In this section you will find a number of frequently asked questions about the Arts Council England museum Accreditation scheme

I’m new to Accreditation what should I do?

Museums interested in applying for Accreditation should contact their local Museum Development Officer. Your MDO can explain the process of Accreditation and what is involved, you can find the contact details for your local MDO here.

You should then read the eligibility guidance Arts Council England website and complete the eligibility questionnaire. They will then assess your organisations eligibility for the scheme and will let you know the outcome with four weeks.

I have a question about timescales and deadlines for submitting a return

Museums participating in the Accreditation Scheme are periodically invited to provide evidence that they continue to comply with the Accreditation Standard through a returns process.

If you are not sure about when your museum is scheduled to submit its Accreditation return you can find out by checking the accreditation return schedule on the Arts Council England website.

If there is an issue with meeting the deadline of your Accreditation Return and you wish to have your application return deferred this must be agreed with Arts Council England. There are only a limited number of circumstances for which a deferral will be agreed for instance restructuring, staff turnover, changes to governance are all acceptable reasons for asking for a deferral.

A deferral can be granted for a maximum of two tranches in the returns schedule, this is the equivalent of four months.

I am unclear about a question and what is being asked by the Accreditation return application form.

There are a significant number of support materials including detailed guidance, templates and resources to support you in your application. These resources and guidance documents have been developed by the museum sector for the sector so please consider these before seeking further support.

If you continue to have difficulties please complete the Accreditation contact form with your questions and we will provide you with further advice and support in preparing your Accreditation Return.

I have a question about policy documents that need to be submitted with the Accreditation return

There are a range documents that museums are required to submit with the Accreditation return. If a document will not be finalised or formally adopted before your museum’s return deadline, you should submit it in draft form and note this on your application providing an estimated date when your museum will be able to submit finalised copies.

If you have already submitted draft versions, you can send the finalised versions to [email protected]

If you are unsure whether a policy document you are submitting meets the requirements of Accreditation then you should read the guidance documents available on the ACE website and resources on the Museums Association and Collections Link websites.

If you have consulted these resources and are still unsure then you can contact your local MDO or speak to your Museum Mentor.

If you continue to have difficulties please complete the Accreditation contact form with your questions and where we will provide advice, although we cannot provide support to review policy documents.

I am having problems with the process of submitting and Accreditation return

If you are having technical problems with submitting your Accreditation return online application form you should contact the Arts Council England customer services team.

Our museum has submitted its Accreditation return when can we expect a decision?

Arts Council England introduced a new assessment process in February 2014 to improve the timescale for dealing with Accreditation returns, typically museums can expect to a decision within five months.

In most circumstances a preliminary assessment will be made by an assessor within one month of submission. The assessor will then contact the museum by email to advise of any additional documentation and information requests that are required which a museum will then have an opportunity to submit prior to the Accreditation return going to the decision panel.

I have a question about Museum Mentors

If you have a question regarding Museum Mentors, either that you need a Mentor or want to discuss the current Mentor provision please contact us via the Accreditation enquiry form.