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The Institute of Historic Building Conservation


The mark of the conservation Professional


2014 IHBC Annual School
The Art of Conservation
Edinburgh, Thursday 5th to Saturday 7th June
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Edinburgh School Report - Context Issue 136, September 2014
Click to view

  • School Resources
  • Day School Presentations
Tab 1

1.

Introduction

1.1

The IHBC Annual School is the principle platform for training and professional development for historic environment conservation specialists. It is the IHBC’s flagship national annual event drawing delegates from of IHBC members, non- member conservation professionals and the broader sector.

1.2

The theme of the 2014 Annual School responds to the inclination of the modern conservation industry to loose sight of the artistic ‘poetry of conservation’ The School reasserted the notion of conservation as a cohesive ‘art’ based on sound principles. It sought to rebalance the essential yet more practical competencies of evaluation, management and intervention and to reconnect with the thinking and aspirations of those ‘educated, artistic people’ William Morris stressed were at the root of the discipline.

1.3

The IHBC’s Annual School is the main event in the diary of conservation specialists from across the private and public sectors, and representing skills that range from archaeology, history, policy, legislation, financial management, and project management to design.

1.4

Context, the journal of the IHBC, is a main source of record which will endure beyond the event. Six months after publication the Annual school edition of Context is made available freely to the public on the IHBC web site and the report
of the 2013 School can now be seen by all at http://ihbconline.co.uk/context/131/. Alongside this material the web site also carries Annual School resources in perpetuity (http://www.ihbc.org.uk/learning/page38/index.html) including programmes, speakers presentations and feedback details ensuring that the key aspects of the School are available for open public reference and future research. This ensures the educational benefits of the School are available to all not simply IHBC members or those who attend.

1.5

The Day School looked in detail at the following areas: • Culture, heritage and art in politics
  • New learning & innovative practice
  • UK planning policy review: art and aesthetics
  • New design: delivering conservation outcomes
  • Project development: design strategies and art opportunities
  • Modernism & nature: Cardross Seminary and its semi-ancient woodland • Conservation philosophies for artist’s studios
  • Dundee: Masterplanning a city
  • Insights into ‘intangibility’ and digitisation

2.

Monitoring success of the training capacity of the School – meeting the IHBC competences

2.1

The IHBC Annual School helps members’ meet the IHBC’s Areas of Competence and maintain these competencies. These Competences are the key membership criteria of the Institute and Annual School programmes are developed to cover as many aspects of them as possible. The Competences are shown in the table below (with more information available at http://www.ihbc.org.uk/join/). The Areas of Competence are, however, equally relevant to non-members, conservation professionals and other built environment professionals.

2.2

The Professional Area of Competence informs and shapes conservation advice and conclusions, and is the most important and most challenging for applicants. The Practical Areas of Competence correspond to how we achieve conservation, by evaluating, managing and, as appropriate, changing places. These Practical Areas correspond respectively to cultural disciplines such as history or archaeology; to ‘place management’ and regeneration specialisms such as planning; and to design and technical solutions provided by architectural, engineering, urban design and project management skills sets (http://www.ihbc.org.uk/skills/).

2.3

The IHBC’s four Areas of Competence, as represented in the model conservation cycle, in figure 1 below, represent members’ inter-disciplinary skills – the overarching ‘Professional’ Area of Competence, and the three Practical Areas: ‘Evaluation’, ‘Management’ and ‘Intervention’.
Figure 1 IHBC Conservation Cycle and Areas of Competence
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2.4

For conservation professionals including IHBC members and prospective members, issues around significance lie at the heart of the first of the IHBC’s ‘Practical Areas of Competence’, Evaluation. Significance also underpins advice and decision across all the IHBC’s Areas of Competence.

2.5

The matrix below (figure 2) explains how the 2014 Annual School provided training to meet the IHBC Areas of Competence and also dealt with the theme of the school. It shows that the Annual School sessions provided training options to cover all of the IHBC Areas of Competence whilst giving specific training on the School theme of “The Art of Conservation”. It is possible using the various options available for delegates to further develop all or some of their competences.
Figure 2
INDICATIVE MATRIX OF COMPETENCES AND THEMES ADDRESSED: IHBC ANNUAL SCHOOL 2014
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3.

Ensuring feedback from School delegates

3.1

To ensure maximum delegate feedback delegates are directed within two days of the end of the School to an electronic survey form. This approach, first used in 2009, has proved to be very successful. It simplifies the process of submitting feedback for delegates, allows them to make any additional comments with ease and has been shown to deliver more responses than paper feedback forms. In 2014 48.9% of delegates responded with delegate feedback.
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4.

Annual School Delegates

4.1

Attendance at the Annual School over the past decade has been consistently good and in 2014 the School attracted 184 delegates (83 Day School and 101 Full School).

