Research Centre for Museums and Galleries (RCMG)

Evidencing the impact of the generic learning outcomes

In 2013, Jo Graham of Learning Unlimited was commissioned by RCMG to uncover quantitative and qualitative evidence of the awareness, use and impact of the Generic Learning Outcomes on the museum sector in the UK.


This study focuses on the period 2008-12 and, where relevant, projects into 2013. Within this period, significant changes have taken place in the funding and policy landscape for museums in England. In 2011, MLA was disbanded and its remit passed over to Arts Council England (ACE). Inspiring Learning For All (ILFA) and the GLOs are one of the frameworks referenced by ACE in its Self-evaluation framework (launched in 2010), which fufils many of the strategic and organisational change functions of ILFA.

Aims and objectives

The focus of this study was the following:

What has been the reach of the GLOs? The study has looked for evidence of the extent and diversity of organisations both in relation to awareness and use of the GLO

What has been the significance of the GLOs? The study has looked for evidence of ways in which the GLOs have influenced, informed or changed policies, practice or understanding within the range of organisations

Key findings

The GLOs were the first attempt by the museum sector to develop a framework for capturing the impact of museum learning on individuals. Although MLA originally intended the GLOs to be used as part of the overall continuing improvement and strategic framework of Inspiring Learning for All (ILFA), this study indicates that the language they provide to describe learning experiences in the sector, and their practical application, has meant continued high levels of both awareness and use across the sector.

The GLOs have gone on to be used in the sector in ways that were not anticipated as part of their original development, such as in the formulation of organisational strategy, planning and policy, which suggests they have value because of their adaptability for the museum sector.

This reports suggests that the awareness of the GLOs has remained high, Renaissance-funded museums’ diverse use of the GLOs has continued and that for those museums who actively use the GLOs, they have a significant impact on developing thinking about learning, planning learning experiences and measuring the learning impact.


Evidencing the impact of the GLOs 2008-2013 (Report, 2013) (PDF, 309KB)

Back to top