www.understandingconservation.org: Support for developing a practitioner portfolio in built environment conservation

Phillip Frank Gower Banfill, Barry Bridgwood, Ingval Maxwell

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)
    508 Downloads (Pure)


    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to report the development of internet-based educational support to enable practitioners in built environment conservation (preservation in American terminology) to evaluate and, if necessary, improve their competence. In the UK it is a condition of project grant-aid of some heritage bodies that the professional leading a conservation project is accredited, and several schemes, peer-reviewed by professional bodies, have been set up in recent years. Since these require practitioners to provide evidence of their competence, there is a need for an increased understanding of the issues involved. The work aimed to define the basis for the competences and establish an educational framework for professional development in this area.

    Design/methodology/approach – A structured framework of competences, consisting of five units dealing with all the stages of a conservation project, is presented and evaluated against the 1993 ICOMOS Guidelines on Education and Training in the Conservation of Monuments, Ensembles and Sites. The framework is appropriate for all professional disciplines and has been converted to a computer-assisted self-learning package that provides support for practitioners in developing their portfolio of evidence for submission for accreditation peer-review.

    Findings – The internet-based educational support has been available since 2007 and receives over 2,000 visits per month from all over the world. It has the support of all the UK accreditation schemes in built environment conservation.

    Originality/value – A desk survey of electronic resources in the subject domain suggests that the educational support material described in this paper is unique in the world.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)62-79
    JournalJournal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


    • Building conservation
    • Competences accreditation
    • Education
    • ICOMOS guidelines
    • Internet
    • Practice education
    • Professional accreditation
    • Training


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