Developing Policies & Procedures

An IPM Plan should be guided by both policies and procedures. Policies are general statements of guiding principles,  they define the objective of the program – the “why”.  Procedures explain the “how”, giving concrete instructions on how the necessary tasks should be conducted.  When generated in a thoughtful and collaborative manner, policy documents should help ensure that all the institutional stakeholders buy in to the goals of your IPM plan and are knowledgeable on how to carry it out. A good IPM plan will involve most of the following elements:

  • Developing collection management practices that are consistent with city, state, and Federal health safety regulations.
  • Methods to foster good communication with other departments responsible for ensuring the success of an IPM Plan (e.g. Facilities Operations and Custodial Services).
  • Procedures to facilitate a swift and unified response to pest problems among departments with the understanding that the achievable goal is management; no policy will ever eradicate the pest problem.

Policy and Procedure Templates

The MP-WG developed a series of templates to assist institutions in formulating and writing an IPM policy document and some of the specific procedures needed for implementation .  The templates contain suggested headers and topics to guide you in writing a policy and procedures tailored to your institution and situation. Some examples of additional resources written by individual institutions are also given here for reference. For definitions explaining the difference between policy and procedure documents please reference the IPM Glossary.

Examples of Policy Documents

The following documents have been provided by various members of the museum community and vetted by the IPM Working Group. They are provided here as examples of best practices. Please remember that these have been created for specific institutions and are provided here only for reference as you create policy statements for your institution. Contact the appropriate institution for clarification or permission to adapt these documents as appropriate.

American Museum of Natural History, Division of Paleontology Pest Management Policy
This document outlines a series of general principles and long-term goals set forth by the Division of Paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History to help in the prevention and treatment of pest outbreaks. While titled a “policy”, this document is provided as an example of a procedures document that addresses the specific topics of packing materials, monitoring, reporting, environmental controls and housekeeping.

Canadian Museum of Nature Pest Management Policy
This document outlines the eleven main points of the pest management policy of the Canadian Museum of Nature. It is provided as an example of a policy document with a clear layout.

The General IPM Policy of the Baltimore Museum of Art
This document outlines the goals and objectives of the IPM program at the museum, procedures for implementing the program, parameters for prevention and handling active pest problems.

Historic New England Integrated Pest Management
Developed by Historic New England, this document defines IPM, contains information on specific pests, procedures for monitoring, building maintenance and environmental controls. Several infestation treatments are also described. This document is provided as an example of a combined procedures/ staff education document.

Natural History Museum London IPM Policy
This 2006 draft provides a three-page example of an IPM policy for a natural history museum. Main sections of the document include governance, goals and objectives, costs, and policy review.

University of Pennsylvania Museum IPM Policy
Beginning in 1981, the University of Pennsylvania Museum developed an aggressive Integrated Pest Management Policy for the museum building. Features of this program include good housekeeping, improvement of collections’ storage and exhibition methods, surveillance, and documentation. This policy provides an example of an extensive and clear policy for a collection holding institution, with a dedicated IPM manager that is part of a larger organization.

Examples of General Procedure Documents

For additional procedure documents visit the Sanitation and Exclusion pages on this site.

Smithsonian Institution, Integrated Pest Management Checklist
This document provides a checklist of considerations for IPM implementation.

The J Paul Getty Trust, Facilities
Getty Facilities, as part of the J. Paul Getty Trust, has an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach to minimize pest entry and protect human health and the environment, including the museum collections. To achieve this objective, the IPM protocol utilizes an understanding of identified pest behavior, habits and lifestyles, as well as physical barriers, (e.g. screens) and mechanical controls (e.g. traps) to monitor and minimize the presence of pests.

Minnesota History Center IPM Procedures
This document is well focused on the specifics of the collections and practical procedures. Recommended procedures are described in enough detail that staff unfamiliar with the problems of pest control will be able to follow directions. The responsibilities of individual staff members are clearly spelled out.

National Cultural History Museum, Pretoria IPM Procedures
This is a detailed procedural document that lists the wide range of issues that need to be addressed in a successful pest management program. General recommendations, their rationale, and specific tasks to be carried out are clearly separated. For optimal use of the document, tasks would have to be assigned to specific staff members.

U.S. Army Standard Operating Procedures for Integrated Pest Management
This 2006 version of a Standard Operating Procedure for Integrated Pest Management is an example from an institution with a dedicated conservation staff, an IPM specialist, and several physical buildings and off-site storage facilities. This 3-page document concentrates on roles & responsibilities and IPM strategy.

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