institution IV (6 x cards) £1 – £5 million operating budget: £699

Institution V (7 x cards) £5 – £10 million operating budget: £799

Institution VI (8 x cards)  > £10 million operating budget: £999

Institutional membership is open to museums and institutions in the UK and British Overseas Territories that comply with the definition of a museum as defined in Article 2.1 of ICOM’s Internal Rules

It is a great way for your museum to invest in your staff, to benefit from international collaboration and to show your support for the wider museum sector.

Student Membership (non-voting)

Student: £40

Student membership is open to undergraduate, master and PhD students enrolled in a museum-related academic programme – museology, museum studies, museum education, museum management, conservation, art history, or equivalent museum-related subject course.

Supporting Membership (non-voting)

Individual: £339

Institutional (8 x cards): £2,400

Supporting membership is open to individuals and organisations providing substantial assistance to ICOM both financially and otherwise, due to an interest in museums and the international co-operation between museums.

Examples of supporting members include museum trustees and museum board members/board of directors, legal professionals representing museums, media (book and magazine publishers), architects and designers (and companies) providing services to museums but not as their main activity.

Who is not eligible to join?

  • Retired museum volunteers.
  • Recent graduates who are not yet employed and museum professionals between jobs.  Unfortunately, ICOM does not have a membership category for unemployed professionals.
  • Any organisations or individuals participating directly or indirectly in dealing (buying or selling for profit, including commercial galleries) in art, cultural artefacts, natural or cultural heritage.

In addition:

  • Institutions joining ICOM UK receive multiple membership cards that can be used by staff travelling abroad, as well as access to an international museum community where potential partnerships and programmes can be developed.
  • ICOM UK is a conduit for conversations and action on international issues such as material cultural heritage at risk in zones of conflict, intangible cultural heritage, professional development and ethical standards to guide practice in a changing world.
  • Priority booking and discounted tickets for the annual Working Internationally Conference, the only UK museums conference with a dedicated international focus.
  • Regular ICOM UK news bringing you the latest news and opportunities for working internationally.
  • Networking opportunities with other UK museum professionals interested in working internationally.