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Conservation Accreditation for Professionals

Working with older buildings calls for a particular set of skills and expertise. Professionals use conservation accreditation to demonstrate  their competence.

Find out below about the conservation accreditation schemes that exist and when using conservation accredited professionals is required by grant funders.

Advice on which type of professionals you need to employ on your project and how to find them is available from our Finding Professional Help page.

Measured survey for Cultural Heritage Summer School at Kenilworth Castle
Measured survey for Cultural Heritage Summer School at Kenilworth Castle © Chris Redgrave / Historic England

Why is it important?

Conservation accreditation schemes are useful to clients, employers and grant funders because:

  • They to become accredited professionals have to submit evidence of their knowledge, ability and experience
  • Their registers can be used to find skilled people

Conservation accreditation schemes

The schemes are run by professional bodies and independent organisations. Each scheme has its own application and assessment process.

Most schemes use the International Council on Monuments and Sites' (ICOMOS) Guidelines for Education and Training in the Conservation of Monuments, Ensembles and Sites as the basis for their assessment of candidate's experience.

Conservation Accreditation schemes for professionals working on historic buildings include:

There are also membership schemes for conservation professionals:

Learn more about the range of accreditation schemes available from the Understanding Conservation website.

UK Home Countries Heritage Bodies repair grant schemes

The main professional advisor on a repair grant scheme delivers a range of services including:

  • Analysis of condition
  • Investigations
  • Planning and specifying the work
  • Inspecting and certifying the work in progress and after completion

Find more detail on these in the grant application information

The main professional advisor must also have conservation accreditation. All the UK Home Countries Heritage Bodies below support this requirement: 

  • Department of Communities Northern Ireland
  • Historic Environment Service (Cadw)
  • Historic England
  • Historic Environment Scotland

Find out how heritage bodies decide who can be recognised as the main professional advisor on their grant scheme. 

Historic England’s repair grants

Historic England’s main grant scheme is Repair Grants for Heritage at Risk. The scheme is for those sites which are most in need of repair and where lack of funding is blocking progress.

The main professional advisor will usually be either an architect, chartered building surveyor or chartered architectural technologist. We currently accept conservation accreditation from 

In some cases a chartered engineer, chartered landscape architect or other historic landscape specialist will be the appropriate lead professional. For more information visit Our Grant Schemes web page. Or please contact your local Historic England office for advice on your project.

Other grant schemes

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) require a lead professional with conservation accreditation on their Grants for Places of Worship scheme

On the War Memorials Trust's grant schemes a conservation accredited lead professional must lead the project if total cost is over £20,000.

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