Pledge of Excellence

The Pledge of Excellence is an easy and achievable step along your museum’s path to excellence, and a way to show your museum’s commitment to being a good steward of the resources it holds in the public trust.

The pledge reads:

The museum pledges that, in fulfillment of its educational mission, it will strive to operate according to core standards to the best of its abilities and in accordance with its resources.

Why take the Pledge?

  • Advocacy and PR opportunities: Tell your visitors, staff, policy makers, funders, and peers that your museum has committed to operating ethically and according to field-wide standards and practices and remind them of its educational role.
  • Recognition: Your commitment to excellence will appear on the public list of museums participating in AAM’s Excellence programs.
  • Raise professionalism: Increase your staff’s and governing authority’s awareness of museum standards and ethics and remind them of your institutional goals and values.
  • Support field-wide advocacy efforts: A critical mass of museums signing the Pledge sends a strong message to the public and policymakers that the field holds itself accountable to shared ethics and standards, making it worthy of support.


Taking the Pledge can also be a useful and motivating precursor for participating in other assessment and recognition programs, such as the AASLH STEPs programConservation Assessment for Preservation (CAP), Museum Assessment Program (MAP).

Who should take the Pledge?

We encourage every museum (including zoos, aquariums, nature and science centers, and non-collections-based institutions) to take the Pledge of Excellence—whether your museum just opened or has been accredited for decades.

How does my museum take the Pledge?

Taking the Pledge is voluntary, free, and available to all museums. The Pledge operates on the honor system.

Alliance membership is encouraged but not required when taking the Pledge. If joining AAM or renewing your membership, check the box labeled “I want to take the Pledge of Excellence” on the membership form.

Take the Pledge now.

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