Core Documents Verification

Core Documents Verification is a document review and recognition program  that revolves around the evaluation of five core documents against a set of required elements. Completion of the program provides public confirmation that an institution has an educational mission and the policies and procedures in place that reflect standard practices of professional museums, as articulated in National Standards and Best Practices for U.S. Museums and used in the Accreditation Program.

What are the Core Documents

The following five documents have been designated as core documents because they are fundamental for basic professional museum operations and embody core museum values and practices. Each has a set of required elements associated with it. Learn more about each document.

  • Mission Statement

  • Institutional Code of Ethics

  • Strategic Institutional Plan

  • Disaster Preparedness/Emergency Response Plan

  • Collections Management Policy

Why participate?

  • Get feedback on your museum’s core policies and plans.

  • Get recognition for achieving a level of professionalism.

  • Streamline the path towards accreditation.

  • Use as an accountability tool for keeping your policies up to date.

  • Contribute to field-wide advocacy efforts by sending a strong, visible message to the public and policymakers that the museum field is professional, accountable and committed to shared standards and the quest for excellence.

How does it work?

Once a museum feels its core documents are fully in line with the required elements, it uploads one or more documents, answers a few eligibility and demographics questions, and pays a fee. Alliance staff or a trained peer reviewer then evaluate the documents against the required elements and determine if the document passes. 

Once all five documents meet the required elements the institution is designated as Core Document Verified. The Core Documents designation is valid for five years, at which point the museum must indicate if any documents have changed and reaffirm eligibility. Revised documents may need to be re-approved at the discretion of the Alliance. If a museum fails to be Verified within three years of its initial submission, it must reapply and resubmit payment to complete the program.

Learn more about the process and resources available to help your museum develop its Core Documents.

How does it connect with the Accreditation Program?

Successfully completing the Core Documents Verification program is a required step before applying for Accreditation. The documents and information submitted in the process flow directly into your accreditation paperwork, eliminating the need to re-answer or resubmit this material as long as it’s still current.