Leader Application

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Become a Leader in your field! The Leader Application is an opportunity for Recognized Museums to demonstrate how they are taking best practice to the next level. Institutions who are successful in their Leader Application will have their Recognized Museum status extended from five years to eight years  and will have the Leader designation added to their Recognized Museum status.

The Leader Application consists of eight additional pieces of Evidence that are submitted in addition to the ten pieces of Core Evidence in the Reapplication.


Ten pieces of core evidence:

  • Plan - Strategic or  Operational or  Business
  • Financial Planning - Operating Budget or  Financial Statements
  • Summary of Community Engagement
  • Open to the Public - Accessibility
  • Collections Management Policy
  • Preventive Conservation
  • *NEW*  Emergency and Disaster Plan
  • Example of Research - one example from the past two years
  • Example of Interpretation - one example from the past two years
  • Example of Exhibits - one example from the past two years


Eight pieces of leader evidence:

  • Vision and Values, or  Code of Ethics
  • Example of Fundraising and Fund Development Activity or  Board Orientation Manual or  Annual Report or  Human Resources Policy
  • Example of Organizational Relationship
  • Museum Visitor Experience Summary
  • Conservation Policy or  Procedural Manual for Object Care and Handling or  Condition Report or  Conservation Treatment Report
  • Research Plan or  Research Policy
  • Programming Plan or  Programming Policy
  • Exhibit Plan or  Exhibit Policy


Submitting the Leader Application

The Leader Application must be completed online and can only be completed along with the Reapplication. The link will be available in the Members Only section of the website beginning on June 1.

To help you prepare your institution's application, the AMA created a workbook outlining the Standards and Minimum Requirements for each section of the Leader Application. There is also a PDF of the Leader Application Questions you can use a reference.

RMP Leader Application Questions   RMP Leader Application Workbook 


Please remember to consult the Reapplication Workbook and Reapplication Questions when preparing that component of the Reapplication with Leader Application. 


The deadline to submit Leader Applications is November 30, annually.

The AMA offers complementary Draft Review for any Evidence submitted by September 15. All participants are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the Draft Review as over 80% of Recognized Museums used this complementary service.


A Review Panel consisting of three Individual Members of the AMA will assess your institution's evidence and award one of three possible designations. Regardless of which designation your institution receives, the Review Panel will provide comments to help your institution strengthen its practices going forward.

• Recognized Museum Leader

The required Evidence submitted by the institution met all Minimum Requirements and Standards.

• Conditionally Recognized Museum Leader

The required Evidence submitted by the institution met most Minimum Requirements and Standards but some minor administrative follow-up is needed to become a Recognized Museum Leader. Conditionally Recognized Museum Leaders have eight weeks to complete and submit revisions.

• Candidate Leader in the Recognized Museum Program

The required Evidence submitted by the institution met some Minimum Requirements and Standards but several are outstanding. To become a Recognized Museum Leader the institution must submit Upgrade Evidence. Candidates have up to three years to complete the Upgrade Evidence requested. The annual deadline to submit Upgrade Evidence is October 31.



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RMP Application Process Evidence Reapplication+Leader

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