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January 2021 Accreditation Update

In April 2020, the UK Accreditation Partners – Museums Galleries Scotland, Arts Council England, Northern Ireland Museum Council and the Welsh Government - responded to the pandemic by pausing the Accreditation Scheme. At that time, we promised to provide an update in January 2021.


With a new national lockdown in place and the vaccine rollout programme still in its early stages, we are not able to make a definitive decision on fully reopening the scheme. The UK Accreditation Partners feel museums need to be open to the public and in a position where they can look beyond the crisis before submitting Accreditation returns. For this reason, we are taking a phased approach to reopening the Accreditation Scheme.

To support all Accredited museums in the UK, your current Accreditation award status is being further extended for an additional 12 months to 1 April 2022. You can check if your organisation is Accredited here:

Museums Galleries Scotland | Accredited museums in Scotland

The UK-wide Accreditation Partnership have agreed that plans for reopening and rollout will respond to the devolved approaches to lockdown and recovery for museums in each of the four nations.

In Scotland, we will review reopening the scheme for those museums with Working Towards Accreditation status after April 2021 and will provide further information on this via our website and Connect newsletter, should this occur.

For those museums who have either submitted Accreditation returns or are due to submit Accreditation returns, we are looking to revise the returns schedule later in the year. The hope is that, the Accreditation scheme will reopen for existing Accredited museums in October 2021 across the UK, subject to government guidance. All museums invited to submit a return will be given 6 months to gather their Accreditation evidence. Further announcements will be made later in the year via our website and Connect newsletter.

We recognise that for some museums, Accreditation may no longer be possible or that priorities may have changed, as a result of the pandemic, so, we have simplified the Removal process. Please get in touch, as soon as possible, if you are considering withdrawing from the Accreditation Scheme or are concerned about your ability to meet the requirements.

For more information on how the reopening of the Accreditation Scheme affects your museum, please see our detailed FAQs.

Visit our FAQs for further details

Published 25 January 2021