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Accreditation Mentors

Thanks to Accreditation Mentors

It is something we don’t say often enough, but a huge thank you to those individuals who willingly offer their time and expertise to support other museums. Without these key people many museums would not be able to be part of the Accreditation Scheme and get all the benefits it brings. The Accreditation Mentors are actively supporting the sector, raising the standard of the museums across the UK.


Overview What is an Accreditation Mentor?

Accreditation Mentors are museum professionals who support type one or two, independent UK museums to work towards and maintain the Accreditation Standard.

A museum without its own in-house museum professional must appoint an Accreditation Mentor to ensure the museum can achieve Accreditation.

Accreditation Mentors are appointed by individual museums but have access to various support offered by Museums Galleries Scotland.

Mentors used to be known as Museum Mentors or Curatorial Advisors.

Role of an Accreditation Mentor

Accreditation Mentors are experienced professionals from the museum sector. Being a Mentor is a voluntary role based on a formal agreement between the individual and the museum requiring support. The Mentor's role is to support the governing body of a museum to achieve and maintain the Accreditation Standard.

The Accreditation Mentor is required to:

  • conduct an annual Accreditation review
  • attend at least one trustee meeting (or can sit on the museum’s governing body as a voting member)
  • visit the museum at least once (meeting staff)
  • demonstrate a continuing commitment to CPD relevant to the role

The museum is expected to:

  • formally appoint the Mentor
  • consult with and use the Mentor effectively
  • invite the Mentor to trustee meetings with sufficient notice
  • develop a good working relationship with their Mentor
  • keep the Mentor informed through trustee minutes, other relevant committee minutes, and general mailings and information

To find out more, download the Museum Mentor’s Handbook.

For further advice on appointing a Museum Mentor, contact us.

Find a Accreditation Mentor

You should begin by approaching museum professionals already known to the museum. Someone who’s been supportive in the past may be willing to become your Accreditation Mentor

A good place to start may be to consider the other members of networks and forums to which you belong.

If you’re unable to make contact with anyone suitable, we can provide details of suitably qualified candidates.

How to appoint an Accreditation Mentor

You must let us know when you’ve found someone suitable to act as your Accreditation Mentor.

We will need to see copies of the:

  • candidate’s completed expression of interest form
  • signed agreement between the candidate and your museum
  • signed minute from your governing body, formally approving the appointment

You can find a template agreement in the Accreditation Mentor’s Handbook Nov 2011

For further advice on appointing an Accreditation Mentor, contact us.

Become an Accreditation Mentor

Volunteering as a Accreditation Mentor is a great way to tap into continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities. It’s also a chance to broaden your experience and networks beyond the focus of your day job.

As an Accreditation Mentor, you must sign off the Accreditation Scheme application of the museum you support. This is a formal role and you must meet certain criteria to be eligible to apply.

You must have:

  • at least three years’ experience working professionally in museums, with experience at curator or manager level
  • a commitment to your own learning and development to show you keep your knowledge, skills and experience up to date

How to apply

If you meet the above criteria, simply complete the Accreditation Mentors expression of interest form. Then return it to the Accreditation team at the address given on the form.

Potential Mentors are kept informed of any opportunities from museums seeking to appoint an Accreditation Mentor.


Accreditation Mentors need not work alone to support the museum. You are encouraged to take advantage of your extended network to help on specific areas or bring relevant expertise into the museum in other ways. We would also encourage you to assist the museum in developing their own networks of support.

Accreditation covers all aspects of a museum’s business, so it’s unlikely that a single individual will have all of the necessary professional skills to advise on each area, with the same level of expertise.


Support for Accreditation Mentors

Museums Galleries Scotland offers various support to Accreditation Mentors appointed by individual museums in Scotland in the form of training, advice, resources and contacts in relation to the 2018 Standard.

Potential Mentors are kept informed of any opportunities from museums seeking to appoint a Accreditation Mentor. 

Our training sessions offer a chance to network and develop the skills and knowledge required to fulfil the Accreditation Mentor role successfully. We’ll contact all Accreditation Mentors directly to let them know about forthcoming events. We will also post the relevant details on our events page.

Have specific training requests or ideas? We are always happy to hear how we can help. Contact us now


You can contact our Quality Assurance Managers, Jenny Youngson and Victoria Hawkins, for advice on any aspect of the role of an Accreditation Mentor.

Telephone: 0131 550 4124