4.2

Although the event is organised by the IHBC and is a key annual event for its members it provides training for non-members and all those with a professional interest in conservation. The Annual School continues to provide important training opportunities for those outside the Institute and in 2014 the number of non members attending increased was 10% more of the total delegates than the previous year. In 2014 26% of the School delegates (35 Day School delegates and 13 Full School delegates) were not members of the IHBC, demonstrating the School’s wider appeal.
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Delegates to the Annual School come from a variety of different types of employment falling into the four broad categories shown in Figure 1; Local authorities, private practice, government bodies & quangos and charities and education bodies. The Full School also include delegates in receipt of the bursaries offered by the IHBC either nationally (http://www.ihbc.org.uk/edinburgh2014/school-bursaries.html) or through bursary schemes run by various IHBC branches.
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5.

Monitoring success of training capacity of school – delegate feedback

5.1

Conference content and CPD value
Delegates were asked to rate the Day School presentations and the results are shown in Figure 5.
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5.2

Those presentations most rated as excellent were Angus Farquhar’s discussion of the artistic reinvention of Cardross seminary, Mike Galloway’s description of the Masterplanning for Dundee and the context setting talk by Jukka Jokiletho on Art and conservation in theory and practice. All talks were rated excellent by some delegates and very few delegates felt that any talks were unsatisfactory.
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5.3

Apart from specific comments on individual presentations the general comments made by delegates showed delegates found the talks useful and relevant and comments included:
  • Discussions of new/different approaches were excellent
  • A good mix of speakers
  • Good diversity, quality speakers
  • Well structured topics and creative interpretations of the theme
  • A very good mix of examples and context
  • The day school was very good, with some interesting speakers. I particularly enjoyed the afternoon sessions
  • All very good
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5.4

Conference organisation

5.5

Delegates were asked to rate the organisation of the conference and the booking arrangements. 99% of delegates rated the organisation of the School as good or excellent (see figure 8).
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5.6

Delegates rated the main School venue highly with 98% feeling it was a good or excellent venue and none feeling it to be unsatisfactory (see figure 8). The booking arrangements were likewise rated as good or excellent by 95% of delegates.

6.

Overall conference experience

6.1

Delegates rated the overall experience they had at the conference and its
usefulness very highly with 91% rating it as good or excellent. (See figure 9).
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6.2

The generally high level of satisfaction is backed up further by the very encouraging data in figures 10 and 11 which reveals that 87% of delegates felt the School met their training requirements completely or sufficiently and that 97% felt the School was invaluable, very useful or useful.
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7.

Edinburgh

7.1

To assist in considering future events delegates were asked about their experience of visiting Edinburgh. A relatively high number (94%) of delegates had been to Edinburgh before but all delegates, whether first time visitors or not, intend to visit Edinburgh again (Figure 12)
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8.

Conclusion

8.1

The IHBC Annual School 2014 achieved the following:
  • Provided a 3-day course in Edinburgh in June 2014 of focused training for conservation professionals which include a series of different training methods including lectures, visits, networking etc.
  • Provide training for at least 100 delegates – 175 people attended the Day School
  • Provided the opportunity for delegates to obtain up to eighteen hours of Continuing Professional Development.
  • Developed IHBC branch networks and volunteer capacity to a professional standard of training delivery.
  • Reinforced the importance of the IHBC Annual School in the annual training calendar of conservation professionals.
  • Was rated as good or excellent by 91% of delegates
  • Offered training which met the CPD requirements of 87% delegates completely or sufficiently
  • Was found to be invaluable, very useful or useful by 98% of delegates
  • Was rated as excellent or good by 87% of Day School delegates.

8.2

The IHBC’s Annual School has been operating successfully since before the foundation of the Institute in 1997, and is developed from the Schools pioneered by the Association of Conservation Officers and operated effectively each year since the mid 1980’s. The Annual School is the principle platform for training and professional development for historic environment conservation specialists. It is the IHBC’s flagship national annual event drawing from customer base of IHBC members, non-member conservation professionals and broad sector interests.

8.3

The proceedings of 2014 Annual School have been described in some detail in Context the journal of the IHBC (Issue 136 September 2014) and this is a main source of record that will endure beyond the event. Six months after publication the Annual school edition of Context is made available freely to the public on the IHBC web site. Alongside this material the web site also carries Annual School resources in perpetuity (http://www.ihbc.org.uk/learning/page38/index.html) including programmes, speakers presentations and feedback details ensuring that the key aspects of the School are available for open public reference and future research.

8.4

The successful delivery of the 2014 School has reinforced the importance of the IHBC Annual School in the annual training calendar of conservation professionals and provided the opportunity for delegates to obtain quality, focused Continuing Professional Development.
Tab 2


Art in conservation theory and practice - Prof Jukka Jokilehto



Scoping & sampling IHBC Research Notes for the Annual Schools - Dr Deborah Mays



Art and conservation in architectural design - Neil Gillespie



Steps towards the revitalisation of ‘Scotland’s best modern building’ and its setting: St Peter’s Seminary & Kilmahew - Angus Farquhar



Home Is Where The Art Is: Conserving Artists' Studios - David McDonald



Hill House harl: Getting under the surface of Mackintosh - William Napier



‘Touching the intangible’: Why intangible cultural heritage is important in the conservation of the historic environment’ - Máiréad Nic Craith



Creative financing at Greenlaw - Andy Millar



Introduction to Norwich Annual School 2015