Accreditation schemes

From Our Toolkit

Accreditation is the nationally agreed standard for museums and archives. Holding Accredited status is a recognised quality mark in the industry. The standard covers more than just collections however it is a useful benchmark in the management and care of collections.

It may not be appropriate for your organisation to apply for Accredited status for your collection or things outside of your control may mean that you may not be able to satisfy all the requirements. If you are interested in applying for Accreditation it is recommended to see if you meet the eligibility criteria which for museums or for archives.

Museum Accreditation

Arts Council England describes the Museum Accreditation Scheme as

The nationally agreed standards to ensure all museums are sustainable, focused and trusted, inspiring the confidence of the public and funding and governing bodies. Delivered in partnership across the UK.

Arts Council England administers the scheme but it is run in partnership with the Welsh Government, Museums Galleries Scotland and the Northern Ireland Museums Council.

The Accreditation standard covers 3 areas: Organisational Health, Managing Collections and Users and their Experiences. The Managing Collections section sets the expected standards for museums as they:

  • Hold and develop collections
  • Hold useful and useable information on collections
  • Care for and conserve collections
  • Be accessible to the public

Details of the standard:

Further support for Museum Accreditation is available through your regional Museum Development provider.

Archives Accreditation

The National Archives describes the Archive Accreditation Scheme as,

… the UK Standard for archive services. The Standard looks at how an archive service acquires, preserves and provides access to their collections over the long term, through the management of risks and by planning for change. Archive Service Accreditation also represents a pathway for the ongoing development of a service.

The National Archives administers the scheme but it is applicable across the whole of the UK. There are 3 areas covered: Organisational Health, Collections, Stakeholders and their Experiences. The Collections section sets the expected standards for archives as they work in the following areas:

  • Collection development
  • Collections information
  • Collections care and conservation

Details of the standard:

Further support for Archive Accreditation is available through your archive assessor body.

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