Museum Accreditation Support

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

It covers three areas:

  • Organisational Health
  • Collections
  • Users and their experience.

The scheme is run by Arts Council England. You can find out how to make an application on their websiteand you can get help with your application by contacting our Accreditation Adviser. If your museum is new to the scheme you will need to find out if you are eligible before applying.

Help from the SEMD Team

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

Accreditation Resources

There is extensive guidance on the Accreditation scheme on the Arts Council website.

We also recommend the resources on the Accreditation Resources page of the South West Federation of Museum and Art Galleries’ website. (Please note that although the resources are equally relevant to the South East, you will need to contact the South East Museum Development for support, not the South West team.)

The Collections Trust website has a section on Accreditation. Here resources are split into the areas of organisational health, collections and users and their experience. The collections pages contain useful information about the SPECTRUM standard for collections management, Benchmarks in Collections Care and the series of papers on standards for collection care.

The Museum of London’s website houses resources for museum development, including a series of factsheets 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 England website.

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.

If you’re about to receive a visit from the Arts Council’s Acccreditation Assessor, find out what to expect by reading the article on our website here. You can also find Accreditation-related articles and links on the Resources page of our website by using the filter. Click on ‘Show Tags’ on the left-hand side of the Resources page and it will bring up the relevant ones.

Using the Online Application System

If you are submitting a new application or an Accreditation Return, there is guidance on the online systemhere. You can find Word versions of the forms in the Arts Council’s guidance section, although you may find it easier to use the online form directly. Contact our Accreditation Adviser or phone 0845 300 6200 for assistance with the electronic form.

Contact the SE Accreditation Adviser

Kate Hebditch, Accreditation Adviser

For all sorts of Accreditation support, contact Kate Hebditch on 07557 197588 or

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