What are the Responsibilities of the Visiting Committee?

The Visiting Committee serves as the impartial “eyes and ears” for the Accreditation Commission. Their purpose is to: 

  • Observe the institution’s operations to determine whether the museum is meeting the program’s eligibility criteria and characteristics of an accreditable museum
  • Verify the accuracy of the self-study’s contents
  • Consider the museum in light of Accreditation’s two core questions:
    1. How well does the museum achieve its stated mission and goals?
    2. How well does the museum’s performance meet standards and practices as they are generally understood in the museum field?
  • Communicate the observations and findings in writing to the Commission

The Visiting Committee member’s responsibilities are to:

  1. Become as familiar as possible with the museum and its operation prior to the site visit. Thoroughly review and analyze the self-study questionnaire and supporting documents.
  2. Schedule the visit to the museum. Work with the museum and other committee member to arrange a mutually convenient date, jointly develop an agenda for the visit and determine an appropriate length for the visit, at least two days.
  3. Visit the museum. Conduct the visit in a thorough, professional and objective manner. Review any materials the museum has updated since submitting its self-study. Conduct an exit interview with the director. Discuss findings and the advisory conclusion with other Committee members.
  4. Write a narrative report for the commission that is a comprehensive, accurate and impartial account of the observations and findings. The report should not be consultative or include the advisory conclusion regarding accreditation. Professionalism is essential. Adhere to deadlines as established by the Accreditation Office.

What are the Qualifications?

Museum professionals must demonstrate a certain level of knowledge and experience in order to be accepted as a Visiting Committee member for Accreditation. See  our eligibility criteria for details. Visiting Committee members must:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of basic, overall museum operations
  2. Understand the professional nature of museum work and participate in the field-wide dialogue about museum operations, standards and best practices, and emerging issues
  3. Demonstrate interpersonal qualities needed to conduct a successful site visit
  4. Demonstrate familiarity with the AAM Accreditation process

What are the Performance Expectations?

Visiting Committee members must meet a certain standard of performance in order to be effective and to maintain Accreditation’s credibility and accountability. See the Site Visit Expectations.

  1. Participation: at least one peer reviewer activity a year
  2. Ethics: adheres to the highest standards of ethical behavior and maintain total confidentiality
  3. Professionalism: completes the work in a well-informed and professional manner
  4. Communications skills: demonstrates effective oral and written communication

What is the Time Commitment?

The time required depends on each individual’s work style and the complexity and size of the museum involved. Visiting Committee members report that they spend about seven days over a three-month period preparing, conducting the site visit and writing the narrative report.

Is there any Compensation?

In keeping with the policies of other academic and professional accrediting bodies, we offer no salary compensation or honorarium. The Alliance reimburses Visiting Committee members for all travel and related expenses at the completion of the site visit.