Museums interested in applying for Accreditation should first complete the eligibility questionnaire. We will then assess your organisation's eligibility for the scheme, and will let you know our decision within four weeks.

To be Accredited, museums must:

  • meet the Museums Association's 1998 definition of a museum ('Museums enable people to explore collections for inspiration, learning and enjoyment. They are institutions that collect, safeguard and make accessible artefacts and specimens, which they hold in trust for society')
  • hold a long-term collection of artefacts
  • have a formal constitution
  • provide two years of relevant accounts
  • make sure that they meet all the relevant legal, ethical, safety, equality, environmental and planning requirements
  • be committed to forward planning to improve the service for users

If confirmed eligible, applicants should then apply via 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.

Applicants can use the Word version of the form as a support document in the planning stages of their online application. You can then cut and paste text from the Word document directly to the online application form.

Applicants unable to access the online application form can download the Word form to submit a written application. Any applicants considering submitting a written application should consult with an Accreditation advisor before completing the form.

Should you have any queries, you can email: or contact our Enquiries team on 0845 300 6200.

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:

Useful documents

Documents to support your application for Accreditation:

Accreditation Standard (English)

Y Safon Achredu (Cymraeg)

Eligibility questionnaire

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