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CAP is a multiple-step process requiring close collaboration of the assessment team, consisting of the intitution's paid and/or volunteer staff, a collections assessor, and a building assessor.

The CAP program has eight main steps:

1. Application

Applications are available through an online application portal during the announced application period.

Institutions selected to receive CAP support will be notified of their acceptance beginning approximately three months after the application deadline.

2. Assessor Selection

Participating institutions are provided with a list of over 150 approved assessors. Most sites will have two assessors – one who specializes in collections conservation and one who focuses on building preservation. The two assessors will work closely together throughout the process.

3. Contract

After selecting assessors, institutions will complete a contract directly with each.

4. Site Questionnaire

The institution will complete a questionnaire that asks additional questions about the organization, collections, building(s), building systems, and policies and procedures. This information, along with the original application, will be shared with assessors to help them prepare for the assessment.

5. Pre-Visit Phone Call

After reviewing the Site Questionnaire, the assessors will hold a conference call with the institution. The goal of the call is to introduce members of the project team to one another and allow assessors to ask additional questions that will help them make the most of their time on site.

6. Site Visit

The site visit lasts two days and involves interviews with staff and a review of all facilities that house collections.

7. CAP Report

The assessors will then write and submit a report containing prioritized recommendations for improved collections care at the site.

8. Follow-Up

Museum staff should then begin implementing the report’s recommendations. Approximately twelve months after the initial site visit, the institution will have the opportunity to consult with the assessors once again to report on progress, request further advice, and address any challenges that may have arisen.