SCAM is a partnership: as a standing conference with representatives from the Museums Association, the Society of Archivists (SA), and the Association for Independent Museums (AIM), it meets to promote understanding and foster ways of working together among members of the three groups. The aim is to benefit the care of archives and their public use by giving practical advice, sharing problems common amongst museum curators and archivists, and publishing information useful to all who have archives in their care. Making contacts with those in the library profession who look after archives is the next step.
Recognising the special problems of looking after archives in a museum context, the main partners the Museums Association, the Society of Archivists and the Association for Independent Museums set up the standing conference in 1989. The Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, formerly the Museums and Galleries Commission and the Historical Manuscripts Commission, which merged with the Public Record Office in 2003 to form The National Archives (TNA), supported the establishment of the standing conference. Each professional body sends three representatives; The National Archives and the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council send observers, and further members are co-opted for their networking skills, special advice or expertise.
SCAM has no budget; members finance their expenses through their professional body, their employer, or from their own good will. It depends on the support of the Museums Association, the Society of Archivists, the Association for Independent Museums, The National Archives and the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council to promote the practical results of its work.