04 Oct 2021

Icon Impact Report 2020-2021

A summary of Icon's achievements in the year 2020-2021


Download Icon's full Impact report below:

Icon Impact Report 2020 - 2021.pdf



Chief Executive’s Summary

There is no doubt that this year, which has been dominated by the Coronavirus and its impact, will live long in people's memories for both personal and professional reasons. We have all faced multiple challenges and many cultural heritage organisations have been forced to make tough decisions and to curtail their activities simply to survive. It has been a year when we have all learned what it means to be resilient and adaptable.

Sara Crofts wearing mask.png

Chief Executive Sara Crofts - wearing a made-by-a-conservator facemask (thanks to Heather Porter ACR)

Icon has not been immune to these challenges but, at the same time, it is fair to say that our challenges have been more modest than some other organisations. We did have to move quickly to home-working, but our IT infrastructure and internal processes made this relatively painless. We also had to switch our events to an online format, which proved to be highly successful. The #ConservationTogetherAt Home webinar series, led by Icon’s Book and Paper Group, showed how imaginative and flexible we can be. The programme of online lectures delivered not only CPD opportunities but also fostered a genuine sense of community and mutual support, which I know that Icon members and others valued immensely.

During the lockdown, Icon’s staff team worked harder than ever to support the membership. We increased our policy work, engaging with DCMS and other sector networks to ensure that collections care was not forgotten while the doors were closed.

We also worked alongside funders, unions and other networks to fight for support and opportunities for freelancers and small businesses. Our efforts were commended by Historic England, the Heritage Alliance, and others and, as a result, we have consolidated our growing reputation as a trusted and considered source of policy advice and evidence.

A further concern was ensuring that those working towards accreditation were not disadvantaged by the lockdown restrictions. We therefore experimented with carrying out online accreditation assessments and accreditation committee meetings. Although the experience of a studio visit cannot be fully replicated in the virtual environment, we were encouraged to find that it was possible to maintain the same rigorous assessment processes and high standards when working online. This is a positive outcome for many reasons, not least because we can now demonstrate that geography is no longer a barrier to assessment. Online assessment also makes it easier to offer Icon accreditation to our international members, with the potential to enhance the global standing of the conservation profession.


Download Icon's full Impact report below:

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