How to get certified

Download forms
Commitment form
  • Who is eligible to apply?

    Home of the 21st century children education targets organisations who aim to equip children to actively co-create a more sustainable society by offering individual education based on a combination of high-quality interpretation and joyful and interactive engagement with tangible and intangible heritage.

    We welcome applications from children’s museums, museums science centres, galleries and similar cultural organisations with a particular emphasis on children’s programming.

    Participating organisations are required to:

    • offer active self-education through play
    •  target children and/or families
    • offer interactive hand-on/minds-on/hearts-on exhibitions and programmes

    About Labelling Process

    This brand and label of quality for museums as homes of the 21st century education can help you to benchmark and highlight the unique quality of your work … because your work and its potential to foster children’s empowerment as active co-creators of society, deserves to be respected, treasured, and enlightened publicly.

    The labelling process consists of two stages. The first stage is the Commitment stage, when an organisation states that it supports our vision for the Homes of the 21st century education.

    At the second stage, an organisation can participate in the Certification process. We provide a comprehensive questionnaire, which is then evaluated and scored by Hands On!. If the assessment criteria of the Homes of the 21st century education are fulfilled, the organisation gets certified. The Certification is valid for two years after which the organisations need to apply to get re-certified.

  • Get Committed

    to the vision of the Homes of the 21st Century Education

    Do you want to apply for the label of quality? … Or are you just starting? Not sure, you really comply with all criteria t but still want to say that this is the way to go? Sign up and commit to our manifesto outlining the 8 charateristics of Homes of the 21st Century Education.

    Download and fill out the Word document, and send it to our Hands On office. Your form will be reviewed and once it is approved, you will receive a confirmation from us and you will be added to our database of Commited organisations. This will also add the organisation to the database of committed organisations and publish it on our website!

    This news will also be published on our website. We will provide you with the relevant communication package) and your organisation is furthermore required to make it public on your website and/or relevant social media channels.

  • Get Certified

    as a Home of the 21st Century Education

    Do you want to highlight the quality of your work? Do you want to benchmark it and get an international feedback on your work? Do you want to lobby for high-quality children education in museums and similar organisations?

    Are you already a committed organisation? If not, please first complete the “Get committed” step and register your organisation there.

    If you are already committed, and want to get the Certification (and label) for your organisation, send an email to our Hands On! office. Once we make sure that you are already in our database of commited organisations, we will send you the Certification application form to fill out, an invoice and the process will start.

    First, we will send you the assessment questionnaire and ask you to fill it out and return to us. Hands On! office will then review your assessment questionnaire, as well as your website and other documents that you have submitted conscientiously and according to the criteria set by the label. The decision to grant a label is based on the assessment against these criteria.

    In case of a positive evaluation, you will receive an evaluation report and  you will be awarded with the certificate, the label and the relevant communication pack. Your organisation will be included in the database of Certified Organisations and the news will be published on our website! Your organisation is furthermore required to make their label and the characteristics publicly on your website and/or relevant social media channels.

    The Certificate/label is valid for two years and must be renewed. The Hands on office will send out a reminder.

    If you do not meet some of the criteria we have set, you can find the reasoning in the evaluation report which might help you to review the goals of your organisation. You can re-submit the application afterwards.

    Please have a look at the

  • Pricing

    for Commitment and Certification/Label

    If one organisations runs different venues, the commitment and label have to be purchased for every venue individually.

    Reasoning: We focus on evaluating the implementation of the characteristics on practical examples. The quality of implementation, themes and staff can theoretically vary from venue to venue.

    Additionally, for families and teachers who visit the venues, the quality of every venue is important and they might not even be aware of their connection through an overarching legal entity. On the travel and learn website (should we name it differently? It might be confusing) we therefore want to feature individual venues to highlight and communicate their specific offers and the quality they offer for potential audiences.

    Commitment: Free

    Certification/ Label of Quality:

    • small scale* organisations registration fee €120
    • small scale* organisations renewal fee €80
    • regular registration fee €200
    • regular renewal fee €150

    *stand-alone/independent organisations, who are not part of a bigger legal entity < 10 people staff & volunteers.

  • Benefits for certified/labelled organisations

    Certification/ Label of Quality:
    As a certified/labelled organisation, you get many benefits, and some of the main ones are listed below:

    • Personalized seal/label
    • Individual evaluation report/feedback
    • Certificate
    • Label communication pack
    • Mapping and organisation profile on this website
    • Access (limited places available, first come, first served) to 1 HO! meeting/training course per year (if it is a paid offer, the regular fee has to be paid)
    • Instagram post introducing your organisation
    • Visibility during our biennial conferences

  • Benefits for Hands On! Members

    You do not have to be a member of Hands On International to apply to Commitment or Certificate/Label. However, becoming a member brings many other benefits. Therefore, we invite all Commited and Certfied/labelled organizations to become a member of Hands On!

    Become a member!

    Benefits for Hands On Members:

    • Reduced or free access to an annual forum (biennial conference and online event for in-between years)
    • Opportunity to become a national ambassador (max number per country- 2)
    • Free visibility at HO! conferences (flyer table, project slam, online showrooms, etc.)
    • Access to online meetings and trainings
    • Support and guidance in the labelling process (information meetings with the HO! board/office, review of potential before official application)
    • Exchange ideas and expertise with other members at Hands On! activities.
    • Highlight organization’s news, exhibitions and events through the Hands On! website, social media profiles and newsletter.
    • Get access to special resources in our member’s zone.
    • Enter for the annual Children in Museums Award at a discounted rate.
    • Receive updates on the latest and most inspiring trends, exhibitions and programmes for children in museums worldwide.
    • Benefit from our database, with contact information of other members and associates across the globe.
    • Receive detailed survey results and personalized advocacy documents (e.g.: Letters of support, etc.)
    • We are always by your side!


  • Communication Pack

    for committed and certified/labelled organisations

    Packs for committed organisations

    • Draft press release “We are committed”
    • Banner: “We are committed”
    • Characteristics document
    • Guide‚ communication pack for committed organisations (ideas on how the characteristics can be used by the organisations to assess their programmes

    Packs for certified/labelled organisations

    • Personalised seal (for digital use)
    • General banner “We are a certified” (for digital use)
    • Certificate digital (can be printed)
    • Draft press release
    • Evaluation report
    • Guide‚ label communication pack
    • Instructions for web profile (assessible through QR code)
    • Overview benefits of label
    • Letter template

  • National ambassadors

    coming soon

Commitment form!

Commitment form (Word document)

Would like to join the movement?

Apply for certification or commit to the transformation which will make your organisation a Home of 21st Century Education.