Accreditation Scheme to be reviewed

Alice Durrans, 18.01.2017
Light-touch review of certain aspects of scheme
The Accreditation Scheme will undergo a light-touch review this year, with the aim of refreshing it in time for its 30th anniversary in 2018.

The UK-wide review will cover certain aspects of the scheme and its processes. It is unclear which aspects will be reviewed, but Museums Journal understands that some museums have raised concerns over the impact that funding cuts are having on the support and mentoring they are able to access during the application process.

The scheme’s partners in each nation, the Museums, Archives and Libraries Division Wales, Museums Galleries Scotland, the Northern Ireland Museums Council and Arts Council England, will work together on the review.

Museums will be contacted with further details when the timescales for the review have been confirmed.

Scott Furlong, the arts council's director of collections and cultural property, said: “The UK Accreditation Scheme has had a huge impact since its launch almost 30 years ago. 

“While the scheme remains vital and valued, as we reach the end of the first full cycle of the 2011 Accreditation Standard, there are certain aspects of Accreditation that would benefit from review.”

Joanne Orr, the CEO of Museums Galleries Scotland, said: “We welcome this opportunity to take a fresh look at the Accreditation Scheme. This light-touch review will ensure it remains relevant and appropriate to our museums and will take into account any learnings from the past five years."

The scheme promotes nationally agreed standards in how museums are run, how they manage their collections and the experiences of users.

The number of museums holding full Accreditation has fallen in recent years, with 16 museums removed from the scheme between November 2015 and November 2016.

The scheme was last reviewed in 2011, when it was updated to put more focus on visitors’ needs and develop new ways for the public to interact with collections.