Accreditation

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**Accreditation Supplementary Guidance update 20/4/21**

Arts Council England (ACE) has published new supplementary guidance, the Readiness to Return prompt sheet, to support any museum preparing a new or returning submission to the Accreditation Scheme.

The Readiness to Return prompt sheet will help you identify where plans, policies or other documents may need updating in response to changes over the past 12 months and is intended to support both new and returning applicants. All potential applicants should read both this note and the Accreditation guidance before applying or submitting a return.

Read and download the Readiness to Return prompt sheet and the Accreditation guidance on the ACE website.

You can also find a message from Dr Sarah Posey, Chair of the UK Accreditation Committee, who encourages museums to use Accreditation as an active framework to support planning and recovery as the sector gets ready to reopen to the public again.

If you have any queries regarding the Accreditation Scheme’s phased reopening download the FAQ sheet.


**Accreditation Scheme and Covid-19 update 31/1/21**

Arts Council England (ACE) and its UK Accreditation partners, the Welsh Government, Museums Galleries Scotland and Northern Ireland Museums Council, wanted to update the sector and offer detail on what museums can expect over the next few months.  Read the full update here.

Due to the ongoing nature of the pandemic, and with a new national lockdown in place, they are not able to confirm a full reopening date for the Accreditation Scheme at this stage. In England, ACE will be phasing its approach to reopening the scheme, focusing initially on museums that are new to Accreditation and applying for the first time.

To support all Accredited museums in the UK, their current Accreditation award status is being further extended for an additional 12 months to 1 April 2022. Whether your museum holds a Full or Provisional award, it’s still Accredited, and you’re able to apply for funding which has Accreditation status as an eligibility criterion.

Eligibility remains open throughout the UK for museums, galleries and heritage organisations considering a new applications to the scheme.

In England, ACE is phasing the reopening of the scheme and will partially reopen by end of April 2021. Museums which are Working Towards Accreditation or hoping to put in a new application will be able to apply from April 2021.

If you’ve already applied and are awaiting an award outcome, ACE will give you the opportunity to update your information and review your application again. ACE will also give you longer to prepare by extending the target WTA period by a further 12 months automatically if you need it.

If you have a provisional review in progress, you’ll be able to review this, make any updates, and resubmit from April 2021 onwards.

For more information  please see the detailed FAQs (which will be regularly updated as the situation develops) which you can download here.


The Accreditation Scheme sets out nationally-agreed standards, which inspire the confidence of the public and funding and governing bodies.

It helps everyone involved with a museum to do the right things, helping people to access and engage with collections, and protect them for future generations.

The Accreditation Scheme does this by making sure museums manage their collections properly, engage with visitors, and are governed appropriately by encouraging all museums and galleries to meet an agreed standard in:

  • how they’re run
  • how they manage their collections
  • how they engage with their users

The scheme is managed as a UK Partnership between Arts Council England, the Welsh Government, Museums Galleries Scotland and Northern Ireland Museums Council.  It is run for museums and galleries of all sizes and types across the UK.

New to Accreditation?  Find out more here.

Already Accredited?  Here’s an Accreditation checklist:

Find out when your museum is due to make an Accreditation return:

  • The updated Accreditation returns schedule is available to download here

Familiarise yourself with the requirements:

  • The 2018 Standard and guidance is available from the ACE website here

Get advice and support:

  • For regular Accreditation news, keep in touch with us, the West Midlands Museum Development team.  Contact us by email or call 01952 435900.  Encourage your colleagues to sign up to our mailing list via our website to find out about any Accreditation updates.

Do your homework:

  • Address any recommendations resulting from your previous return

Create an account:

  • You will apply online using Grantium.  User support is available from the Arts Council England Customer Service Team by email or phone 0161 934 4317.

Treat Accreditation as a process not an event:

  • By using and reviewing your policies, plans and procedures your paperwork will always be up to date
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