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Museums Galleries Scotland, in partnership with Arts Council England, CyMAL: Museums Archives and Libraries Wales and the Northern Ireland Museums Council, have launched a revised Accreditation Scheme for museums and galleries across the United Kingdom.
Accreditation sets the standard that museums and galleries should aspire to for the benefit of users, today and in the future. It sets out what good practice looks like and is the recognised quality standard for UK museums and galleries.
The revised scheme focuses on the issues relevant to museums in the 21st century including collections development. It also puts a greater emphasis on visitors’ needs, encouraging museums to develop new and imaginative ways for visitors to interact with collections, and acts as a more focused development tool for museums aiming to improve.
Joanne Orr, Chief Executive of Museums Galleries Scotland, said:
“To create a thriving museums and galleries sector driving improvements in standards and encouraging ambition is essential. For this reason, Museums Galleries Scotland has valued collaborating with the UK partners on the development of Accreditation. We are delighted that Orkney Islands Council is one the four museums services that has undertaken and reached the revised standard – their work to help pilot the revised scheme has been commendable.”
Alan Davey, Chief Executive of Arts Council England said:
“Our ambition is for more people to experience and be inspired by museums and galleries. Accreditation is an important way to improve the quality of that experience and to help ensure each visit is as culturally rich as possible. We also want to encourage museums to develop and adopt innovative and sustainable ways of working that will allow them to be more resilient for the future, and the revised Accreditation scheme does just that.”
The process for obtaining Accredited status has also been streamlined to allow museums to focus on their aims and ambitions for the future.
Four organisations – Ashby de la Zouch Museum Trust, Bury Fusiliers Museum, Orkney Islands Council and Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust – which collectively operate 11 museums, were invited to test out the revised process in order to meet the new Accreditation Standard.
They successfully met the criteria and are now the first museums to hold full Accreditation against the 2011 Standard. There are currently around 1800 Accredited museums and galleries in the UK, with around 100 additional museums expected to apply for Accreditation against the new status over the next two years.
Accreditation is a renewable status. Museums currently Accredited under the 2004 standard will be invited to renew their status against the new standard over a five year period, which will respect their existing planning cycles.
Museums Galleries Scotland represent over 350 museums and galleries across Scotland, which welcomes 25 million visitors and provides £800 million in value to the Scottish economy.
13th Dec 2011