The committee exists in order to ensure the widest possible access to the Gallery by the public. 'Access' is defined by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in its 1999 document 'Museums for the Many'. It states that museums and galleries should 'strive to offer the widest possible access to their collections and to the knowledge and expertise of their staff'. This encompasses the removal of barriers to access, defined in 6 categories - physical, sensory, intellectual, cultural, attitudinal and financial.
The specific responsibilities of the committee are:
-To improve access to all aspects National Portrait Gallery's services and ensure it meets legal requirements and regulations
-To work to establish models of good practice and achieve highest possible standards
-To achieve an effective cross-organisational approach where consideration for access is the responsibility of every department.
-To review existing access provision at the National Portrait Gallery
-To formulate an Access policy, this will set procedures, standards of practice and refer to guidelines to be endorsed by all departments
-To formulate an action plan based on policy priorities and oversee its implementation
This committee consists of representatives from each department: the Director, Head of Visitor Services, Marketing Manager, National Programmes Manager, Exhibitions Manager, Curator(s), Retail Manager, Librarian, Learning Manager, Head of Design, Facilities Manager, IT Gallery Co-ordinator, Head of Learning, Picture Library, Development Manger, Management Accountant, Learning and Access Manager, Access and Outreach Assistant. Other members of staff attend on an occasional basis to present their exhibition proposals or present the results of relevant reports e.g. evaluation. Members are collectively responsible for any decisions taken.
This series after 2001 contains minutes only.