Accreditation Costs  

Accreditation fees cover about 50 percent of the annual costs of operating the Accreditation Program each year. The other half is subsidized by general operating funds generated from member dues and revenue from other Alliance products and services. Nonpayment of fees may jeopardize the museum’s accredited status.

Alliance membership
is not required for accreditation but certain levels of membership offer substantial savings on accreditation fees. Membership dues are billed separately from Accreditation fees.

Alliance Membership Status (museum)

Tier 3

Tier 2

Tier 1



  • There is no fee to apply.









Self-Study:  Review Fee*

  • Covers costs associated with the administration of a museum’s re/accreditation review from application, through Self-Study, site visit, and Accreditation Commission decision
  • Triggered when the Self-Study is submitted, which is approximately every ten years, and based on the museum’s Alliance membership status at that time
  • No refunds or adjustments will be made once the Self-Study is submitted
  • May be paid as a lump sum or in 3 or 5 annual installments (10% surcharge applies and is collected in full with 1st payment)









Site Visit:  Peer Reviewer Expenses

  • The museum is responsible for expenses related to the site visit: travel, accommodation, meals, and related incidentals for two Peer Reviewers for a 1 ½ - 3 day visit
  • Very large museum systems may require 3 reviewers
  • Site visit expenses are reimbursed to the peer reviewers by the Alliance and the Alliance invoices the museum a few weeks after the site visit


Varies based on museum location, number of days, mode of travel, etc.

Suggest museums budget $1,700-$2,400



Annual Participation Fee*:

  • Paid by all museums participating in the Accreditation Program annually except the year the Self-Study is due
  • Applies to a calendar year

Year after  Self-Study submitted 










Between 2015 and Self-Study due date year









*For Currently Accredited Museums
Effective in 2014, a new fee structure is being phased in based on a museum’s next Reaccreditation Self-Study due date. The goal is to eliminate or substantially reduce the Annual Participation Fee museums pay and replace it with a Review Fee.


  • Until its Self-Study is due , an accredited museum continues to pay an Annual Participation Fee of $250-$575 (The museum will continue to be billed for these fees in the fall; fees must be paid by January 30).
  • The museum pays the Review Fee when it submits its next reaccreditation Self-Study. It does not pay an Annual Participation Fee this year. The annual fee resumes for the calendar year after the Self-Study is submitted. The annual fee may be waived completely or reduced by 50 percent or more, depending on the museum’s membership status.

For example, an Alliance Tier 3 member whose Self-Study is due in 2018 will pay $250 for 2015, 2016, and 2017. In 2018 it will pay $2,500 upon submission of the Self-Study. After that, it pays no more fees until its next Self-Study is due, approximately ten years later.

Note: museums that submitted their Self-Study in 2014 did not pay a Review Fee. Therefore they will continue to pay the Annual Participation Fee through the year before their next Self-Study is due.