Apply for Accreditation
If your museum is already accredited, visit the process and timeline page
Before you Apply
- First-time applicants must complete Core Documents Verification. We strongly recommend starting this program 6-9 months prior to any Accreditation application deadline the museum intends to meet.
- All five Core Documents must have been successfully verified by the Alliance within the last five years for the museum to be eligible to submit an Accreditation application
- Ensure the museum meets the Accreditation Eligibility Criteria
- Read the Guide to First-Time Accreditation Process. Pay particular attention to the “Tips for Preparing for Accreditation” section
- Ensure the staff and governing authority are familiar with the Core Standards for Museums and field-wide ethics, standards and professional practices
- Preview the Accreditation Self-Study to prepare information and documents required for the online version
- Review the costs of accreditation and ensure the necessary resources are available
- Select an Application deadline (see below) that corresponds with a review cycle that fits your museum’s schedule
- Line up someone in the field to write your Letter of Support (see the Application Instructions link below)
About the Application
- February 1
- June 1
- October 1
A complete application consists of:
- Application Form questions and approvals (online)
- Updated Organizational Profile (online)
- Letter of Support (submitted to the Accreditation Program directly by the writer)
The online Application is a relatively short form that collects basic demographic information about the museum, verifies eligibility and asks about preparation and why the museum seeks accreditation. The latter is the only essay question; the rest of the answers will be numbers, dates, check-boxes, drop-down menus, or yes/no.
Applications need to include a letter of support written by an outside museum professional who knows the museum well and has experience with the accreditation process (e.g., current/former director of an accredited museum, an accreditation peer reviewer). See the Application Instructions for further details.
There is no fee to submit the application.
Read more about the Accreditation Application Instructions
After Submitting the Application
The Accreditation Program staff will review your application within one month. They may contact you for clarification or more information in order to evaluate the application.
If your museum’s application is approved, Accreditation Program staff will provide you with a link to the online Self-Study, assign a due date (see schedule) and give you more information on the next steps in the process.
If your museum’s application is denied, Accreditation Program staff will explain why, and you may reapply after the issues have been resolved.