Museum Accreditation is the UK standard for museums and galleries. It defines good practice and identifies agreed standards, thereby encouraging development. It is a baseline quality standard that helps guide museums to be the best they can be, for current and future users.  

Refreshed Accreditation Scheme

The refreshed Accreditation Scheme was launched on 1 November 2018, following a review led by Arts Council England, on behalf of the UK partners, and with wider stakeholders including The Museum Development Network, the Accreditation Committee, the Association of Independent Museums, Museums Association and the Collections Trust.

Changes to the new scheme include:

  • Extending the Accreditation period from three years to five years
  • Updating the 2011 Accreditation Standard, with improvements made to its focus, tone and structure
  • Changes to the eligibility criteria and accompanying guidance, to bring these more in line with changing governance models in the sector
  • Publishing a new extended returns timetable
  • Replacing the current suite of guidance documents with a single, clearer document, which will be published by the end of the year.

Further information about the Accreditation Scheme can be found on the Arts Council England (ACE) website here and you can download the new standard here. The guidance document to support the revised Accreditation Scheme is available here.

Accreditation Schedule

Following the launch of the revised scheme, Arts Council England has published the new accreditation returns schedule for 2018-2023.  You can view the full schedule on the ACE website here. A condensed version of the schedule, for North East museums, is available to download here.

Application Form

Whether you’re applying to Accreditation for the first time or making a regular return application you’ll need to use Arts Council England's new application portal, Grantium. This is for all Accredited museums and galleries across the United Kingdom. You’ll also use this if you are already confirmed as eligible as Working Towards Accreditation and about to make your first application.

Please note: You will not be able to start an application until ACE have validated your applicant profile, which may take up to 10 working days

You can read the guidance documents and start your application via the ACE website here.  

Accreditation Support

Accreditation advice and support for the North East region is provided by Heather Lomas, contracted by Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums (TWAM). Heather will support museums approaching an initial application and museums preparing for a regular compliance return. She will also have a role in delivering Accreditation workshops and coordination of the Accreditation Mentor scheme.

Accreditation support includes:

- provision of guidance to:

  • organisations wishing to complete an eligibility questionnaire;
  • new applicants and returning participants;
  • provisionally Accredited museums;
  • museums which may require a significant change review.

- advising museums regarding interpretation of the Standard to their size and scale.

- promotion, advocacy and signposting of opportunities to undertake the Accreditation Mentor role to relevant museum professionals and to facilitate conversations between potential Mentors and museums in seeking a Mentor.

You can contact Heather by email at


Arts Council England (ACE) - 

Further information about the Accreditation Scheme can be found on the Arts Council England (ACE) website here and you can download the new standard here.

Collections Trust - 

To help you meet the new standard, Collections Trust have updated their database of resources. These are available on their website here.

Training & Events

Accreditation workshops are added to our calendar regularly, please check our events page here for details of forthcoming training opportunities.