The goings-on of Icon – a new joiner’s perspective

Joining Icon as Professional Development Officer, Chloe Gerrard reflects on what we achieved in 2020.

04 Feb 2021

January acts as a marker of sorts. To start the month working at Icon – albeit remotely – it has been a pleasure to learn all about Icon’s achievements, especially amidst what has been a turbulent and unprecedented year.

2020 also marked the 20th Anniversary of Icon Accreditation, celebrating over 1,100 professional conservators having gone through the peer assessment system. It is uplifting to know that such a history of commitment and rigour exists, and I look forward to processing all the new Accreditation applications this coming March.

For me, the new online learning resources have also been a highlight that continues to give. From the virtual tours led by Accredited members of their studio work, to the Conservation Together At Home webinar series – the depth and quality of these videos provides a good insight into specialist work. It is also extremely approachable, even for a non-specialist like me!

Icon’s advocacy work has also been interesting to catch up with, specifically how Icon got DCMS to include conservation within their focus for support. Lobbying effectively for the importance of conservation is an ever-continuing task, and Icon’s new Impact Report really effectively breaks down how best to approach impact work. Especially helpful are all the downloadable key messages and factsheets; these will be crucial in relation to all the restructuring going on in many of our major institutions.

Icon was, and is, about making information accessible. This continued through to the launch of a new online resource to find suitably qualified conservators you can trust. Icon’s redeveloped Conservation Register is the first-ever publicly accessible directory of all Icon-Accredited conservators – so anyone can find the best person for any kind of conservation-adjacent job.

Just this month, it has already been great to learn about and support Icon members in their professional development journeys, and I look forward to all that Icon will achieve in the future.

Icon welcomes everyone with a passion for cultural heritage. Help us celebrate the impact conservation can have, and the ways it helps us understand our past, present and future.

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