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The Institute of Historic Building Conservation

The mark of the conservation Professional


Corporate papers
  • Constitution
  • Business papers
  • Membership
  • Archive
  • IHBC Trustees
  • Operational
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Membership Guidance (download PDF)

The Code of Conduct of the Institute

The object of this Code is to promote those standards of conduct and self-discipline required of a member of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation in the interests of the public and the protection of the built heritage.

The main object of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation is the promotion, for the benefit of the public, of the conservation of, and education and training in, the conservation and preservation of buildings, structures, areas, gardens and landscapes which are of architectural and historical interest and/or value in the United Kingdom. This built heritage of the United Kingdom, which is part of society's common heritage and which should be available to everyone, is, however, a limited and irreplaceable resource. It is therefore the duty of all members of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation to act for and to promote the protection of this built heritage.

Subscription to this Code of Conduct for individuals involved in the conservation and preservation of the built heritage assumes acceptance of these responsibilities. Those who subscribe to it and carry out its provisions will thereby be identified as persons professing specific standards of competence, responsibility and ethical behaviour in the pursuit of historic building conservation work.

This Code therefore indicates the general standard of conduct to which members of the Institute are expected to adhere, failing which its governing body may judge them guilty of conduct unbecoming to a member of the Institute and may reprimand, suspend or expel them. It is established under the terms of Article 7.3 of the Articles of Association of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation and all members and affiliates shall subscribe to it. To this end the Council has agreed the following clauses giving more detail of the requirements of the Code, which requirements shall apply notwithstanding any permission or agreement to the contrary by or with any body or client employing or consulting any member.
  1. Those engaged in the conservation of historic buildings, areas and landscapes will adhere to the highest standards of ethical and responsible behaviour in the conduct of the conservation of such buildings and sites.
  2. Members shall conduct themselves in a manner which will not bring the conservation of the built heritage or the Institute into disrepute.
  3. Members shall not discriminate on the grounds of race, sex, creed, religion, disability or age in their professional activities and shall seek to eliminate such discrimination by others and to promote equality of opportunity.
  4. Members shall present historic buildings, areas and landscapes and the conservation and preservation thereof, in a responsible manner and shall avoid and discourage exaggerated, misleading or unwarranted statements about conservation matters.
  5. Members shall not offer advice, make a public statement or give legal testimony involving the conservation of the built heritage, without being as thoroughly informed on the matters concerned as might reasonably be expected.
  6. Members shall take all reasonable steps to maintain their professional competence throughout their working lives and shall comply with the Institute's continuing professional development regulations; as employers and managers, members shall take all reasonable steps to encourage and support other members in maintenance of professional competence and in compliance with the Institute's continuing professional development regulations.
  7. Members shall not undertake work for which they are not adequately and appropriately qualified and experienced. They should ensure that adequate support, whether of advice, personnel or facilities, has been arranged.
  8. Members shall not appropriate credit for work done by others, and shall not commit plagiarism in oral or written communication, and shall not enter into conduct that might unjustifiably injure the reputation of another individual engaged in the conservation of the built environment.
  9. Members shall not make or subscribe to any statements or reports which are contrary to their own bona fide professional opinions and shall not knowingly enter into any contract or agreement which requires them so to do.
  10. Members shall know and comply with all laws applicable to their conservation activities whether as employer or employee.
  11. Members shall abstain from, and shall not sanction in others, conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation in historic building conservation matters, nor knowingly permit the use of their name in support of activities involving such conduct.
  12. Members, in the conduct of their historic buildings conservation work, shall not offer or accept inducements which could reasonably be construed as bribes.
  13. Members shall respect the interests of employees, colleagues and helpers. They shall give due regard to the welfare of employees in terms of pay, conditions, security of employment, health and safety and career development.
  14. Members shall not reveal confidential information unless required by law; nor use confidential or privileged information to their own advantage or that of a third party.
  15. Members shall take account of the legitimate concerns of those others involved in the conservation and preservation of the built heritage.
  16. Members have a duty to ensure that this Code is observed throughout the membership of the Institute, and also to encourage its adoption by others.
  17. Those involved in the conservation of the built environment have a responsibility for its conservation, preservation and enhancement.
  18. Members shall strive to conserve and preserve historic buildings as an artistic, archaeological, academic, educational and economic resource and as a source of enjoyment now and in the future. Where such conservation is not possible they shall seek to ensure the creation and maintenance of an adequate record through appropriate means of research, recording and dissemination of results.
  19. Members shall seek to encourage owners and managers of historic buildings and sites to respect and enjoy their buildings and sites and consider repairs, alterations and extensions in a sensitive and caring manner.
  20. Members may, as part of their duties, legitimately work with salvaged building materials as long as the primary objective of the work is the conservation and preservation of the historic building or site and as long as they do not knowingly permit their names or services to be used in a manner which may promote the recovery and re-use of such salvaged material in deference to commercial interests.
  21. Members shall report to the Institute any alleged breach of this Code of which they become aware and thereafter assist the Institute in its investigations, subject to any restrictions imposed by law or the courts.
  22. Members who are the subject of complaint shall assist the Institute in its investigations to their utmost.
  23. Council shall discipline any member who, in the opinion of Council, is personally responsible for a contravention of this Code of Conduct; or who is, in the opinion of Council, personally guilty of gross professional misconduct or incompetence or of such conduct as to render him or her unfit to continue as a member of the Institute

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Trustees' Job Descriptions and Specifications

Vice Chair
Membership Secretary
Education Secretary
Policy Secretary
Communications and Outreach Secretary
Branch Appointed Trustees

Download the guidance on the appointments process here: LINK
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