In the current environment of reductions to public services and the emerging localism agenda innovative and original responses will be required to manage and conserve the historic environment. The 2011 Annual School explored the range of opportunities, approaches and solutions to conserving the historic environment in the light of the current financial climate. The School looked at the challenge of conservation in uncertain times and examined ways in which we can respond positively. The event provided the opportunity to hear about current initiatives and new approaches, to gain insights from recent projects and to consider ways of adapting and enhancing our historic environment in the future.
Although the event is organised by the IHBC and is a key annual event for its members it does not exclusively provide training for IHBC members only. The Annual School continues to provide important training opportunities for those outside the Institute. In 2011 22% of the School delegates were not members of the IHBC demonstrating its wider appeal.
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 link
). The Areas of Competence are, however, equally relevant to non-members, conservation professionals and other built environment professionals.
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_support.htm
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’.