EPIC announced as Sandford Award Winner

We are delighted to be announced as a Sandford Award Winner.

The Sandford Award has celebrated and promoted high quality in heritage education since 1978 and is the only scheme in existence able to provide independent quality assurance to sites that run formal education programmes.

The Awards focus on formal, curriculum-linked education opportunities offered to schools and colleges by heritage sites and services and informal learning including family programmes.  The Awards are made annually and are non competitive. The Sandford Award lasts for five years.

EPIC was judged against criteria including:
  • The education programmes are delivered in a way that engages, informs and inspires visitors
  • The educational provision contributes to an understanding of the local and national heritage or natural environment
  • The programme has been developed through consultation with educational customers and advisors
  • Educational resources and services are provided which enhance the quality of the learners’ visit


In their awarding the judging panel cited:

“EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum provides creative and inspirational learning experiences for local, national and international visitors based on the many personal stories of a diverse range of Irish people at home and abroad. This digital museum is highly interactive and appeals to a wide cross section of ages and interests but it is the intervention of highly skilled and passionate learning and visitor experience staff that add huge value to people’s experience. There is good supportive and collaborative working across the wider museum team and the museum is constantly seeking new ways to grow and improve their developing learning offer.”

EPIC is the only Irish Awardee of 2020 and one of only nine awardees on the island of Ireland. More than 500 heritage sites and services across Ireland and the UK have received the prestigious quality mark over the past four decades including historic houses, museums and galleries, archives and libraries, castles and forts, places of worship, wildlife parks, historic gardens and landscapes, large historic artefacts such as ships, and open air museums. 

EPIC now joins the following Irish awardees in holding this prestigious title:


And was awarded in 2020 alongside the following winners:

The Heritage Education Trust in partnership with Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln manages the Sandford Award. The university has its own record of excellence offering a Masters course in Heritage Education. The Trust is the only body in existence able to provide independent quality assurance to heritage attractions which run education programmes.