Accreditation scheme

The Accreditation Scheme is the UK industry standard for museums and galleries. It helps everyone involved with a museum to do the right things, helping people to access and engage with collections, and protect them for future generations. 

The Accreditation Scheme does this by encouraging all museums and galleries to meet an agreed standard in: 

  • How they’re run 
  • How they manage their collections 
  • How they engage with their users 

Thinking about applying? 

Get in touch with your MDO or talk to the SHARE accreditation advisor for a chat.

The first stage is to check if your organisation meets the criteria.  If it does, you will need to complete an Eligibility Questionnaire and send it to the Arts Council for assessment.  They aim to give you a decision within 6 weeks. 

If this is successful, you will be officially Working Towards Accreditation, and will have three years to submit your full application. Your MDO and SHARE can support you, and you may want to explore the option of having an accreditation mentor. Many museums will need one, especially if you do not have professional museum expertise on site. 

Benefits of being an Accredited museum include

  • It shows a museum is run in a professional way, making it easier to get funding and increase confidence to lenders and donors. Some funding schemes only support museums in the accreditation scheme. 
  • It gives confidence to the museum team that they are working to an industry-wide standard with a well governed museum 
  • It provides structure and ways of working – formalising plans and procedures, providing a unified template 
  • It allows the museum and its stakeholders to show how their museum meets visitor and user needs 
  • It helps museums manage collections fairly, ethically and legally 

More information about the scheme can be found on the Arts Council England website.

You can find supporting documents to help you with Accreditation under the individual resources pages on this website – Audiences, Collections and Organisational Health.

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