Museums participating in the Accreditation Scheme are periodically invited to provide evidence that they continue to comply with the Accreditation Standard through a returns process.

After a detailed review of the implementation of the revised Accreditation Standard and consideration of feedback received, changes are being implemented to the Accreditation return programme from August 2013. These changes are designed to ensure the continued delivery of a robust assessment process and to reduce the workload museums have reported when preparing an Accreditation return.

The revised returns cycle includes:

  • a reduction in the frequency with which museums are invited to complete an Accreditation return
  • an extension of the Accreditation award to cover three, rather than two, years

The dates that museums can expect to receive an invitation to provide a return, along with a deadline, have been published below. We have reflected the current cycle and the subsequent cycle to support museum's planning activities.

There are five documents:

Should you wish to discuss your current position in the returns cycle, please contact your assessing organisation.

Guidance documents to support you in your return can be found on the Guidance documents page.

Submitting your return

Returns should be undertaken through an online application system hosted by the Arts Council. More information on this can be found in our step-by-step guide to accessing the system.

The Word version of the returns form is available as a resource to support the preparation of your online return. You can cut and paste text from the word document directly to the online application form.

If you are unable to access the online return form and would like to discuss providing your return in a different format, please contact your relevant assessing organisation.

Should you wish to provide an application or return in the Welsh language, please contact the Museums, Archives and Libraries Division of the Welsh Government.


Museums with a 'Nationally-styled' name

The Accreditation Partners are currently reviewing the characteristics and criteria for nationally-styled museums. These are museums which are not National Museums: they were not established by national legislation and are not significantly funded directly by central or devolved Government however they are marketed with a national name. Examples include the National Football Museum and the Scottish Fisheries Museum. Accreditation characteristics and criteria for such museums are enhanced as a nationally-styled name leads to a public expectation in terms of facilities and scope and scale of the collection.

Between August and December 2015 we will not accept new applications for Accreditation from nationally-styled museums which are either brand new applicants to the Scheme or are already within Accreditation but where a name change is proposed making them newly nationally-styled.

The revised characteristics and criteria will be published in January 2016.

If you have any queries please contact: