Ask the Expert Q&A 25 November 2016: Confused by Accreditation? – with Helen Thornton
Helen Thornton, Yorkshire Regional Accreditation Advisor at Museum Development Yorkshire, will be answering your questions on Accreditation on Friday 25 November between 2-3pm GMT.
Helen Thornton is the Regional Accreditation Advisor for Yorkshire and specialises in registrar documentation and collections management areas.
Confused by Accreditation?
Accreditation is the national UK standard for museums and galleries. It defines good practice and agreed procedures. It is useful to qualify under this scheme to become a recognised professional institution. This can help secure funding, develop partnerships, strengthen profiles and help to facilitate future loans of collection items.
So who is eligible to apply?
Accreditation is open to any establishment that qualifies under the Museum Association’s 1998 definition of a museum. That is they must allow people to explore, enjoy and learn from collections as well as having a responsibility to look after the objects. Establishments must have a long-term collection of artefacts, a formal constitution and be able to demonstrate at least two years of accounts. They must meet legal, ethical and safety requirements and be committed to future planning.
Where do I apply?
All applications are sent to and assessed by Arts Council England who run the Accreditation scheme. The Arts Council also run in partnership with CyMAL: Museum, Archives, Libraries Wales; Museums Galleries Scotland and the Northern Ireland Museum Council. You may remember this used to be administered by the MLA (Museum Libraries and Archive Service) until this was taken over by the Arts Council in 2011.
The Application Process
Applying for Accreditation or renewing existing applications can be both puzzling and daunting. At first the application form can seem over-whelming. The key is to break each section down and deal with it piece by piece to make the whole picture come together.
The form itself is divided into three areas, each with detailed accompanying notes guiding the user through the sub-sections. Taking on this much information can often be confusing and you may need help.
Where Can I get help?
I am the Regional Accreditation Advisor for Yorkshire.
My role is to assist museums and galleries in the Yorkshire area with their Accreditation applications and renewals. This can include guidance about technical issues with the form, or else specific queries about the procedures and policies needed for the application. I am also here to help if you are a first time applicant and need pointing in the right direction through the different application steps.
I have a background working in museums with a range of experience which spans 8 years. I specialise in registrar, documentation and collections management areas within a curatorial remit.
I will be available online on the 25 November at 2pm to answer any Accreditation queries you have.
Helen Thornton, Yorkshire Regional Accreditation Advisor.
Helen Thornton, will be answering your questions on Accreditation on Friday 25 November 2016 between 2-3pm GMT.
You can post questions before the Q & A session, on 25 November, or you can converse in real time with our expert. You can use the comment box below to post a question, or you can use twitter with the hashtag #mdyask.
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