Arts Council England Museum Accreditation Update

Arts Council England (ACE) have released their November update on their Museum Accreditation Scheme. Current Accreditation award status has automatically been extended to 1 April 2022. That applies whether a museum is expecting to be invited to make a return or has already submitted a return and is awaiting assessment and an award decision.

There’s no risk of a cut off in April 2022. An award of full Accreditation is valid for approximately five years, at which point the museum will be invited to provide a return to demonstrate continuing compliance with the Accreditation Standard. Museums already holding the full award can expect this to roll over automatically until their next return and confirmation of an award decision at panel.

The Scheme is now open to:

  • Provisional museums and fully Accredited museums who submitted their return to ACE just before the pandemic – ACE should have already been in touch to tell you what you need to do next. If you have not heard, please get in touch with ACE
  • First time applicants – either confirmed as Working Towards Accreditation or organisations wishing to submit an Eligibility Questionnaire. Apply as usual, as outlined in ACE’s Accreditation guidance documents

ACE does not expect to fully re-open the scheme until summer 2022 at the earliest, and its next update will be in January 2022. It will continue with the 6-month invitation window, so museums won’t need to provide a return immediately when the Scheme does fully reopens. Although unconfirmed, ACE’s intention is to invite their first new returns on 1 July 2022. Museums will still have time to prepare ahead of the first (estimated) deadline of 31 December 2022. As this is an evolving situation, ACE’s current thinking is subject to change and further Government advice.

When the returns system fully returns the priority museums for invitation will be those who had originally been invited to submit a return in March or April of 2020. Further details for these are in the FAQs document in the ACE Accreditation update.

Read the full update here.

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