Policy on Confidentiality of Evaluation Information 

There are four places where information gained from a peer reviewer’s evaluation may be stored. Each of these areas contains different amounts of information and therefore has different levels of confidentiality and security.

Peer Reviewer’s individual file contains:

  • the raw, original evaluations
  • an envelope containing any confidentially received evaluation information
  • any correspondence resulting from the evaluation or any follow-up actions

Access database contains:

  • The details of the evaluations in aggregate and any comments and notes from the evaluation relevant to future searches and uses:
    • Information gained confidentially through the evaluation process is never included in the database records.

 iMIS association management system contains:

  • The overall ratings of the report, visit, and general comments from the evaluation

Sealed file in Human Resources office contains:

  • Any allegations or information related to any potential liability or legal implications arising from the peer reviewer’s actions in conducting their peer review duties.

Individual Peer Reviewer File

The following parties, and only these parties, are allowed access to the individual paper files of individual peer reviewers:

  1. Peer Reviewer Manager
  2. MAP and Accreditation program staff
  3. Director, Museum Advancement & Excellence
  4. Individual peer reviewer:
    1. Only their own file

    1. Not including the confidential envelope

    1. Access gained through a request to the Peer Reviewer Manager, or in her absence the MAP or Accreditation Assistant Director. Before providing the reviewer with their file, the confidential envelope is removed, to be kept safe and replaced upon return of the file.

Databases (Access & iMIS)

The following parties, and only these parties, are allowed access to the information regarding a peer

reviewer’s performance that can be found in the Access database and iMIS.

  1. Peer Reviewer Manager
  2. MAP and Accreditation program staff
  3. Director, Museum Advancement & Excellence
  4. Individual peer reviewer

Mediated access options include:

  1. Other AAM staff can request a query of peer reviewers that utilizes the evaluation information from the Peer Reviewer Manager or in her absence the MAP or Accreditation Assistant Director, for internal uses including but not limited to identifying authors, presenters, committee members, and other advisory bodies.

    1. Additional, specific information on any individuals identified through that process will not be provided.

    1. Queries can be denied if the results would threaten the confidential nature of the visits conducted (e.g., reveal directly or through inference the specific institution visited by a specific individual).

    1. The information gained from such queries can only be used in meeting the direct operational needs of the American Association of Museums and not its affiliates, associated groups or individuals, or subgroups (SPCs or PICs).
  1. Any information that describes the general nature and/or performance of peer reviewers that does not connect to any individual can be provided upon request without limitation. It is at the discretion of the Peer Reviewer Manager whether a particular request will bear results that are sufficiently anonymous to be granted. Information in the aggregate may be printed in publications and may be used to meet media requests that follow appropriate AAM channels.

Sealed Human Resources File

The following parties, and only these parties, are allowed free access to the information regarding a peer reviewer’s performance that can be found in a sealed individual file in the offices of Human Resources.

  1. Human Resources staff
  2. Director, Museum Advancement & Excellence

If a museum makes an allegation  (whether through formal evaluation channels or not), that one or more peer reviewers have taken actions that may place the American Association of Museums at risk for

legal liability, a record is made of the communication and placed in a file for the reviewer(s) involved. (This may include, for example, allegations of theft, assault, fraud, sexual harassment, etc.) The file will be kept in a secure place in the Human Relations office. No reference to the file or its contents will be made in any other location.

The file remains sealed unless the following occurs:

  1. If an allegation is made against a reviewer that involves potential legal liability, the person receiving the communication records it and presents it to the Director, Museum Advancement & Excellence.

  2. The Director, Museum Advancement & Excellence asks the Human Resources staff person to check the secured files to see if there already exists a file for the individual in question.
  1. If yes, the Director, Museum Advancement & Excellence retrieves the file from, the Human Resources staff person and reviews the previous incident to determine if it has any relevance to the current issue.
  1. Any relevant information will be considered in combination with the current concern in determining the appropriate course of action.

  2. A record of the current issue will be added to the folder, which is then re-sealed and returned to the Human Resources person.

  3. If no file exists for the person in question, a file will be established containing a copy of the current allegation.