The Accreditation Scheme sets nationally agreed standards for museums in the UK.

It covers three areas:

  • Organisational health
  • Managing collections
  • Users and their experience.

By becoming Accredited, museums demonstrate to the public and to funders that they manage their collections to an agreed standard for the benefit of society, that they engage with their users, and that they manage public resources ethically and prudently. Museum Accreditation can be seen as a toolkit to ensure you have everything in place to give the museum a secure future.

The scheme is run by Arts Council England. Contact our Accreditation Adviser if you are interested in applying. If your museum is new to the scheme you will need to find out if you are eligible in the first instance by speaking with our Advisor.

Accreditation 2018 – the new Standard

The Accreditation scheme has been revised and the new standard can be found here. If you are submitting an Accreditation Return in 2019 please contact our Accreditation Adviser before filling in the online application form, and you may find it useful to view a detailed breakdown of the Assessment Process and timescales.

Help from the SEMDP Team

As part of our aims to raise ambitions, drive excellence and build resilience, we encourage museums to apply for Museum Accreditation and to retain their Full Accreditation status once they have achieved it. In addition to support from your local Museum Development Officer, SEMDP provides a dedicated Museum Accreditation advice service across the South East. Whether you’re thinking of applying for the first time, or you need some advice on your Accreditation Return or the online system, we can help.

Accreditation Resources

There is guidance on the Accreditation scheme and how to apply on the Arts Council website.

You may find it useful to download Assessment Process and timescales information.

The Collections Trust website has excellent Accreditation resources. Here you’ll find sections on organisational health, managing collections, and users and their experience. There is also useful information about the SPECTRUM standard for collections management, Benchmarks in Collections Care and the series of papers on standards for collection care. And the South West Museums Federation has some good planning resources.

The Association of Independent Museums (AIM) publishes a series of success guides and the AIM Hallmarks of Prospering Museums and the Charity Commission website has very helpful guidance of relevance to museums run by charitable trusts.

The Museum of London’s website includes resources for museum development, including a series of fact sheets on understanding audiences, which may be useful for the ‘users and their experience’ section. Information on the VAQAS scheme can be found on the Visit Britain website.

Using the Online Application System

If you are submitting a new application or an Accreditation Return, there is guidance on the online system here. Contact our Accreditation Adviser or phone 0845 300 6200 for assistance with the electronic form. If you are submitting an Accreditation Return in 2019 please contact the Accreditation Adviser before filling in the online application form.

Contact the SE Accreditation Adviser

Kate Hebditch, Accreditation Adviser

For Accreditation information and support, contact Kate Hebditch on 07557 197588 or

Image: The Beaney - Canterbury

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