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Accreditation Scheme frequently asked questions (FAQs)

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 will have their current award status extended for an additional 12 months.

When does this come into effect?


When will the 12 months extension end?

1st April 2021.

Is our organisation Accredited?

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

All museums with either Full or Provisional Accreditation have Accredited status and have access to the benefits of the scheme and MGS funding.

We were due to go to the April Accreditation panel, is this still going ahead?

We are postponing all future Accreditation Panel meetings, including the upcoming meeting scheduled for 28 April 2020.

We have had to close for Covid-19, does this affect our Accreditation status?

No. Your current award status will remain for the next 12 months and you will retain access to all of the benefits of the scheme.

We are worried we will have to close permanently

We recognise there is a risk to museums posed by Covid-19 and government measures to prevent the spread of the virus and that this may result in museums closing permanently. If your museum does close permanently, it can no longer be Accredited.

We strongly advise any museum facing difficulties, whether Accredited or not, to get in touch with MGS to find out about any additional support available. Our aim is to support everyone through this crisis and we are laising with the Scottish Government on your behalf. Our helpline is 0131 550 4100 and staff are happy to help in any way.

Can we join the Accreditation Scheme?

Yes. We are keeping the eligibility process open so museums can apply to achieve Working Towards Accreditation status. However, no new museums will be able to achieve Full Accreditation until April 2021 when applications and returns reopen.

Working Towards Accreditation provides access to one of our funding programmes.

Any museum applying for eligibility to join the Accreditation Scheme has 3 years to complete a full application for Accreditation.

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

Our museum has Working Towards Accreditation and we were going to submit a full application this year.

We regret that the Grantium system will be paused for new applications and returns.

We had already submitted an application on Grantium, what will happen now?

Your application will remain on Grantium and you will keep your current Accredited status for the next 12 months.

If you are happy for us to assess your application and provide feedback, we can still offer this. Please get in touch with Jenny or Victorian via to let us know.

If completing your Accreditation will be too difficult under the circumstances, we understand and you do not need to do anything further for now.

Will Grantium delete my application?

All applications will remain on Grantium over this 12 months and can be accessed or picked up again when you are ready.

We have already been invited to submit a return, should we still send in our return via Grantium?

No. The Grantium system has been paused for new applications and returns.

We were due to be invited to submit a return for Accreditation this year. Will we still be invited?

No. All invitations from April 2020 until April 2021 have been postponed.

A revised timetable for returns will be issued in early 2021.

Do we still have to follow the Accreditation requirements during this time?

Yes, where practical, but the safety of your staff and visitors takes priority.

Accreditation provides a strong framework to protect collections and museum business and many of the plans and policies will be useful at this time. In particular, we encourage you to review your emergency plans and security assessments.  We are happy to provide any advice or help you need, please get in touch.

Can we get a copy of our Accreditation award certificate?

Our offices remain closed for the foreseeable future so we regret we are not able to provide hard copies of certificates. We can, however, provide electronic certificates.

Can we withdraw from the Accreditation Scheme?

Yes, Accreditation is a voluntary scheme. However, we are not able to process any requests for withdrawal until April 2021.

Can I still access advice and support?

Yes. We are working remotely but you can still access support. Please email: and we’ll be delighted to help.