The Downpatrick and County Down Railway was one of 17 local museums including that have been recognised at an awards ceremony for museums who have successfully maintained their Full Accreditation status.
The Accreditation Scheme is the UK standard for museums and sets nationally agreed standards for good practice and a baseline quality standard that helps guide museums to be the best they can be.
Neil Hamilton, Curator at the Downpatrick and County Down Railway said “Accreditation is extremely important as it assures potential donors of artefacts that they will be conserved to universal bench marked standards and made available for future generations to appreciate.”
He added, “It is also a conspicuous high quality standard that all the volunteers have worked so hard to achieve and they should be extremely proud of their achievement.”
Tríona White Hamilton, Accreditation Adviser and Assessor at Northern Ireland Museums Council said “We are delighted that our local museums’ commitment to governance, collections care and visitor experience has ensured their maintenance of the Accreditation Standard. We hope that this will enable the continued development of these museums as valued resources for both visitors and the local community. Accreditation is a national standard which gives confidence to all stakeholders.”
Museums are required to submit their Accreditation return applications every 3 years to ensure they are continuing to maintain the standard.
The Awards ceremony was held on Tuesday 18th September at the Naughton Gallery at Queen’s University. It was attended by the local museum sector and NIMC members. Allison Cosgrove, Head of Museums and Libraries at Department of Communities and Sinéad McCartan, Director of Northern Ireland Museums Council presented the museums with their Accreditation certificates on the day.
Although Accreditation is a national standard, it’s not a ‘one size fits all’ model. The expectations vary for museums of different types, sizes and scopes. There are currently just under 1,800 museums participating in the scheme across the UK. In Northern Ireland there are 43 Accredited Museums; 20 Local Authority Museums; 13 Independent Museums; 7 National Trust museums; 3 National Museums.