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Core Documents Verification

Core Documents Verification is a document review and recognition program that revolves around the evaluation of five core documents against a set of required elements. Completion of the program provides public confirmation that an institution has an educational mission and policies and plans in place that reflect professional practices of museums, as articulated in the Core Standards and used in the Accreditation Program. 

What are the Core Documents?

The following five documents have been designated as core documents because they are fundamental for basic professional museum operations and embody core museum values:

Each document has a set of required elements associated with it. Learn more about the core documents.

Why participate?

  • Get feedback on your museum’s core policies and plans.
  • Be recognized for achieving a high level of professionalism.
  • Work towards accreditation.
  • Use as an accountability tool for keeping your policies up to date.
  • Contribute to field-wide advocacy efforts by sending a strong message to the public and policymakers that the museum field is committed to shared standards and ethics.

How does it work?

Use the resources available to develop, strengthen, and review your Core Documents. Once the core documents are fully in line with the required elements, use the online application to upload one or more documents, answer a few questions about eligibility and demographics, and pay the fee.

AAM staff will evaluate the documents against the required elements and send you the results of their review. Document evaluation and revision takes time and few museums pass Core Documents Verification right away.

Once all five documents have been submitted and judged to meet the requirements, the museum will be notified that its Core Documents have been verified. The museum will receive a certificate and be included on the list of Core Documents Verified museums.

The Core Documents designation is valid for five years, at which point the museum will be asked to reaffirm its eligibility and submit any revised documents. If a museum fails to complete the program within three years of its initial submission, it must reapply and resubmit payment.

Learn more about the eligibility criteria, verification process, associated costs, and resources available to help your museum develop its Core Documents.

Thinking of the five core documents as a monolithic block can be overwhelming. But if you work with just one document at a time, the task is manageable. Read about how small museums can handle core documents verification here.

Wonder what to expect from the Core Documents Verification Process? Read about the Japanese Friendship Garden Society of San Diego’s successful experience and get their top tips for making it a smooth process here.

How does it connect to Accreditation?

Successfully completing the Core Documents Verification program is a required prerequisite for Accreditation. It also streamlines the museum’s accreditation, eliminating the need to resubmit documents and information that remain current.

How much does it cost?

The museum pays a one-time fee based on its AAM membership status when it submits its application. The full fee is charged regardless of how many documents are initially submitted. A reduced renewal fee is assessed every five years.

Tier 3 Museum Member

Tier 2 Museum Member

Tier 1 Museum Member


Fees are nonrefundable.

Apply for Core Documents Verification

Access the form for Core Documents Verification and Apply today.

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