A photograph from behind of two individuals within scaffolding working on a stone wall.
Mount Batten Tower, Plymouth, Devon. © Historic England
Mount Batten Tower, Plymouth, Devon. © Historic England

Conservation Accreditation for Professionals

Working with older buildings requires specific skills and expertise. You can use accreditation to demonstrate your competence in these skills. Some grant schemes may also require you to hold accreditation.

Why is it important?

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

  • To become accredited, professionals have to provide evidence of their knowledge, skills and experience
  • Their registers can be used to find professionals with the skills you need

Further advice on finding the right professionals for your project is available on our Finding Professional Help page.

Conservation accreditation schemes

Professional bodies and independent organisations run the schemes. 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 to assess a 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.

Grants schemes and accreditation requirements

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

You can find more details 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 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, please visit Our Grant Schemes web page or contact your local Historic England office for advice on your project.

On the War Memorials Trust's grant schemes, a conservation accredited lead professional is required for projects with a total project cost of over £10,000 in England, Northern Ireland and Wales, and £20,000 in Scotland.