Benefits of Accreditation

Public Trust

  • Provides the public with essential connections to the natural world;
  • Develops public confidence by means that an institution meets or exceeds current professional standards;
  • Provides a publicly recognized badge signifying excellence in, and commitment to, such things as animal management and welfare, safety, conservation and education; and
  • Distinguishes AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums from "roadside zoos" and for-profit menageries.

 Benefits for the Accredited Zoo or Aquarium

  • Membership in AZA;
  • Increases eligibility for funding and grants from certain foundations, corporations and other sources;
  • Cuts red tape (exempts institutions from certain government requirements, primarily at the state level);
  • Promotes professional recognition from the top zoological parks and aquariums in the United States;
  • Provides impartial evaluation on a periodic basis by professional experts;
  • Promotes excellence within the institution by causing an institution to continuously evaluate itself;
  • Provides staff an invaluable opportunity to learn from other institutions;
  • Fosters staff and community pride; and
  • Significantly improves the ability to attract and retain a high quality, professional staff.

Access to Critical AZA Programs and Services

  • Participation in Animal Exchange (access to specimens from other AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums for loan and/or breeding);
  • Opportunities for collaboration and consultation with AZA colleagues who are top experts in their fields;
  • Participation in the Species Survival Plan, AZA's flagship Animal Conservation Program;
  • Access to AZA’s Accreditation Resource Center;
  • Free and discounted admission to AZA accredited institutions for collegial information-sharing, and much more.

Find a Zoo or Aquarium Donate to AZA Contact Us Member Login Search the site