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Icon welcomes individuals and organisations from all backgrounds who identify with the conservation and preservation of our cultural heritage.  Our membership embraces the entire conservation community as well as members of the public who are keen to learn more or show their support for conservation work.

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NCESS Endorsement PDF Print E-mail

The Strategy has been formally endorsed by the following organisations:

The Clothworkers Foundation

The Radcliffe Trust

National Portrait Gallery

The Heritage Crafts Association

The ICON National Conservation and Education Strategy aims "to foster successful learning and research environment in the UK that delivers the knowledge, skills and understanding that will be needed in the future."
A worthy aim indeed which the Heritage Crafts Association fully support. Furthermore, the HCA is delighted to see the recognition of the importance of craft skills in conservation.

Robin Wood
Chair Heritage Crafts Association

Creative and Cultural Skills

Cardiff University

Cardiff University welcomes the launch of Icon's National Conservation Education and Skills Strategy, in particular the plans to offer greater support for existing  provision in Higher Education and Research. Cardiff University have already offered leadership in conservation research through projects such as Professor Watkinson's world leading  team investigating iron corrosion that has contributed to the development strategies of  projects such as the ss Great Britain and informed the work of many other heritage agencies. With a range of conservation degrees offered at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels Cardiff University would  support the creation of QAA Benchmark statements for  conservation courses. Cardiff University has always identified the benefits to the teaching of conservation from agreed and explicit standards for conservation education and would wish to support work in this important area.

Yr Athro Terry Threadgold
Pennaeth, Ysgol Hanes, Archaeoleg a Chrefydd Caerdydd
Dirprwy Is-Ganghellor, Staff ac Amrywiaeth
Prifysgol Caerdydd

Professor Terry Threadgold
Head, Cardiff School of History, Archaeology and Religion,
Pro Vice Chancellor, Staff and Diversity
Cardiff University

IHBC (The Institute of Historic Building Conservation)

BAFRA (The British Antique Furniture Restorer's Association)

Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology University of Oxford

British Library

IfA (Institute for Archaeologists)

The National Trust for Scotland

"Three bold aims are at the heart of Icon’s excellent strategy and shape the way forward for the next 5 years.   Knowledge, skills and understanding are core to all professional practice and, in this document, all strands are brought together and are given a clear sense of context and direction "

Clare MeredithACR

Head of Collections Conservation Services
The National Trust for Scotland

National Trust

`'The National Trust engaged with the development of ICON’s 2012-16 Conservation Education and Skills Strategy as a major heritage stakeholder and is wholeheartedly behind its aims and objectives. This strategy aligns with our own priority to develop the capability of our own staff and volunteers, and we depend on the knowledge, skills and experience of the present and future workforce in the whole sector to look after our properties so that present and future generations can enjoy them. The development of qualifications and accreditation in conservation draws upon our practice, and we welcome the creation of a co-ordinated path to professional practice which embraces a variety of entry points and reflects our experience of where a vital work force comes from. Campaigning to conserve the places that people find beautiful and meaningful underpins our work, and we fully support the ambition of raising awareness in the educational and research fields to ensure the continued flourishing of the heritage sector. We commend this strategy"

Katy Lithgow, Head Conservator, The National Trust

ARA (Archives and Records Association UK & Ireland)

The John Rylands Library The University of Manchester

Historic Royal Palaces

On behalf of Historic Royal Palaces, I would like to welcome this new Institute of Conservation National Conservation Education and Skills Strategy, 2012-2016, and give our strong wholehearted support to it.

It is important in this age of diversity that we foster and enable access to our profession from a range of backgrounds and ages, as well as being essential to its future sustainability.  It is a major strength of the strategy that it encompasses so many aspects of how this aim can be achieved.

Historic Royal Palaces encourages continuous professional development in all its staff, and has actively promoted training for new conservators over recent years with its Clothworkers’ Foundation-funded Historic Royal Palaces/Icon internships in textile conservation. This has continued with the recent agreement to fully fund a student scholarship for research in Heritage Science at the Centre for Sustainable Heritage at University College London.

This letter serves to support the Icon conservation education and skills strategy. I wish the strategy all success in its objectives

Yours sincerely

Ms. Kate Frame,

Head of Conservation and Collection Care

Historic Royal Palaces 

English Heritage


Arts Council England issued a press release following the launch of the Strategy - Arts Council welcomes strategy aimed at protecting and preserving cultural objects.

  • Date: 15 May 2012
  • Region: National

The Arts Council has welcomed the National Conservation Education and Skills Strategy, which sets out a vision for conservation education over the next five years.

Hedley Swain, Director of Museums and Renaissance at Arts Council England said:

'The Arts Council welcomes the National Conservation Education and Skills Strategy. In promoting the development of conservation education, this strategy will help ensure the protection and preservation of cultural objects for future generations.

'The vision will also map out a range of career paths, raising awareness of conservation as a subject, and hopefully diversifying the workforce and leadership of the sector.'

Building an environment of learning and research to secure the future of conservation

The strategy sets out how the sector can build an environment of learning and research in the UK that will foster the necessary knowledge, skills and understanding needed to secure the future of conservation.

A range of qualifications and professional standards already enable entry routes to the conservation workforce, but this new strategy aims to encourage a more diverse, better networked and focused profession.

The Arts Council and collections care

Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in museums and libraries. Creating a skilled cultural workforce sits at the heart of this.

One of our five goals in Culture, knowledge and understanding: great museums and libraries for everyone is to ensure that 'The leadership and workforce are diverse and highly skilled'. Collections care is also a central aspect of the work of museums and, as such, the ICON strategy aligns closely with several areas of our work.

Demonstrating good practice in the care and use of collections is a requirement of museums attaining industry quality marks Designation and Accreditation. It is also central to the Preservation of Industrial and Scientific Material (PRISM) fund, which awards grants towards the costs of acquisition and conservation of items or collections which are important in the history and development of science, technology, industry, and related fields.

Find out more

National Conservation Education and Skills Strategy is published by ICON, a membership organisation that supports conservation groups and professionals, as well as people working to improve understanding of and access to cultural heritage.

To find out more about how we support museums, visit the Supporting museums section of website. You can also read Culture, knowledge and understanding: great museums and libraries for everyone.

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