Museum Mentors are museum professionals who support smaller, independent museums in the United Kingdom in developing applications for Accreditation and subsequent Accreditation returns.

The development of a pool of advisers to provide smaller museums with access to professional curatorial support was one of the most successful and popular achievements of the Museum Registration Scheme. The advisory role has become far wider in scope since 1988, a change evident in the 2011 edition of the Accreditation Standard. Due to this broadened reach the term 'Curatorial Adviser' was changed to Museum Mentor.

To fulfil the requirements of Accreditation all museums must have access to appropriately qualified professional staff. This can be through employing these staff or through the Museum Mentor scheme (see Accreditation guidance for detail). Mentors work in partnership with museums and local museum support services to ensure the museum has access to the advice it needs. Without this support 31 per cent of all participating museums would be unable to retain the award.

The Mentor role may form part of a professional's job description, while for others it is a purely voluntary role.

How many Museum Mentors are there?

There are currently 282 Museum Mentors in England providing professional advice and support to 498 independent museums (as October 2012).

Find out more

Read our Museum Mentor FAQs for more information on the scheme.