Museum Standards

Below you’ll find information on formal museum standards programmes currently available in Ireland, as well as details of the IMA’s own activities in the area of museum standards/best practice. There are a number of schemes aimed at setting standards of excellence in museums. Some apply within the Republic of Ireland or in Northern Ireland, others are island wide.

Museum Standards Programme for Ireland
This programme is run by The Heritage Council. It sets out to improve all aspects of Ireland’s museum practice. A voluntary programme, it has attracted involvement from across the cultural spectrum, from national institutions to small, volunteer-led organisations. It is complemented by a full training programme, with a targeted post-graduate museum course which is supported by the Heritage Council and delivered by the University of Ulster. For more information, Click here.

Accredited Museums
The Northern Ireland Museums Council operates a scheme that sets nationally agreed standards for 1,800 museums in the UK. The standard supports museums in developing their resilience through effective forward planning, to balance aspects of collection management and to encourage all museums to be responsive to user needs and expectations. There are currently over 40 museums in Northern Ireland accredited under the Scheme. All such museums are eligible for full membership of the Northern Ireland Museums Council, a body that provides training courses, grant aid and access to high quality information and advice services. For more information, Click here.

Museum Awards
General awards are organised by several international groups.

The European Museum Forum makes an annual European Museum of the Year Award and Council of Europe Museum Prize. For full details Click here

The Luigi Micheletti Award is the European prize for innovative museums in the world of industry, science and technics. It is one of the leading activities of the Luigi Micheletti Foundation. For full details Click here

Designated Museums
Local museums in the Republic of Ireland may be Designated Under Section 68 (2) of the National Cultural Institutions Act, 1997 by the Director of the National Museum of Ireland, with Ministerial consent. This approves them as appropriate places for the curatorial care of State owned archaeological objects that are predominately of local rather than national interest.  For more information, Click here.

Sandford Awards for Heritage Education
The Sandford Award Scheme currently encompasses 200 historic sites within the historical and cultural environments of the United Kingdom and Ireland and including historic houses, museums, galleries, cathedrals, places of worship, gardens, landscapes and historic artefacts. For details on the website of The Heritage Education Trust Click here