Recognized Museum Program

The Recognized Museum Program (RMP) is a standards-based accreditation program for museums in Alberta offered by the Alberta Museums Association (AMA). Participants in RMP submit Evidence in alignment with the AMA's member-approved Definition of a Museum:

A museum is a non-profit making, permanent institution, in the service of society and its development, and open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates, and exhibits, for the purpose of study, education, and enjoyment, material evidence of people and their environment.

To participate in RMP, your institution submits Evidence to demonstrate how its work aligns with best practice standards in the Standard Practices Handbook for Museums, 3rd Edition in the following areas:

  • Non-profit making
  • Permanent institution
  • In the service of society
  • Open to the public
  • Acquires
  • Conserves
  • Researches
  • Communicates
  • Exhibits


An institution is eligible to participate in the RMP if it meets the following  four eligibility requirements: 

  • Be an Institutional Member in good standing with the AMA;
  • Be open to the public a minimum of 200 hours a year;
  • Be a non-profit making institution; and,
  • Have or use a tangible collection.


The first section of the Institutional Profile screens for these four requirements. You can also find content related specifically to eligibility here.

A Review Panel consisting of three Individual Members of the AMA assesses the Evidence to determine whether it meets the Minimum Requirements and Standards for each practice area. The Review Panel uses the assessment to determine which designation your institution receives, and provides comments and instructions to guide your institution along the path to become a Recognized Museum or a Recognized Museum Leader.


Becoming a Recognized Museum or Recognized Museum Leader

 Your journey begins with an Institutional Profile 

All institutions will be required to complete an Institutional Profile before submitting their Application or Reapplication. This will help the Review Panel better understand your museum, how ready you are to embark on your RMP journey, and areas where the AMA can provide Advisory Services to support your institution.

 Application / Reapplication / Reapplication with Leader Application

Your next step is to complete the Application, Reapplication, or Reapplication with Leader Application by November 30. All three options are focussed around ten pieces of Core Evidence and all are submitted online.

The Application is for institutions that are not currently Recognized Museums and consists of fifteen pieces of Evidence (ten pieces of Core Evidence plus five pieces of additional Evidence).

The Reapplication is for current Recognized Museums to renew their designation and consists of ten pieces of Core Evidence.

The Leader Application is an optional addition for Recognized Museums that want to take on a challenge and identify themselves as leaders. These institutions submit the Reapplication as well as the Leader Application, which consists of eight additional pieces of evidence.  

To assist your institution in preparing its Evidence, the AMA offers complementary Draft Review on any Evidence submitted before September 15.


Meet, Maintain, and Model

RMP is a journey not a destination. The journey begins as your institution works to meet best practice standards. Once designated a Recognized Museum, your institution strives to maintain those standards in the long-term. Finally, your institution can choose to model for your peers how you meet and maintain best practices long-term by becoming a Recognized Museum Leader.


The first step in building sustainability is to meet minimum best practice standards. Institutions that are working to meet minimum best practice standards are designated Conditionally Recognized Museums or Candidates in RMP. Participants in the program receive support from the AMA as they work to meet those best practice standards and contribute to a collaborative and robust museum community. Institutions that demonstrate they meet minimum best practice standards are designated Recognized Museums.


The second step is for Recognized Museums to demonstrate how they maintain minimum best practice standards. Institutions that reapply for accreditation every five years are committed to the ongoing process of demonstrating they continue to meet the Minimum Requirements and Standards required to maintain their Recognized Museum designation.

Institutions that maintain Recognized Museum designation over the long-term are leading contributors to the social, cultural, and educational fabric of Alberta.


Institutions with Recognized Museum designation have the option to model what it looks like to meet and maintain best practice standards by applying to become a Recognized Museum Leader. These institutions meet, maintain, and model a long-term commitment to go above and beyond minimum best practice standards.

Institutions designated as Recognized Museum Leaders contribute to a culture of dynamic learning and creativity among Alberta's museums and museum professionals. These institutions give back to other RMP participants by sharing their knowledge and experience.


For more information about the Recognized Museum Program, please contact

The AMA acknowledges the financial support of the Government of Canada for the Recognized Museum Program Review.  


Click to see larger image.


AMA RMP Application Process Evidence


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