GEM’s Intermediate Courses

Are you finding the training you need to sharpen and broaden your skills as a heritage learning professional? GEM has developed a series of intermediate courses, aimed at supporting the professional development of mid-career heritage professionals.

These courses address core competencies identified by GEM, and help to raise professional standards in the sector.

Each course begins about one week before a workshop with a training needs analysis, some reading and a few short activities to be completed prior to the workshop. The workshops include time for reflection, networking and the building of a peer support group. After the workshops there are follow-up activities and support that help to reinforce and embed your learning. On satisfactory completion of each course, participants are awarded a certificate.

What can you expect to take away from these courses?   


Upcoming Course – Heritage Interpretation
10 June 2020

Freeman Tilden, the “father of interpretation” believed that interpretation is an art, but one which can be taught. We will share the skills of this “art” and explore Tilden’s other principles of interpretation through hands-on learning. You will discover the background and context for interpretive theory and be supported to put it into practice in a meaningful way.

“It’s been really helpful to have a framework to work within and to gain a better understanding of the principles that lie behind good interpretation” – Past participant

Hear from our course director, Sarah Oswald, on what the course is about, what you will learn and who should attend:


Heritage Interpretation was developed in 2017 by Sarah Oswald (the Authentic Spark) in a partnership between GEM and AHI. The course brings together heritage learning and interpretation professionals to share practice, ideas and approaches, and work through the challenges we mutually face. GEM and AHI continue to work together to develop CPD for the heritage sector that supports the multi-faceted roles and skillsets growing in the workforce. If there is anything you would like to see this partnership working on, contact or

Who is it for?
This course is aimed at professionals with responsibility for planning, delivering or managing learning programmes or interpretation across the heritage sector. It is flexible to the individual needs of the participant, supporting those already involved in interpretation and looking for ways to improve or build upon their practice, and providing essential skills and knowledge for those new to the field.

Who runs the course?
The course director is Sarah Oswald. Sarah is a creative coach with over 20 years’ experience in heritage interpretation, which she shares as the course director for Heritage Interpretation. She has worked in consultancy, on projects large and small, and in community heritage and loves to use that experience to help coach, mentor and train others in the sector.

When & where is it?
The course will combine a one-day workshop with personal work and ongoing peer discussion to give you the most beneficial learning experience possible. The one-day workshop will be a mix of discussion and sharing of perspectives/experiences, practical working in pairs and small groups and some presentation of theory by the course director. It will also facilitate the building of a peer group to support you through the follow-up activity.

This course will take place in Edinburgh on 10 June 2020.

Course fee?
It is £125 for GEM and AHI members and £160 for non-members, which includes tuition, course materials, lunch and refreshments during the workshop.

How to apply?
To apply for this course, please download a Heritage Interpretation 2020 booking form, fill it in and email it to or send it to GEM, The Joiners Shop, The Historic Dockyard, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4TZ

Got a question?
To find out more, please download the course brochure.

We will be running future courses, so please Join GEM to receive the latest updates! 

This course was developed in 2017 in partnership with the Association for Heritage Interpretation with thanks to Arts Council England funding. 

Join GEM