The Museum Accreditation Scheme will undergo a review in 2017 to ensure accreditation can continue to contribute effectively to the health and development of museums and mark its 30th birthday in 2018 with a newly refreshed scheme.

The sector-led scheme, which launched in 1988, helps museums secure long-term public access to sustainable collections by promoting shared standards in how they are run, how they manage their collections and the experiences of user.

Accreditation Partners

  • Arts Council England (ACE)
  • The Welsh Government (MALD)
  • Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS)
  • Northern Ireland Museums Council (NIMC)

And other stakeholders:

  • Army Museums Ogilby Trust (AMOT)
  • Association of Independent Museums (AIM)
  • Collections Trust
  • English Heritage
  • Museums Association (MA)
  • National Trust
  • National Museum Directors’ Conference
  • University Museums Group

Scott Furlong, Director, Collections and Cultural Property, ACE said the UK Accreditation Scheme has had a huge impact since its launch almost 30 years ago.

“While the scheme remains vital and valued, as we reach the end of the first full cycle of the 2011 Accreditation Standard, there are certain aspects of Accreditation that would benefit from review,2 he said. “In 2017, we will undertake a light-touch review of the Accreditation Scheme, working closely with our UK Partners: The Welsh Government, through Museums, Archives and Libraries Division (MALD); Museums Galleries Scotland and Northern Ireland Museums Council together with colleagues from the museums sector.

To allow ACE 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 who have already applied

Museums in England due to reapply for Accreditation in 2017, will now remain part of the scheme for an additional 12 months. These museums will then reapply in 2018.

ACE say this will not affect any applications as a National Portfolio Organisation.

For more information follow this link: Accreditation Scheme.

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Museum Accreditation Facts

The total number of museums in the scheme  decreased between November 2015 and November 2016, from 1726 to 1721

The number of participating museums holding full Accreditation has decreased from 1576 museums (91.3% of participants) in November 2015 to 1561 museums (90.7% of participants) in November 2016

69.8% of museums whose Accreditation returns were considered by a panel between November 2015 and November 2016 received the award of Full Accreditation

As of November 2016 there are 946 independent museums within the Accreditation Scheme in the UK, of which 145 are managed by The National Trust and 9 by the National Trust Scotland. Independent charities (including National Trust and National Trust Scotland managed museums) make up the majority of museums within the Accreditation Scheme (55.0% of participating museums)

The second most frequent type of museum is Local Authority owned with 521 museums – approximately a third (30.3%) of participating museums.

There are 73 national museum venues within the Scheme, accounting for 4.2% of participating museums. All 11 museums within the Scheme from the Isle of Man are classified as national museums

The remaining museums in the Scheme are military, university or public heritage body owned