IHBC Yearbook 2011

3 Foreword The IHBC is ‘the home of the conservation professional’ but, of course, while we deal so much with the bricks and mortar of other people’s homes, we don’t actually have a house of our own because we operate very effectively in an almost virtual world. This makes the Yearbook all the more important as it is perhaps our most tangible presence. Within its pages you can find out who we are, what we do and why we do it. Each Yearbook marks the passing of another step in our dozen or so years. This year we can note that membership is growing modestly, but more significantly it is becoming more diverse. Membership in private practice has now overtaken that in local authorities. While this may simply reflect the state of the public sector, we have certainly moved on from being an association only of conservation officers. We can look back with considerable pride at a range of achievements and some, such as the PPS5 campaign, have made effective use of networking to add substance to the weight of our arguments. We can also look to the by Ingval Maxwell’s account of accreditation schemes and the need for co-ordination of standards, by Paul Simons’ update from the National Heritage Training Group, and by David Baxter’s insight into conservation training initiatives in South East Europe. For our Director, Seán O’Reilly, the adoption of our Corporate Plan 2010–15 was ‘perhaps the most important moment in the IHBC’s history’. Certainly, it is the most comprehensive document we have produced linking existing activity to new horizons. As we realign our agenda from niche marketing to mainstream thinking, there is clearly much to do. In that context, Seán rightly challenges us all to consider what each of us can do. The IHBC is highly accessible. You can reach us locally through our branches. You can follow the institute on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn or through our excellent website and blog. Helpful as these are, it is the Yearbook that I turn to first as a networking resource and it always has a place on my tangible desktop. I am deeply grateful, therefore, to the (smaller than you would think) team which ensures that the Yearbook reaches your doormat and which maintains its consistent quality – a quality that reflects what we stand for as an institute. Eddie Booth IHBC President prospects – insofar as anyone can. Our Chair, Jo Evans, brings these issues into focus in her review. I have given up using clichés about living in interesting times. All years have their challenges and their rewards. The IHBC is very alert to the personal challenges being faced by many members as a result of the current economic and political landscape and is doing its best to meet them (see, for instance, ‘Why planning authorities must have conservation skills’ on the institute’s website). For me, one of the most rewarding events of the last year was meeting the students shortlisted for the Gus Astley Awards. It was encouraging to see that enthusiasm for acquiring conservation skills is as alive as ever. However, we cannot afford complacency and that is why our skills-base is the theme for this Yearbook. Although IHBC members are deemed to have necessary skills through the requirement to satisfy the core competencies, there is still the need for continuing professional development. Also, our own skills would be worthless if there were no craft-based skills to implement maintenance, repairs and enhancements or if parallel professions were not equipped to take account of conservation advice. In the following pages, John Preston, our Education Secretary, finds there are still gaps in training provision and suggests a local remedy at branch level. John Edwards of English Heritage offers some hope for building craft skills if the adoption of short courses can be made to reach thousands rather than hundreds. Meanwhile, Philip Belchere, Jonathan Gotelee and Simon Butler review the skills needs of local authorities, architectural practices and conservation contractors respectively. The current picture of heritage education and training is completed