Accreditation Peer Reviewer Responsibilities

Accreditation Peer reviewers serve as the Accreditation Visiting Committee and are the impartial “eyes and ears” for the Accreditation Commission for a museum in going through the Accreditation process.

The Peer Reviewer’s purpose is to:

  • Observe the institution’s operations to determine whether the museum is meeting the program’s eligibility criteria and Core Standards for Museums.
  • Verify the accuracy of a museum’s Accreditation Self-Study
  • Consider the museum in light of Accreditation’s two core questions:
    • How well does the museum achieve its stated mission and goals?
    • How well does the museum’s performance meet standards and practices as they are generally understood in the museum field?
  • Communicate observations and findings in writing to the Commission

The Visiting Committee member’s responsibilities are to:

  1. Read the Self-Study. Become as familiar as possible with the museum and its operations prior to the site visit by reviewing and analyzing the Self-Study and attachments.
  2. Schedule the site visit. Work with the museum and other committee members 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 updated materials the museum provides. Conduct an exit interview with the director. Discuss findings and the advisory conclusion with other committee members.
  4. Complete the Site Visit Report. The Commission needs a comprehensive, accurate and impartial account of the Visiting Committee’s observations. The report should not be consultative or include a conclusion regarding accreditation. Professionalism is essential. Adhere to deadlines set 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.

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 Instructions.

  1. Participation: completes at least one peer review activity a year
  2. Ethics: adheres to the highest standards of ethical behavior and maintains total confidentiality
  3. Professionalism: is well-informed and completes the work on time
  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 spend about seven days over a three-month period preparing, conducting the site visit and completing the report.

Is there any Compensation?

We do not offer salary compensation or honorarium, in keeping with the policies of other academic and professional accrediting bodies. The Alliance reimburses Visiting Committee members for all travel and related expenses after the site visit.

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