Accreditation: The Refreshed Standard and More! Part 1 of 2

Roz Bonnet, 06.11.2018

This November marked the 30th anniversary of the Museum Accreditation Scheme by Arts Council England and in the lead up to this anniversary; Arts Council conducted a review of the scheme. The refreshed standard was launched at Coventry Transport Museum last week and can be found here.

Full guidance to support the application of the standard will be released in December, however we would like to advise that policies currently in date at the point of you museum’s Return will still be eligible. This includes your museum’s Collections Development Policy which needs to follow the 2014 template which can be found here: Collections Development Policy 2014 Template

If you would like to know when your next return is due, the returns schedule can be found here.

There will be a new portal to submit Accreditation applications and returns. This system will go live in spring 2019, with the exact date to be announced; we will update you when the system has gone live so you have a chance explore before you submit your return. A support document will be available by the end of 2018 of the basic questions asked to help you prepare for your return.

In brief, updates to the Accreditation Scheme include:

  • Changes to eligible constitutions for new applicants to the scheme. To find out if your museum is eligible check this handy guide on museum constitutional requirements.
  • For museums considering submitting an Expression of Interest to the scheme you will now be required to submit a copy of your museums constitution.
  • Museums achieving Working Towards Accreditation status have 3 years to make their full application.
  • Areas for Improvement will now be called Areas for Development.
  • Museum Mentors will now be called Accreditation Mentors.
  • Accreditation Mentors can now can sit on the governing board of the museum they mentor.
  • Accreditation Mentors now only require 3 years’ experience and a commitment to Continuous Professional Development.  No professional qualification is required to be an Accreditation Mentor.*

*Interested in becoming an Accreditation Mentor? Contact us at [email protected] for more information or complete an Expression of Interest Form.

Other information:

  • Guidance on nationally-styled museums will be released this December.
  • A new handbook for Accreditation Mentors will be launched in early 2019.

We will be issuing a second news item before Christmas to provide you with further updates, as well as letting you know when Arts Council will be coming to the region to talk to the sector about the new 2018 Standard.

In the meantime if you have any questions on how changes to the standard affect your museum, contact your local Museum Development Officer in the first instance or contact us at [email protected]


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