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Our Accreditation role and policy

UNESCO’s official endorsement that an area, site, person or organisation has met its rigorous international standard.

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Achieving UNESCO status is a huge achievement. It shows that a place, organisation or person has met, and continues to meet, UNESCO’s international standard and ascribes to its values. As the official body for UNESCO in the United Kingdom, it is our role to provide an accreditation service for individuals and organisations in the United Kingdom, its Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies.  There are many ways to be accredited by UNESCO, whether you are an individual, organisation, city, or landscape. From UNESCO World Heritage Site status or Creative City status, to UNESCO Patronage, UNESCO Prizes and joining the UK UNESCO expert network, scroll below to find out more and view our products and services.

Everything you need to know about Accreditation

#Engage #YourUNESCO

What is #Accreditation

UNESCO status helps sites, landscapes, documents and academics to fulfil their potential and promote peace and sustainable development.

#What

What is Accreditation?

Recognised internationally as shorthand for high-quality, accreditation is the UNESCO ‘badge’ which demonstrates to a national and international audience that a place, item or location is unique and of global significance and interest.

We advise and support individuals and institutions through the process of gaining UNESCO accreditation in the UK, its Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies These include: UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN Network Programme, UNESCO Creative Cities, UNESCO Global Geoparks, UNESCO Memory of the World Register, UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

All UK applications are independently peer-reviewed before they are recommended for submission to the UNESCO Secretariat in Paris. This process ensures all UK nominations sent to UNESCO are of the highest quality while providing the applicant with the specialist and tailored support they need.

Not all applications to the UK National Commission for UNESCO will be endorsed for submission to UNESCO. Not all applications submitted to UNESCO will be successful.

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How to Engage with us

#Accreditation

All UK applications must be independently peer-reviewed before they are recommended for submission to the UNESCO Secretariat in Paris. 

#Benefits

What are the benefits of applying for UNESCO Accreditation?

#OurPolicy

The UK National Commission for UNESCO provides high-quality advice and support to individuals and organisations applying for a UNESCO accreditation in the UK.

#WhyApply

Our Policy

The UK National Commission for UNESCO provides high-quality advice and support to individuals and organisations applying for UNESCO accreditation. Make sure you are fully familiar with our UK Accreditation Policy before beginning the application process.

All UK nominations for UNESCO designations and prizes must be submitted through the UK National Commission for UNESCO or one of its partners, depending on the category of accreditation. This is to help ensure that all UK nominations are of the highest standard and to provide support and advice to individuals and organisations in accessing these accreditations. All applications and nominations are subject to independent, expert review and need to be submitted to the UK National Commission for UNESCO prior to any deadline set for submission to UNESCO.

#OurRole

We run tailored peer review processes for a number UNESCO accreditations

#Process

The Application Process: How will the UK National Commission for UNESCO assist with accreditation?

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#Step1

Contact the UK National Commission for UNESCO

Contact the UK National Commission for UNESCO at the earliest opportunity to inform them of your intent to apply. This will allow the UKNC to confirm your eligibility, answer any questions you may have and advise you on your application. This will also provide the UKNC with enough prior warning to identify suitable independent peer reviewers to evaluate your submission.

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#Step2

Submit your Application

You will be required to submit your application or nomination to the UK National Commission for UNESCO before the final deadline for submission to UNESCO. When the application is received, UKNC staff will undertake an initial review to ensure that your application is eligible.

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#Step3

Independent Assessment

For each nomination or application the UK National Commission for UNESCO identifies pro bono experts in the relevant field to peer review the application. The reviewers are guided by the criteria and guidelines set out by UNESCO and their expert knowledge of the sector/issues in question. Reviewers are asked to recommend either:

  • endorsement
  • endorsement contingent on further information, clarification, or amendments to the current application or nomination or
  • not to endorse

Not all applications to the UK National Commission for UNESCO will be endorsed for submission to UNESCO. Not all applications submitted to UNESCO will be successful.

In cases where there is a limit to the number of nominations a country can submit, stronger nominations will be given preference for endorsement, as determined by the external reviewers. Differences in reviewer recommendations are reconciled by the relevant UKNC Director and UKNC Board Chair, who hold final authority on endorsement decisions.

These decisions are final, although applicants are entitled to an explanation of any decision regarding their application. We reserve the right for our independent reviewers to remain anonymous.

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#Step4

Submission to UNESCO

If your application is successful, a letter of endorsement from the UK National Commission for UNESCO will be provided for your application. UNESCO will only accept complete applications or nominations accompanied by the letter of endorsement from the UKNC.

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#Step5

UNESCO Assessment

UNESCO has an internal review procedure of its own. A decision will be relayed to the UK National Commission for UNESCO or directly to the applicant, depending on the category of accreditation.

Not all applications submitted to UNESCO will be successful.

#Accreditation #Requirements

UNESCO designations, prizes and Patronage all have different requirements for entry. 

#Requirements

Requirements: Find out by accreditation type

UNESCO designations, prizes and Patronage all have different requirements for entry. It is important to read these before you attempt to apply as you, your project or organisation may not be eligible.

Requirements and criteria can be found on our pages giving information on each type of designation, on prizes and on Patronage.

#Accreditation #Deadlines

Find out when your accreditation application needs to be submitted to the UK National Commission for UNESCO

#Deadlines

Deadlines: When and how they work

Some UNESCO accreditation applications have fixed deadlines and some change year on year. Please remember that the UK National Commission for UNESCO has earlier deadlines for all accreditation applications.

The deadlines that UNESCO publicises are the final deadline by which time the full application, with UK National Commission for UNESCO endorsement, must be submitted. UK applicants must submit their applications to the UKNC at least 4 weeks before this date. While the UKNC will make every effort to publicise this earlier deadline, this is not always possible.

#AreYouReady?

Use our online form to submit your expression of interest to the UK National Commission for UNESCO

👋    Visit Expression of Interest form     

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