UPDATE on Accreditation Scheme August 2022

In response to the impact of the pandemic and in line with Government guidance, the UK Accreditation partners – including Arts Council England – paused the Accreditation Scheme in March 2020.  

After prioritising applications already in progress, Arts Council England are now taking a phased approach to re-opening the returns schedule and have published an interim schedule for the next 18 months. The first batch of museums invited to complete a return will be contacted in December 2022, and the second batch in July 2023. If your organisation is not due to be invited within these first two batches, you don’t need to do anything now, we advise you wait until the full schedule is released. The next rollout will start from an invitation date of January 2024. 

The Accreditation scheme remains open to new applicants and applicants who are Working Towards Accreditation. 

See the latest update of Frequently Asked Questions on the Arts Council website for more information.

If you have any questions about Accreditation, please contact your Accreditation Mentor, county Museum Development Officer, or the regional Accreditation Advisor.

What is Accreditation?

The Accreditation Scheme is the UK industry standard for museums and galleries.

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 encourages 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

To find out more about the scheme, visit Arts Council England Accreditation

You can check if your organisation is Accredited here

Thinking about applying for Accreditation for the first time?

Have a chat with your county Museum Development Officer or our Accreditation Advisor.

Look at the Accreditation Standard so you know what’s involved and check if your organisation meets the eligibility criteria.  If it does, you will need to complete an Eligibility Questionnaire and send it to the Arts Council for assessment.  They aim to give you a decision within 6 weeks.

When does my museum have to submit a return?

Arts Council have published an interim schedule for the next 18 months and will share the first batch of fresh returns invites in December 2022, and the second batch in July 2023. If your organisation is not due to be invited within these first two batches, you don’t have to do anything now, we advise you wait until the full schedule is released. The next invitation rollouts will start from January 2024. 

If you think you may struggle to meet your deadline, or have any questions, please get in touch with Hannah Bentley, Regional Accreditation Advisor by email or phone on 01603 679326.  If you are unable to speak to Hannah, contact the Accreditation team at Arts Council England. 

What resources are available to help me submit a return?

To get started, download the Accreditation Guidance here.

All returns and applications must be submitted via Grantium, the Arts Council online portal.  If you don’t already have a profile set up for your museum, you will need to do this.  It is not instant, so do allow enough time before your submission deadline.  The Arts Council have produced some useful guidance documents for using Grantium:

Getting Started on Grantium

Completing Your Application on Grantium

Remember to save your login and password details somewhere safe, so that you can find them again for your next return!

You can also find a helpful list of toolkits, templates and guides on the Collections Trust website for everything from Forward Planning to Risk Assessment. 


Accreditation Advice for the East of England

Whatever stage you are at, SHARE Museums East can support you with Accreditation.  We will:

  • Provide an Accreditation Advisor who is able to answer queries about eligibility or membership of the scheme
  • Site visits and advice via phone or email
  • Help find you an Accreditation Mentor if appropriate
  • Share useful guidance documents and resources
  • Run training to help museums achieve, maintain and develop areas of Accreditation work
  • Offer grants that support Accreditation work
  • Support is also available at a county level from your local Museum Development Officers.

Accreditation Mentors

We need museum staff from all backgrounds to support smaller museums with no professional staff to meet the Accreditation standards.  If you are interested in CPD opportunities and the chance to make a real difference to local museums, please get in touch to find out more.  To find out if you are eligible, read the Arts Council information on Mentoring here.

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