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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.

Home Technican Qualification

Conservation Technician Qualification PDF Print E-mail

Please note: statement dated 5 June 2015

Icon is working with a partner to provide a revised technician level qualification, branded by Icon, that will replace the original CTQ.  There will be an announcement in July 2015 providing details of the new qualification, with enrolments in the autumn.

Due to a recent programme review and update, Icon’s CTQ programme in its current format is no longer available.  

Icon is committed to supporting all current registered candidates actively working towards the previous CTQ qualification.  These candidates will be able to compete their qualification under the previous programme format and achieve a certificate upon a successful external assessment. 

No new registrations are being taken at this time.

Any questions please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  



Icon re-launched this qualification on 27 April 2012. Potential candidates and organisations interested in acting as hosts may contact  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to express interest



The CTQ - Conservation Technician Qualification - was developed by Icon in 2007 in response to a request from a consortium of interested employers. The qualification recognises the high level of skills and knowledge of those who work in support of conservators. The qualification has run through 2 successful pilots with 34 candidates from a range of backgrounds between 2007 and 2010. 



Read through our Three steps to Qualification leaflet here

Read our FAQ's  here

Read the Handbook here - introduction and guidance 

Read about the Qualification Structure here

Read the Candidate guide here

Candidate registration form: CTQregistration(PDF)  CTQregistration (word)

Candidate assessment record: assessmentrecord (PDF)

assessmentrecord (word)

Table for relating skills to Conservation Technician Qualification (CTQ)  click here (word)  click here (PDF)

Current Fees: The full fee per candidate will be £1,500.00.

This will be payable in two tranches, an initial Registration Fee of £1,200.00 and a subsequent final Assessment Fee of £300.00.

A candidate cannot be Registered on the Qualification until Icon has received their registration form and the Registration Fee. A candidate cannot be awarded the Qualification until they have met the requirements of the Qualification and Icon has received the Assessment Fee. 


Key Deadlines

Registration deadlines (these are the dates by which forms have to have been submitted and Registration Fees paid in order to access the Qualification).

Due to capacity issues the next registration deadline will be in Spring 2015.  Dates will be posted here when they are fixed.   


The aims of Icon's conservation technician qualification are to:

  • Develop the diversity of applicants entering the profession
  • Pave the way for future academic study, professional development and  eventual accreditation
  • Give technicians a portable and recognised qualification to take to future employers
  • Encourage employers to adopt a common standard for technicians
  • Recognise the contribution of volunteers to conservation


What is a Conservation Technician?

A conservation technician undertakes conservation support activities as well as basic conservation procedures under the supervision and guidance of a conservator. Potential applicants can work in a variety of contexts: historic houses, libraries and archives, conservation workshops in major institutions or commercial workshops.  A qualified technician will be able to carry out technical tasks and routine procedures to a high standard, but will not be expected to make more than basic decisions about treatments or preventative measures.  Technicians normally occupy an assistant role in relation to a qualified conservator, although he or she may have considerable autonomy and may be involved in supervising others.
The qualification can also be used for candidates coming straight from school (may take 3-4 years to achieve) or for those who have completed an apprenticeship, or who have come direct from a related area eg. bookbinding, engineering, woodworking or framing. In these cases, training will typically focus on applying skills in context and developing the understanding needed to work in a conservation setting.


Eligible Partner Organisations
Employers of any size can host a candidate. Your organisation should however be able to deliver the training required to meet the standards and at this stage should have sufficient staff  to provide enough internal assessors and mentors for the number of candidates you plan to put forward.


Pilot Employers in Phase Two were:


Arts Council England
York Glaziers Trust 
The Royal Household
Norfolk Record Office
The Bowes Museum
National Galleries of Scotland
National Museums and Galleries Merseyside
Hampshire Museums
National Museums Wales
Norfolk Museums Service
National Museums of Scotland
Eura Conservation
The National Trust
Seth-Smith/Leader Textile Conservation


Pilot Employers in Phase One were:

* National Trust
* Eura Conservation
* The National Archives
* Tate
* The Bodleian Library

To express interest or obtain more information, contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



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