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What is an Accreditation Mentor?

Accreditation Mentors provide voluntary support to type one, or type two, independent UK museums to work towards and maintain the Accreditation Standard. The Accreditation Guidance defines them as a museum professional. Accreditation Mentors are experienced people currently working in the museum sector.

A museum without its own in-house museum professional must appoint an Accreditation Mentor to ensure the museum can achieve Accreditation.

Accreditation Mentors are appointed by individual museums but have access to various support offered by Museums Galleries Scotland.

Mentors used to be known as Museum Mentors or Curatorial Advisors.

Role of an Accreditation Mentor

Being a Mentor is a voluntary role based on a formal agreement between the individual and the museum. The Mentor’s role is to support the governing body of a museum to achieve and maintain the Accreditation Standard.

The Accreditation Mentor is required to:

  • conduct an annual Accreditation review
  • attend at least one trustee meeting
  • visit the museum at least once, meeting with the volunteers
  • demonstrate a continuing commitment to CPD relevant to the role

The museum is expected to:

  • formally appoint the Mentor
  • consult with and use the Mentor to achieve and maintain Accreditation
  • invite the Mentor to trustee meetings with sufficient notice
  • develop a good working relationship with their Mentor
  • keep the Mentor informed through trustee minutes, other relevant committee minutes, and general mailings and information

Find an Accreditation Mentor

You should begin by approaching museum professionals already known to the museum. Someone who’s been supportive in the past may be willing to become your Accreditation Mentor

A good place to start may be to consider the other members of networks and forums to which you belong.

Consider if you have a trustee with the relevant experience or whether you could appoint a trustee with museum professional experience. The Association of Independent Museums (AIM) may be able to support you with trustee recruitment.

The Accreditation Team can support you to promote the opportunity to existing mentors across Scotland if you have tried the options above and been unsuccessful.

How to appoint an Accreditation Mentor

You must let us know when you’ve found someone suitable to act as your Accreditation Mentor.

We will need to see copies of the:

  • candidate’s completed expression of interest form
  • signed agreement between the candidate and your museum
  • signed minute from your governing body, formally approving the appointment

You can find a template agreement in the Museum Mentor’s Handbook Section four – Templates.

Become an Accreditation Mentor

Volunteering as an Accreditation Mentor is a wonderful way to tap into continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities. It’s also a chance to broaden your experience and networks beyond the focus of your day job.

As an Accreditation Mentor, you must sign off the Accreditation Scheme application of the museum you support. This is a formal role, and you must meet certain criteria to be eligible to apply.

You must have:

  • a minimum of three years’ experience working in museums, with experience at curator or manager level
  • a commitment to your own learning and development to show you keep your knowledge, skills and experience up to date

How to apply

If you meet the above criteria, simply complete the Accreditation Mentors Expression of Interest Form. Please return your completed form to the Accreditation team at the address given on the form.


Accreditation Mentors don’t need to work alone to support the museum. Accreditation covers all aspects of a museum’s business, so it’s unlikely that a single individual will have all the necessary professional skills to advise on each area, with the same level of expertise. You should take advantage of your extended network to help on specific areas or bring relevant expertise into the museum in other ways. We would also encourage you to assist the museum in developing their own networks of support.

Support for Accreditation Mentors

Museums Galleries Scotland offers support to Accreditation Mentors appointed by individual museums in Scotland in the form of training, advice, resources, and contacts in relation to the 2018 Standard.

Potential Mentors are informed of any opportunities from museums seeking to appoint an Accreditation Mentor.

Our training sessions offer a chance to network and develop the skills and knowledge required to fulfil the Accreditation Mentor role successfully. We’ll contact all Accreditation Mentors directly to let them know about forthcoming events. We will also post the relevant details on our events page.

Have specific training requests or ideas? We are always happy to hear how we can help. Contact us on the details below.

Contact us

Contact our Accreditation team on any aspect of the role of an Accreditation Mentor. Call us on 0131 550 4124 or email.

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