Peer Reviewer Eligibility Criteria

The following criteria are used to determine acceptance and maintenance of active status as a peer reviewer for MAP, Accreditation or both.

Knowledge of Museum Operations

Peer reviewers demonstrate knowledge of basic, overall museum operations by:

  • Holding a museum position with institutional decision-making or planning responsibilities (Accreditation only) or holding a professional-level position at a museum, participating in day-to-day operations of the institution (MAP only).*
  • Having worked in the museum field in a professional capacity a sufficient length of time to develop an understanding of museum operations, generally at least five years.
  • Having a breadth of experience to understand the variety of operations within a museum, demonstrated by at least two of the following:
    • Having held positions at more than one museum
    • Having held positions with different roles and responsibilities within the same museum
    • Having grown within a position as demonstrated by a list of achievements
    • Having participated outside the organization in museum-related activities (other boards, advisor to other institutions, etc.)
  • Having gained an understanding of various effective operational techniques used across the museum field by participating in at least one of the following professional activities, generally for at least one full year:
    • Officer in a museum organization
    • Committee member for a museum organization
    • Grant reviewer for a federal or state museum agency (e.g., IMLS)
    • Member of a peer-group roundtable or another information-sharing program

Understanding of and Participation in the Field

Peer reviewers understand the professional nature of museum work and participate in the field-wide dialogue about museum operations, standards and best practices, and emerging issues. They must demonstrate this understanding and participation through being active in the field at large. Below are examples of these activities.

  • Participating in professional development opportunities (e.g., MMI, SHA)
  • Teaching museum studies
  • Playing a significant role in helping a museum achieve Accreditation
  • Playing a significant role in helping a museum through a MAP review, a CAP review or both
  • Playing a significant role in helping a museum receive an IMLS-GOS grant
  • Having a museum studies degree from a recognized undergraduate or graduate program
  • Participating in issue-based conferences, task forces or think tanks
  • Having memberships in international and national museum associations (e.g., the Alliance, ICOM, AASLH, AZA, AABGA)
  • Attending national, regional or state museum association meetings
  • Participating in national initiatives (e.g., Excellence & Equity, Museums & Community)
  • Speaking at museum meetings and conferences
  • Writing for museum-related publications
  • Keeping up with museum literature via journals, books, listservs or other references

Interpersonal Qualities

Peer reviewers demonstrate oral and written communication skills and interpersonal qualities (diplomacy, discretion, empathy, critical thinking/analysis, time management) needed to conduct a successful site visit through the following accomplishments:

  • Having published writings
  • Having presented at conferences or meetings
  • Having written successful grant proposals
  • Having experience working with boards
  • Having experience working with volunteer groups
  • Having played a leadership role in community or professional organizations
  • Having conducted other forms of review (e.g., IMLS, NEA, NEH, CP)
  • Having served as a team leader or committee chair at a museum
  • Have training in facilitation or public speaking

Familiarity with the Accreditation Process

Accreditation peer reviewers demonstrate familiarity with the Accreditation process through direct, successful experience with Alliance Accreditation as a museum professional in an institutional decision-making position.

Familiarity with Museum-Related Resources

MAP peer reviewers demonstrate familiarity with resources (e.g., professional development opportunities, sources of information on standards and best practices, fundraising sources, networking opportunities) that help a museum improve its operations.

*Upon leaving a museum position, a peer reviewer may request a one-year transition period during which time the individual retains active status and may be called upon to participate in a review. At the end of the year, the Peer Review Team and the individual jointly review commitment and eligibility for continued service.

Upon retiring, a peer reviewer may request a three-year extension period during which time the individual retains active status and may be called upon to participate in a review. At the end of this period, the Peer Review Team and the individual jointly review commitment and eligibility for continued service.

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