Our summary of the Arts Council England’s Museum Accreditation Scheme update from January 2021

Due to the closure of museums and the effects of government guidance, Arts Council England (ACE) and wider UK Accreditation Partners paused the Accreditation Scheme (with the exception of Eligibility) for museums from 1st April 2020 and awards were extended for 12 months. Arts Council has provided an update on how it intends to restart the scheme. We have provided a brief summary of the changes below.

Accreditation Scheme updates

  • Arts Council is instigating a phased approach to reopening, giving priority to first time applicants and those new to the Scheme.
  • The current Accreditation status of museums, galleries and heritage organisations within the Scheme will be extended for another 12 months until April 2022.
  • Museums with Accredited or Provisionally Accredited status are still able to apply for funding and access training which states Accreditation status as an eligibility criterion.
  • Due to the evolving situation, the Scheme is subject to change. Further information will be shared in March 2021.

Phased reopening

  • The scheme aims to partially reopen in April 2021.
  • Museums who are hoping to apply or are Working Towards Accreditation, will be able to apply from April 2021.
  • For museums awaiting the outcome of a return or an application already submitted, there will be the opportunity to review and update your application information before your Return goes to panel.
  • For museums with a Provisional review in progress, they will be invited to make updates and resubmit from April 2021.
  • ACE currently plans to publish an updated Returns schedule in Autumn 2021, with the first Returns under the new Returns cycle due in April 2022.

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