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Reviewing the Museum Accreditation scheme and how it will affect your museum

Posted on 12 January 2017

During 2017, the Arts Council and our UK Accreditation Partners will be undertaking a light-touch review of certain aspects of the Museum Accreditation scheme.

A family looking at a colourful museum exhibition.
Enginuity Museum in Telford. Photo © Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust.

There are more than 1,300 Accredited museums in England. These museums are extraordinarily diverse - ranging from the British Museum in central London to remote rural sites run by dedicated volunteers. Each museum has demonstrated how it meets the UK agreed standard for museums.

The scheme, which grew from the sector itself, helps museums secure long-term public access to collections. It promotes shared standards in how museums are run, how they manage their collections and the experiences of users.

It’s certainly had a huge impact since its launch almost 30 years ago. Scott Furlong, Director, Collections and Cultural Property

A lady looking at an installation of coloured lights suspended vertically from wires.
Digital Journeys at The Steam Museum. Photo © Create Studios

Reviewing the scheme

During 2017, the Arts Council and our UK Accreditation Partners: The Welsh Government, through Museums, Archives and Libraries Division (MALD); Museums Galleries Scotland and Northern Ireland Museums Council will be undertaking a light-touch review of certain aspects of the Museum Accreditation scheme.

"While the scheme remains vital and valued, there are certain aspects that would benefit from review," said Scott Furlong, Director, Collections and Cultural Property. 

"This will ensure that Accreditation continues to contribute effectively to the health and development of museums and we’ll be able to celebrate its 30th birthday in 2018, with a newly refreshed scheme."

To allow us to focus on the review, there will be a revision of the Accreditation submission schedule in England for 2017. This includes prioritising:

  • new applications
  • responses to museums experiencing significant change
  • provisional Accreditation reviews
  • those which have already applied and those which have already been invited to apply.

Museums in England due to be invited to renew Accreditation in 2017 will remain part of the scheme for an additional 12 months, and will not be invited to resubmit until 2018. Those museums directly affected will be contacted individually. 

This will not affect any museums planning to apply to Arts Council England as a National Portfolio Organisation. 

Find out more 

Read about becoming an Accredited museum

Follow the Arts Council on Twitter for more museums news. 

A girl looking an exhibition of historic artefacts
 Pitt Rivers Museum. Photo © University of Oxford