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Museum Accreditation advice

Covid-19 Update to Accreditation: In order to support the sector during these unprecedented times, Arts Council England announced that all Accredited museums in the UK will have their current award status extended for an additional 12 months. You can find more information about the extension on Arts Council's Accreditation pages. You can also find a helpful page with frequently asked questions here.

Upcoming Event: Getting started with Accreditation

Tuesday 29 March 2022, 10.30 am – 12.30 pm
Online (Zoom)

Are you or your organisation new to Accreditation? If your museum is Working Towards Accreditation and getting ready to put in your first application; thinking about submitting an Eligibility Questionnaire; or if you personally are new to Accreditation then come and join us for this introductory session to get you started.

Presented by Yvette Shepherd (MDO Organisational Health) and Helen O’Hara (MDO central & east London) of Museum Development London, with Arts Council England Relationship Managers (Accreditation) Ruth Burwood and Laura Sears.

What we’ll be covering:

  • Overview of the Accreditation Standard and the documents you’ll need to draft to submit an application
  • Introduction to the online Grantium system
  • Top tips for making a successful application from ACE Relationship Managers (Accreditation) Ruth Burwood and Laura Sears
  • Q&A session

Download a full course outline (257kb, opens in new tab) for more details. Use our online booking form to secure your place.

Support and Resources

Museum Development Officer teams (MDOs) across England 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 online, over the phone, or through site visits. The following MDO's 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.

Applying for Museum Accreditation

Arts Council England administer 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).

Accreditation resources

A number of resources are available to assist museums through the accreditation process.

Forward planning good practice case studies, researched and written by Alex Dawson for the Collections Trust, are available on the Collections Trust website (external link). The forward planning case studies 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).

The Association of Independent Museums (external link) produce a number of best practice guidance documents and toolkits including the AIM Hallmarks of Prospering Museums' toolkit (external link).

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.