Overview of the Network

The vision for the Network of Science Centres is described in the Accreditation Framework.

Membership of the Network is voluntarily and is gained through a process of accreditation for a five-year period. Re-accreditation will then take place in a five-year cycle. A Member may at any time withdraw from the accredited Network.

In the Network the diversity of Science Centres is acknowledged with regard to their areas of specific focus, developmental stage, and resourcing.

The Network makes provision for the admission and management of ongoing membership of this diverse range of Science Centres.

The Network will use a developmental approach to support continuous improvement rather than compliance with minimum requirements.

For more information, consult the documentation available under the Accreditation Framework section of this website.   

Benefits of becoming a member of the Network

Network membership, gained through accreditation, will bring the following potential benefits to members:

  • Accreditation against a clear set of benchmarks will lend credibility to the Science Centre and this would have many benefits, including indication to potential sponsors of worthiness for support.
  • Accredited Centres will qualify to apply for financial grants / support / subsidies from the Department of Science and Technology.
  • Accredited Centres will also qualify to make use of a pool of exhibit expertise and travelling exhibits, cross training and shared programmes.
  • Accreditation provides a platform for international recognition.
  • Benchmarking could support the development of existing Science Centres and guidelines for the establishment of new Science Centres.
  • Accreditation will develop a useful database of contact details and services (including exhibitions and programmes) and could provide a platform for communication and the sharing of relevant information, ideas and expertise amongst accredited Science Centres within the Science Centre community in South Africa and beyond.

Membership phases

The Network will have the following groups/phases of membership:

Applicant phase
An Applicant Science Centre is a Science Centre which has applied to join the National Network of Science Centres.
Applicant Science Centres may register on the website and will then become part of the science centre network community. They will have access to information on the open platform.

Candidate phase
A Candidate Science Centre is a Science Centre which has submitted a formal application for accreditation with supporting documentation, but of which the formal accreditation finding is on-going/outstanding or contested by the Candidate Centre.
A developmental approach would require that a Candidate Centre should be able to demonstrate that –

  • its mission statement supports one or more of the goals articulated in the National Norms and Standards
  • the mission is appropriate to the specific Centre
  • a clearly articulated implementation plan serves to guide the Centre to achieve the objectives articulated in its mission statement.

Full membership phase
A Member Science Centre is a Science Centre which has been admitted to the Network through a process of accreditation for the next five years, and whose accreditation is current.
Continued membership would require that the Member Centre –

  • has a clearly articulated and appropriate strategy for continuous improvement towards realisation of its own mission
  • can demonstrate that it is making satisfactory progress towards implementation of its strategy.


How to apply to become a member

The process of registering and applying is managed by the Accreditation Office.

Send us a message using the contact form that is on our Contact page with the following information about your science centre: 

  • Name of your centre
  • The type of centre i.e. museum, zoo, observatory, research facility etc.
  • Location of your centre
  • Contact person's details 

We will then contact you for more information.