The Bookstore

The most informative and authoritative professional literature on every aspect of museum operations. 

Standards and Best Practices

Benchmarks, guidelines and avenues for recognition.

About Peer Review

What does a Peer Reviewer do?

  • Review museum self-assessment materials
  • Conduct site visits
  • Facilitate the institutional planning process
Reviewers are matched to museums based on type/discipline and size. Sometimes are matched based on their experience and expertise with a particular governance structure or type of institutional challenge.

Why become a Peer Reviewer?

Gain professional development and the opportunity to give back to the field. With each site visit you interact with fellow professionals and learn how another museum is meeting its challenges

Who can become an Alliance Peer Reviewer?

A museum professional who is:

  • knowledgeable about museum operations with at least five years of experience
  • a participant in the field-wide dialogue on standards, best practices and emerging field–wide issues (e.g., speaking, writing, teaching, reviewing grants, conferences, etc.)
  • a good communicator with excellent interpersonal skills
  • a strong writer and critical thinker
  • committed to the highest ethical standards and level of professionalism
  • willing to travel and volunteer 40-60 hours of time per assignment

Review the eligibility criteria for full peer reviewer qualifications.

Do Peer Reviewers need to be members of the Alliance?

While Peer Reviewers do not need to be members of the Alliance to participate, joining is recommended as it provides access to additional information and resources that assist you as a reviewer.  

What is the time commitment and cost?

You can expect to spend 40-60 hours are spent on each assignment. The Alliance will reimburse all travel costs, and for MAP reviewers, a small honorarium is provided.

How often will I go on a site visit?

Depending on your experience and expertise, you can expect us to contact you every one to five years.

What are the differences between MAP and Accreditation Reviewers?

 MAP and Accreditation programs require peer reviewers to be:

  • well-informed about current standards and best practices in the field
  • broadly knowledgeable about institutions similar to the ones they review
  • objective, professional, thorough, and diplomatic while visiting the museums and preparing their reports
  • scrupulous in maintaining confidentiality about the results of the review
  • familiar with the museum’s self-study and supplementary documents

Beyond these basic similarities there are significant differences in roles and responsibilities for peer reviewers—in line with the different objectives of MAP versus Accreditation:

MAP Peer Reviewers

  • Usually only one reviewer per visit
  • Provide the museum with information about how it compares to standards and best practices in the field
  • Recommends how the museum might address current challenges and provide resources to help that effort.
  • Shares information on how similar institutions operate.
  • Write a report solely for the museum’s benefit
  • Follow up with the museums after the report is submitted to assist with implementation 
  • Learn more

Accreditation Peer Reviewers:

  • Usually a team of two for each site visit
  • Assess operations against accreditation standards to aid decision-making process
  • Do not provide feedback or suggestions to the museum about how to improve operations
  • Must be objective and observational
  • Write the report primarily for the Accreditation Commission; secondarily for the museum
  • Learn more

Join the Alliance

Membership is the foundation for excellence and unites the field.