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Museum Accreditation

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Museum Accreditation is a UK wide scheme which sets standards for museum management, collection care and public service.

We manage the scheme for Wales in partnership with Arts Council England (external link). Museum Accreditation is a voluntary scheme, and over 90 museums in Wales take part, from large national institutions to small volunteer-run museums. 

Benefits of accreditation

Accreditation helps museums to monitor their current performance and plan for the future. Achieving Accreditation helps with:

  • giving confidence and credibility to both the public and grant awarding bodies that the museum has met a national standard
  • setting benchmarks for assessing performance, rewarding achievement and driving improvement
  • improving focus on meeting users’ needs and interests and developing the museum workforce
  • assessing services and encouraging joint working within and between organisations
  • improving forward planning by formalising procedures and policies

Eligibility

Accredited museums must meet the Museums Association’s 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.’

Museums must also:

  • do everything they can to preserve and protect items in their care
  • help people to benefit from, see and understand the collections
  • be public bodies, not privately owned or run for personal financial gain.

To confirm whether your organisation is eligible please read and complete the Eligibility Questionnaire and return it to us. We will assess your questionnaire, and if your organisation is eligible you will be given a ‘working towards Accreditation’ status. Organisations are initially given 12 months to provide appropriate documentation, though this can be extended up to 3 years if required.

Monitoring

Accreditation is an ongoing process, and Accredited museums are required to show that they continue to meet the standards through the returns process. The timetable for this is detailed in the Accreditation timetable. We will also write to remind you when your return is due. To submit your return, please visit the Arts Council England Application Portal (eternal link)

How to get help and provide feedback

We welcome your feedback so that we can continue to improve the Accreditation Scheme, and help with any difficulties you may encounter. Please contact us with any feedback you might have. If you want to make a complaint you can find details in our complaints procedure. This explains the formal procedure for dealing with complaints, and the sorts of things people can make a formal complaint about.

Please note that we do not normally support the foundation of new museums financially. 

Document Download

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Accredited museums in Wales (File size: 297KB)
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Introduction to Accreditation (File size: 814KB)
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Accreditation standard (File size: 535KB)
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Accreditation timetable (File size: 491KB)
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Eligibility questionnaire (File size: 41.3KB)
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New applicants' form (File size: 622KB)
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Returns form (File size: 628KB)
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Museum mentor handbook (File size: 449KB)
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Resource list (File size: 438KB)
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Complaints procedure (File size: 166KB)