There are two assessment stages. Candidates must first build a portfolio of evidence, demonstrating how their practice meets Icon’s Professional Standards. This is then followed by a professional discussion, based on the evidence contained in the portfolio. The professional discussion is an opportunity for the candidate to present their evidence and draw out their underpinning material knowledge and understanding of the principles and practice of conservation.

Your assessment will be carried out by a qualified Assessor and a Specialist Advisor. The Assessor will lead the assessment and the Specialist Advisor will work in the same matetrial specailism or working context as you do. 

Stage 1: Preparation and submission of a Portfolio of evidence

This assessment will take the form of a portfolio of evidence which will be created on e-portfolio system (OneFile). The portfolio is expected to contain the documentary evidence to show that you are working to the ‘proficient’ level across each of the specific Icon Professional Standards criteria.

You will be given access to the portfolio on passing the ‘Application stage’. You will also be assigned an Icon Mentor (if you haven’t got one already).

When preparing the portfolio, you will gather evidence from as many projects as they require (at least 4 projects). All projects must be suitable to demonstrate your practice to the ‘proficient’ level and be related to conservation problems in which you can clearly demonstrate your personal input and autonomy in your decision making.

The portfolio of evidence is expected to contain, but is not limited to:

  • Product evidence, images of the physical objects / collections, documentation
  • Witness testimonies from colleagues, clients, and / or managers
  • Evidence of communications
  • Images or videos of work undertaken
  • Case studies / written statements outlining the steps taken in a project and any personal evaluation of practice (if provided alongside another form of evidence)
  • Continuing professional development records.

Stage 2: Professional Discussion

This assessment method will take the form of a Professional Discussion based on projects presented as evidence in the portfolio of evidence (Assessment Stage 1). 

The discussion is there to test your knowledge, understand the projects you are presenting and to draw out additional knowledge and skills to demonstrate that you are working to the correct level across all the Icon Professional Standards criteria. 

Delivery and structure of the professional discussion

The Professional Discussion will typically last for 3 hours (plus breaks), but may be longer if necessary. Further time may be granted for candidates with appropriate needs, for example where signing services are required (e.g. delivering the Professional Discussion over multiple sessions).

Questioning will cover the following areas:

  • Professional judgement and ethics
  • Continuing professional development
  • Health & safety and compliance issues
  • Assessment of the significance of cultural heritage objects and collections
  • Knowledge of technical language and underpinning conservation theory
  • Material knowledge related to area of practice
  • Technical skill
  • Analysis and interpretation of data
  • Assessment of object condition and previous interventions
  • Standards, protocols and policies related to area of practice

Your Assessor and Specailist Advisor may choose to follow up with written questions after the professional discussion should they have additional questions or points that need to be clarified.