Conservation with the Chartered Institute of Building


The Chartered Institute of Building’s (CIOB) next conservation conference: Future Skills for Traditional Buildings will run on 5 November, featuring an impressive line-up of speakers, covering every aspect of heritage in the built environment and delivered in partnership with English Heritage.

We are delighted to be able to move this conference to a virtual platform and continue to deliver on this important topic.

The loss of traditional craft skills has reached critical levels, owing to the number of people retiring in an ageing workforce, insufficient apprenticeships and a framework which is not fit for purpose.


This is against the background that, for the next 10 years, an unprecedented number of large projects are planned where these skills will be essential - both within the UK and Europe – just think of the Palace of Westminster and Notre Dame Cathedral.

This conference will explore how we can balance the shortage of traditional skills with the need to move to modern methods of working. Is there a digital solution?

Through this event we will 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 this?
•    Are apprenticeships fit for purpose to meet today’s requirement in the heritage/conservation sector?
•    Digital solutions for traditional skills
•    What makes the heritage sector an attractive career choice for young people?
•    What are the career options in this sector. Where are the skills shortages?

The CIOB also delivers two courses related to this field: Understanding Building Conservation, and Project Management and Supervision: Historic and Traditional Buildings.

Understanding Building Conservation is a two-day course endorsed by English Heritage and run online on a number of dates throughout the year. It 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 six 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. 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:

Project Management and Supervision: Historic and Traditional Buildings is a 1-day course covering the pertinent issues concerning historic and traditional buildings, and best practice for build quality strategies and processes.

It will begin with the concept of project management and project supervision, including how these skills apply in the historic environment and how dealing with it is different. The course will then go through the various stages including project initiation, feasibility, development, delivery, completion and end with occupation of the building and its continued care. There will also be a focus on developing work proposals, significance analysis, and heritage impact assessments, including justifying them in a way that balances the full range of issues from historic importance to commercial and use considerations.

Work examples will cover educational, social housing, commercial development and high profile and prestigious conservation work in various crafts ranging from masonry to historic decoration. At the end of the day, you will be confident in your ability to successfully deploy project management and supervision to historic and traditional buildings.

For more information on this course, please see here.


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