Museums Accreditation Scheme
Museums Galleries Scotland, and our UK Accreditation partners, Arts Council England, the Welsh Government, and Northern Ireland Museums Council, recognise that many museums are closing their sites due to the impact of Covid-19 and in response to Government advice.
In order to support the sector during these unprecedented times all Accredited museums in the UK, your current Accreditation award status is being further extended for an additional 12 months to 1 April 2022.
Can we join the Accreditation Scheme?
Yes. We are still processing Accreditation Eligibility questionnaires to allow museums to achieve Working Towards Accreditation status.
Information on the eligibility process is available on our website. Please note that it will take 6 weeks for MGS to assess any eligibility application. Please do phone or email Jenny or Victoria and we can provide help and advice.
Read more about Working Towards Accreditation
We have Working Towards Accreditation status, when will we be able to progress?
Museums Galleries Scotland will review how the scheme reopens for new applicants after April 2021, once we have received more information from the Scottish Government. Our aim is to reopen the scheme for new applicants before the Autumn and we will confirm this later in the year.
We will work with Arts Council England to release your Grantium application back to you, so you can update your application, in order to prevent further questions and delays during assessment. We recognise that some information may now be out of date and there may have been changes at your organisation because of the pandemic. We hope to produce a checklist for areas that we expect to see updated as a result of the pandemic eg. updates on opening hours, forward plans, workforce, etc.
You will need to meet the eligibility criteria of being open to the public for the minimum 20 days access at point of application. If government restrictions (eg. lockdown) have led to temporary closure during the standard 6-month assessment window but the museum is usually open and actively contingency planning with a clear plan for reopening again, we can provide some flexibility. However, you will need to have opened again ahead of the scheduled award decision panel.
We are a new applicant, can we have an extension?
Yes. All new applicants can have an automatic extension of 12 months on their agreed timescale for completing an application. The only exception is where there have been material changes to the museum that mean the museum no longer meets the eligibility criteria.
We had already submitted our return/application, when will it be assessed?
Subject to government guidance, we are aiming to reopen the Accreditation Scheme for existing Accredited museums in October 2021 across the UK. We will work with Arts Council England to release your Accreditation return back to you, so you can update your return. We recognise that some information may now be out of date and that there may have been changes at your organisation because of the pandemic. We wish to give you the opportunity to change and amend your return accordingly, to prevent further questions and delays during assessment. You will have until April 2022 to resubmit the return. We hope to produce a checklist for areas that we would expect to see updated as a result of the pandemic eg. updates on opening hours, forward plans, workforce, etc.
Are we still Accredited?
Yes. All Accredited museums, whether Fully Accredited or on Provisional Accreditation, have had their Accreditation status extended to 1st April 2022. This applies even if you were due to submit a return/update last year.
We maintain a list of Accredited museums on our website. You can check if your museum is Accredited here:
List of Accredited museums in Scotland
When will we be asked to submit an Accreditation return?
We aim to revise the Accreditation returns schedule in the summer and publish it before October 2021. We hope to be in touch with museums before publishing the revised schedule but if you have any particular concerns around the timing of your return submission, for example because of planned building works, please get in touch with Jenny Youngson or Victoria Hawkins
We were in the process of completing our return, can we still access our work?
Yes. We are working with Arts Council England to ensure that all museums can access either completed or partially completed returns on Grantium, so no work is lost. New applicants will be able to submit their application on Grantium once the scheme reopens to new applicants. Existing Accredited museums will be able to submit returns to Grantium only when it reopens in October 2021. We will suspend the end part of the process to block submission for returns on Grantium.
We hope to produce a checklist for areas that we expect to see updated as a result of the pandemic eg. updates on opening hours, forward plans, workforce, etc.
As a new applicant, do we still need a site visit to be awarded Accreditation?
Yes, however we are looking at flexible options for how this can be achieved when there are travel restrictions in place. We may opt for an online version supported by an on-site visit at a later date. Jenny Youngson and Victoria Hawkins will be able to advise your museum once your paper assessment is completed. If you have any concerns around a visit, for instance you have vulnerable members of staff or volunteers, do please let us know at the time.
We are no longer able to meet the Accreditation requirements, what do we do?
First of all, please speak to Jenny Youngson or Victoria Hawkins. We will be able to talk you through the options and provide support.
Where museums choose to withdraw from the scheme, we are looking to simplify the process so you no longer need to go to an Accreditation panel. Pending agreement from the UK Accreditation Committee, we aim to make this an internal process on a rolling basis and noted at award panel meetings only.
Museum that choose to withdraw from the scheme can reapply at any time in the future. To make this easier, we encourage all museums to view the Accreditation Standard as a useful framework on which to base future planning. The Accreditation team is available to support any museum with developing plans and policies that meet the Accreditation Standard.
Can I still access advice and support?
Yes. We are working remotely but you can still access support. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0131 550 4124 (Jenny Youngson) or 0131 550 4135 (Victoria Hawkins) and we’ll be delighted to help.