COVID 19

Please read our updates and practical guidance on Coronavirus (COVID-19) for South West museums.

We support museums in the South West to gain and maintain Accreditation.

The museum Accreditation scheme sets out the industry standard which enables museums to review and build upon:

  • How you are running your museum
  • How you manage your collections
  • How you engage with users

Due to the impact of Covid 19, Arts Council England has suspended the assessment of all new Accreditation applications and existing returns until April 2021. They will not be sending out invitations to submit a return during this period either.

Arts Council have published an FAQs document specifically about Accreditation during COVID-19.

This suspension of activity is to take the pressure off museums during a time of great uncertainty and recognises the fact that museums’ Forward/ Business Plans and accompanying budgets as submitted will not reflect the actual situation at the point of assessment.

To take account of this postponement, all Accredited museums in the UK will have their current Accreditation award status (full or provisional) extended for an additional 12 months.  The requirement for a museum to be open to be Accredited has been waived.  Accredited museums will remain eligible to apply for grants where being Accredited is a condition of funding.

Arts Council has published a comprehensive briefing on how these decisions will affect museums in the form of FAQs on their website https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/covid-19/our-open-funding-programmes#section-6

Arts Council England is still accepting Eligibility Questionnaires from unaccredited museums that are interested in joining the scheme https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/supporting-arts-museums-and-libraries/uk-museum-accreditation-scheme

How can we help?

Arts Council and South West Museum Development will be writing to all museums that are affected in the short term.

We can provide advice and support with your queries about the current arrangements and the Accreditation standard itself.

Please contact us using the Accreditation drop down and the best person to answer your question will be in touch.

We have dedicated local area Museum Development Officers to provide advice and connect you to wider networks. Vicky Dawson is our Technical Accreditation Adviser dedicated to supporting museums with Accreditation.

Accreditation resources

Accreditation: Arts Council England’s guidance

The attached is Arts Council England's guidance for their Accreditation Scheme, which sets nationally agreed standards for museums in the UK

Accreditation: Our top tips

Find out our top 10 tips to make the Accreditation Standard work for you