Icon Team's Recent Visit to BFI to discuss Accreditation

Read about Icon's recent visit to the BFI's National Archive to discuss Accreditation

31 Jan 2024

Icon’s Accreditation Manager, Heather Doyle, and Membership Officer, Michael Rodger, were recently invited to the National Archives of the British Film Institute to talk about the Icon Accreditation process.

The BFI recently have secured a National Lottery grant of £75,000 to assist with skills development routes in screen heritage conservation.

The screen heritage sector has a crisis of an ageing expert workforce, without an emerging skilled next generation. Educational and employment pathways into the field are scarce, especially within the UK and those routes available are often costly or requiring a pre-acquired level of skill. Often, only those with connections, or who can afford to undertake training overseas, can enter the profession.

For those already within the sector, opportunity for mid-career development with formalised endorsement is severely lacking, limiting skills recognition or progression opportunities. These combined pressures mean the sector is losing expertise and lacks opportunities for formalised knowledge exchange.

Lottery funds will be used to develop new entry routes and support the professional development of the current workforce, helping to safeguard the field of screen heritage conservation for the future.

Paul Hexter, Film Operations Manager at the BFI National Archive says:

“Collaborating with Creative Access helps us to test a different recruiting model and attract a more diverse candidate to a new entry-level route into the field. Testing how we teach our skills to our interns and learning from how they learn, we hope to discover effective methods of knowledge transfer, and bolster our succession prospects for the future.

Collaborating with Icon and measuring the skill and expertise of existing staff against the rigors of Icon Accreditation will give well-earned formal recognition to our teams, their skill, and their profession.”

Heather Doyle, Icon Accreditation Manager says:

“It was a real privilege to learn more about the work of the Conservation team at the BFI and speak to them about Icon’s Accreditation process. The UK has such a rich and valuable collection of screen heritage and protecting this collection requires a highly specialist skillset. It is essential we can retain the talents of the existing workforce. Achieving professional accreditation through Icon can offer experienced conservators the opportunity to gain wider professional recognition. We look forward to supporting BFI team members on the Accreditation Pathway soon.”

After speaking to the Conservation Team, Heather and Michael were taken on a tour of the archives and conservation studio to see the BFI team in action. It was a fascinating insight into the unique challenges of protecting screen heritage.

Heather and Michael would like to thank Paul Hexter, Elena Nepoti ACR and all the staff at the BFI Archives for their hospitality during the course of their visit.