With 25% of the UK’s building stock more than 100 years old, most construction professionals will work on historic buildings at some point during their career, the CIOB said, so it is in the public interest to have the right skills and competencies recognised.
The CIOB conservation certification scheme has been established for conservation specialists to gain recognition for their expertise and as a pathway for the next generation of specialists. The scheme has been developed in consultation with English Heritage, the National Trust, Historic Scotland and Cadw (the Welsh equivalent).
It is a topic close to the heart of the organisation’s new president, Rebecca Thompson, who took office this week. “We need to hold onto our past and treasure it,” she said. “Globally, people look to the UK for leadership on the art and science of conservation. We have a huge stock of old buildings that need to be maintained, adapted, restored and conserved and we must ensure that the industry has the right skills and that expertise is clearly benchmarked. The demand from clients and organisations in this space is for ‘certified’ experts and that is what our scheme provides.”
There are three levels of competency within the scheme, each with different entry requirements and a level-specific certificate. Those levels include CIOB Registered in Building Conservation which gives professionals with some experience and knowledge in the area of heritage and conservation recognition for their expertise.
For those with significant experience of traditional buildings including listed buildings and scheduled monuments there is the CIOB Proficient in Building Conservation level of competency.
The final level is CIOB Certified Building Conservation Specialist which is for experts in the field with a deep understanding of the significance and historic value of buildings and the philosophy of building conservation.
Rebecca Thompson, who took over as CIOB president on 19th June 2017, is herself a specialist in heritage conservation and also a lecturer in building studies at York College. Her many years in construction began as a quantity surveyor at Shepherd Construction and recently included seven years at York Minister, first as superintendent of works and then as chapter steward. She now runs her own business, Thompson Heritage Consultancy.