Issue 117/09, p15, 01.09.2017
What would you change about Accreditation?
Charlotte Morgan, development Manager, Cynon Valley Museum

“The one thing I would change is the limitation on the definition of ‘museum’, which says a museum must either own or hold a collection. Cynon Valley Museum runs the entire museum service, although the local authority legally owns the collection. So the trust’s constitution is focused on sustaining the museum and its community role. We were disappointed that the standard wasn’t flexible enough to allow the trust to be an Accredited organisation. Museums are more than their collections and I think the Accreditation standard should reflect this.”

01092017-sue-mckay.jpgSue Mackay, manager and curator, Keswick Museum & Art Gallery

“Unusually perhaps, I am not sure a lot needs changing apart from the arts council getting the application timetable properly under control – this is probably about better resourcing the scheme. I have never understood precisely how the ‘scalability indicators’ are used in the process; I would not want a tiered system making it easier in any way for smaller museums, otherwise it risks becoming meaningless and/or divisive. Conversely, I wonder whether museum mentors and voluntary museum boards need more support to continue to improve standards?”

01092017-sue-davies.jpgSue Davies, arts and heritage consultant

“Simplify the paperwork. Don’t compromise standards. Retain Accreditation scaleability, or a two-tier system, encouraging involvement by all. Ensure the process is well supported (Mald is effective in Wales). Balance being challenging while not onerous. Public engagement should be there, possibly conservation and enterprise alongside collections’ care, as long as the quality of the latter is not compromised. Museums’ daily work should reflect Accreditation standards. Build in monitoring quality through spot checks. Use Accreditation to guard against cuts.”

01092017-elaine-hill.jpgElaine Hill, heritage development officer, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council

“It is important that collections, and their management and use, remain at the heart of the Accreditation standard but also that the scheme reflects the broad range of activities and programmes that are inspired by these collections. Encouraging more chances to highlight work such as community engagement projects, audience development and the use of new technology to reflect diverse activities that museums are involved in would allow museums of all sizes the flexibility to respond and celebrate their successes, in changing environments.”