Museum Accreditation advice
Important: Following the outbreak of COVID-19, Arts Council England paused the Accreditation scheme between April 2020 and October 2021. It is now taking a phased approach to re-opening the scheme in England. Get the detail and answers to Frequently Asked Questions about this phased re-opening here.
Applying for Museum Accreditation
Arts Council England administers the Museum Accreditation scheme (external link). Guidance documents on the scheme and information on eligibility and how to apply are on the Arts Council England website (external link).
Museum Development Officer teams (MDOs) across the UK provide advice on museum accreditation in their region. In London, the Museum Development Officers provide this support as part of their general advice-giving role and currently can do this through online meetings, over the phone, or through site visits. The following MDOs can offer localised guidance on the accreditation process:
Yvette Shepherd - Museum Development Officer, Organisational Health
Yvette provides general support and advice for museums in the following boroughs in south and west London: Harrow, Brent, Hammersmith and Fulham, Ealing, Hounslow, Hillingdon, Richmond upon Thames, Kingston upon Thames, Merton, Sutton, Croydon, Bromley, Lewisham, Greenwich and Bexley.
Helen O’Hara - Museum Development Officer, Central & East London
Helen provides general support and advice for museums in the following boroughs in central and east London: Camden, Islington, Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea, Wandsworth, Lambeth, Southwark, City of London, Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Newham, Barking and Dagenham, Redbridge and Havering.
Ben Travers - Regional Museum Development Manager
Ben provides general support and advice for museums in the following boroughs in north London: Barnet, Enfield, Haringey and Waltham Forest.
Contact details for the MDOs are available on the contact the team page.
A number of resources are available to assist museums through the accreditation process:
An 'Introduction to Accreditation' video (external link, opens in YouTube) with Heather Lomas, Accreditation Adviser, includes: what it entails, how to make the first steps, and what support is available, which is by Museum Development East Midlands.
This recorded webinar (external link, opens in YouTube), 'Accreditation: Getting started (and the technical bits)' is hosted by Jennie Pitceathly for Museum Development North West. It shows you how to get started with some technical tips about applying using the online Grantium system.
Forward planning good practice case studies, researched and written by Alex Dawson for the Collections Trust, as well as examples of policies and a template giving the required wording of a Collections Development Policy (external link), are available on the Collections Trust - Accreditation Resources website (external link). The forward planning case studies (external link) relate to Kirkleatham Museum (type 2 local authority museum with staff), and Thornbury and District Heritage Trust (type 1 independent museum with a volunteer workforce).
Museums at Risk
In working with museums, personal data will not be shared. However, organisational information may be shared with our main funder Arts Council England in relation to our role of maintaining a watching brief on Accredited museums undergoing circumstances of significant change, including risk of closure.
Arts Council England is the national development agency for museums and a key stakeholder in relation to museums and collections at risk. Arts Council England will not share this information more widely unless it is in the public domain or without the permission of your museum’s governing body.