CIOB announce their 2020 conservation conference and their understanding conservation courses

The CIOB (Chartered Institute of Building) has announced the date for their next conservation conference: Future Skills for Traditional Buildings. The event, on 28 April, will feature an impressive line-up of speakers, covering every aspect of heritage in the built environment and will be delivered in partnership with English Heritage.

The CIOB’s headline conservation event, for which tickets sold out last year, will take place in a beautiful central London venue, in keeping with the theme of the event – Church House is set within Dean’s Yard, close to Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.

Speakers include high profile figures from the heritage and built environment sectors. Chair for the event will be the CIOB’s Chief Executive, Caroline Gumble, and during the conference the CIOB will invite delegates to explore questions such as:

  • How can we balance the shortage of traditional skills with the need to move to modern methods of working?
  • What is the role of apprenticeships in the heritage and conservation sector?
  • Are there digital solutions for heritage and traditional buildings?
  • What makes the heritage sector an attractive career choice for young people?
  • Where exactly are the skills shortages?

This is the sixth time the CIOB has run this event, which recognises the importance of historic buildings and conservation work in the construction industry. The CIOB believes that most construction professionals will work on historic buildings at some point in their career - in the UK alone, 50% of all construction works are on traditional buildings. While there are standards, training schemes and qualifications focussed on modern methods of construction, this conference focuses on the skills and knowledge needed to conserve, repair and refurbish our valuable historic and traditional buildings.

The one-day event costs £110 per delegate for CIOB members, with a discounted rate for students and apprentices. A full list of speakers is available online – go to for all the price options, the timetable for the day or to book a place.


Event details: 

  • Title: Future Skills for Traditional Buildings
  • Date and time: Tuesday 28 April 2020, 9 a.m. registration 
  • Venue: Church House, Deans Yard, Westminster, London, SW1P 3NZ

There will also be a small exhibition of contractors and sponsors running alongside the conference.

The CIOB has also announced dates for their Understanding Building Conservation course. This two-day course, being run on a number of dates throughout the year, focusses on improving decision making when working on and managing traditional buildings.

The course leader is John Edwards, MA, DipBldgCons, CEnv, FCIOB, FRICS, IHBC, who is the CIOB’s lead assessor on their Conservation Certification Scheme. John is an expert practitioner, formerly of English Heritage and Cadw and is the lead author of BS 7913: 2013: Guide to the Conservation of Historic Buildings.

With over 6 million traditional buildings and over 500,000 listed monuments in the UK, there is a considerable need for building professionals to understand the nature and practicalities of conservation. This course will introduce the philosophy behind conservation before going into detail regarding the technical analysis of buildings, ensembles and sites, diagnosing issues, identifying the best building conservation solutions, working with the various stakeholders, and ultimately providing advice regarding best practice.

At the end of the 2 days, attendees will be confident in their abilities to apply practical skills towards building conservation, will feel much better informed in this field of practice, and will receive a certificate of attainment from the CIOB on passing the end of course test. Moreover, those who pass the course will be eligible for further recognition under the new CIOB Building Conservation Certification Scheme.

Open to anyone who works with traditional buildings, the course is an integral part of the Conservation Certification scheme. However, the course does stand alone as useful training - those participating need not be CIOB members. It is an ideal grounding to those new to conservation and seeking to improve results for clients on conservation projects.

For anyone interested in the CIOB Building Conservation Certification Scheme, launched in June 2017 in response to a growing demand for ‘certified’ conservation specialists, more information can be found on the CIOB website. Applicants are required to demonstrate their competence against the ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites) Training and Education Guidelines based on their experience and qualifications. In addition, the Scheme requires a demonstration of competence towards sustainability and energy efficiency issues.

Details of the cost, dates and venues for the Understanding Building Conservation course can be found on the CIOB Academy web site: