Accreditation Scheme for Museums and Galleries in the United Kingdom: COVID-19 Update

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in March 2020, museums across the UK closed their sites because of the impact of the pandemic and in line with Government guidance.

In response, the UK Accreditation partners – Arts Council England; Museums Galleries Scotland, Northern Ireland Museums Council and the Welsh Government (Museums Archives Libraries Division) – paused the Accreditation Scheme with effect from 1 April 2020, and all Accredited museums in the UK had their current award status extended for an additional 12 months.

Eligibility has remained open throughout the UK for museums, galleries and heritage organisations considering a new applications to the scheme.

Due to the ongoing nature of the pandemic, and with a new national lockdown in place, Arts Council England are not able to confirm a full reopening date for the Accreditation Scheme at this stage. In England, they will be phasing the approach to reopening the scheme, focusing initially on museums that are new to Accreditation and applying for the first time.

To support all Accredited museums in the UK, their current Accreditation award status is being further extended for an additional 12 months to 1 April 2022. Whether your museum holds a Full or Provisional award, it’s still Accredited, and you’re able to apply for funding which has Accreditation status as an eligibility criterion.

You can check if your organisation is Accredited here>>

As this is an unfolding situation Arts Council’s England’s current thinking is subject to change and further Government advice. They aim to provide more information in March 2021 and we’d recommend regularly checking Arts Council England’s website for updates.

Phased reopening:

The UK wide Accreditation Partnership has 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 England, they are phasing the reopening of the scheme and will partially reopen by end of April 2021. Museums which are Working Towards Accreditation or hoping to put in a new application will be able to apply from April 2021. 

If you’ve already applied and are awaiting an award outcome, you’ll have the opportunity to update your information and review your application again. You’ll also get longer to prepare with an extension to the target WTA period by a further 12 months automatically if you need it.

If you have a provisional review in progress, you’ll be able to review this, make any updates, and resubmit from April 2021 onwards.

For more information please see the detailed FAQs (which will be regularly updated as the situation develops)>>