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Who we are and what we do

Roles and responsibilities

Background

The Royal Air Force has shaped our nation and our society.  It has influenced how we live our lives today through its impact on world events, society and technology.

The Royal Air Force (RAF) Museum was established as a legacy of the RAF’s fiftieth anniversary, opening on the London (Hendon) site in 1972. From 1979, the Museum also managed the Cosford Aerospace Museum for the MOD (which had also been in operation since 1972). This was renamed the RAF Museum Cosford in 1998 when it formally became part of the Museum portfolio.

It is a National Museum, a Government non-departmental public body (NDPB) and a registered charity.

Charitable Objects

The Royal Air Force Museum is a charity registered with the Charity Commission (No: 244708). The governing document of the body is a Trust Deed dated 4 June 2007.

The object of the charity is to educate and inform the public and members of the Royal Air Force about:

  • The history and traditions of the Royal Air Force and
  • The role of the Royal Air Force in relation to the armed forces of the realm, other air forces and aviation generally in particular, but not exclusively, by collecting, conserving, preserving, managing, exhibiting and storing documents, items, artefacts and other materials in its collections.

Our Vision

The vision of the Royal Air Force Museum is to ensure that the Royal Air Force’s story endures and enriches future generations. 
The RAF Museum will be a world-leading visitor destination that engages, inspires and connects everyone with the RAF story through exploration of its people and its collections.

Our Purpose

  • The purpose of the Museum is to tell the story of the Royal Air Force through its people and collections. 
  • For our nation, we help people to understand the impact of the RAF on the world. 
  • For our visitors, we make our collections and the RAF story relevant and stimulating.
  • For current and former RAF personnel and their families, we preserve, honour and share the stories of their service.  

Three strategic priorities shape our direction and activities in 2015-2020:

  • Interpret the RAF Story
  • Focus the Collection
  • Invest in the RAF Museum. 

Our Values

The values that guide the RAF Museum’s planning and behaviour are:

INtegrity: we are open, transparent and ethical
Sharing: we work as a team to ensure our collections and expertise are accessible to all
Passion: we care deeply about sharing our collections and their stories 
Innovation: we tell our stories and develop our business with creativity and imagination 
Relevance: we ensure our legacy by linking our histories with today and tomorrow 
Excellence: we are professional and strive to ensure excellence in all that we do

Governance

The Trustees are responsible for the management of the Trust and the stewardship and care of the collections. They have established a number of sub-committees for specific purposes and for the efficient method of conducting business. These sub-committees are:

  • Audit and Risk
  • Finance
  • Centenary Developmen
  • Staffing and Remuneration

The Chief Executive Officer, as Accounting Officer, is responsible to the Trustees for the effective management of the Museum via the Senior LeadershipTeam.

The Museum has two sites that are open to the public, in North London and Cosford in Shropshire These sites are open daily from 10.00am, except 24 to 26 December and 1 January. 

The Museum also has a Reserve Collection store at Stafford. It is not normally open to the public, but research visits can be made by appointment.

Organisational Structure

Organisational Chart  

Contact details

Media contacts are given in the media vault.
For general enquiries, contact details can be found via this link.
Historical research enquiries can be made via our reading room
Requests for information about the Museum and its work can be made via foi@rafmuseum.org or by letter to:

Freedom of Information
Royal Air Force Museum London
Grahame Park Way
London
NW9 5LL

Subsidiary Bodies

Royal Air Force Museum Enterprises Limited (Company No. 1511481) is the trading subsidiary of the Museum and its principal business is the conduct of trading operations in London and at Cosford in relation to retail sales, conference and corporate hire. The accounts of the trading company are published here

Royal Air Force Museum Investments Ltd (Company No. 4026995) holds the legal title of the property interests of the Royal Air Force Museum. The company does not trade.

Details of both companies are submitted to Companies House
The Royal Air Force Museum American Foundation (website here) engages in fundraising to support key projects that assist the RAF Museum.

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