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The UK Museum Accreditation Scheme

The Museum Accreditation Scheme is the UK industry standard for museums and galleries. It ensures all museums within the scheme are resilient, well governed organisations that meet an agreed upon set of standards.

About the Scheme

The scheme works for museums of all sizes: from volunteer-run museums to national museums. There are 250 Accredited museums in Scotland.

To achieve Accreditation, a museum must meet requirements on:

  • how it is governed and managed
  • how it cares for and manages its collections
  • the information and services it offers to museum users

Museums Galleries Scotland is the assessing organisation for museums in Scotland. The Accreditation Scheme is managed as a partnership between:

  • Arts Council England
  • Museums Galleries Scotland
  • Northern Ireland Museums Council
  • Llywadwodraeth Cymru – Welsh Government

The Accreditation Standard and associated guidance were updated and published in 2018/2019 following a review.

Benefits of Accreditation

Achieving the Accreditation standard has many benefits for a museum.

  • Performance: A quality standard serves as an authoritative benchmark for assessing performance, rewarding achievement and driving improvement.
  • Profile: It raises awareness and understanding of museums and builds confidence and credibility, both within the governing body and among the public.
  • People: It helps museums to improve their focus to meet the needs of museum users, and on developing their workforce.
  • Partnerships: It helps museums examine their services and encourage joint working within and between organisations.
  • Planning: It helps with forward planning by formalising procedures and policies, which help the museum achieve it’s aims.
  • Patronage: It demonstrates that a museum has met a national standard, strengthening applications for public and private funding. Giving investors confidence in the organisation.

Achieving Accredited Status has helped museums to:

  • improve planning skills
  • assess achievements
  • improve morale
  • raise awareness to stakeholders
  • attract financial support from external sources
  • show their fitness to receive sponsorship and donations

If your museum is already Accredited and you are looking for your next return date, please see our Accreditation returns schedule.

How Accreditation could work for your museum

Dr Alix Powers-Jones, Property Manager at Hugh Miller’s Birthplace and Museum, passed away in July 2023. Alix was passionate about the work of museums and a dedicated supporter to many museum colleagues starting their journey towards the Accreditation Standard. This recording of Alix in 2020 is a wonderful reminder of the enthusiasm she held for the work of the heritage sector in Scotland.

Read a transcript of this recording.

Applying for Accreditation

Learn more about the Accreditation Scheme application process

Accreditation Application Process