Who we are

Icon was founded in 2005 and now plays a key role in championing the care of cultural heritage and supporting the conservation profession

Icon raises awareness of the cultural, social and economic value of caring for heritage and champions high standards of conservation. We are:

  • An independent charity governed by a Board of Trustees.
  • A membership organisation representing around 2,500 individuals and organisations, including professional conservators, volunteers and owners of cultural heritage.
  • A professional body raising the standards of conservation practice through Accreditation, a Code of ConductProfessional Standards and Complaints Procedure.
  • A small enterprise with 10 employees offering expertise in membership services, finance, professional development, communication, strategy, policy and advocacy.

Our history

Icon was founded in 2005, from the merger of 5 bodies: The Care of Collections Forum, The Institute of Paper Conservation, The Photographic Materials Conservation Group, The Scottish Society for Conservation and Restoration and The United Kingdom Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works.

Between 2005 and 2016, Icon owned The Chantry Library - a collection of publications concerning paper and book conservation, established in 1999 by Mrs Beatrix Chantry in memory of her daughter, Judith. In 2016, ownership passed over to the Oxford Conservation Consortium. 


Our values

The following values underpin all our activities:

  • Work with integrity: we are open and honest and do what we believe is best for our shared cultural heritage, the public and our members.
  • Be inclusive: we value diversity and ensure that opportunities are open to all those who want to care for our heritage.
  • Be forward and outward-looking: we keep our eyes on the horizon and on the world around us.
  • Be ambitious advocates: both for our organisation and the things we believe in.
  • Be collaborative and generous: we work with our members and partners to achieve the best results together.
  • Uphold high standards: we value, support and promote the expertise and professionalism of our members and partners.