IHBC Yearbook 2016

16 Y E A R B O O K 2 0 1 6 THE IHBC COMES OF AGE SEÁN O’REILLY, IHBC DIRECTOR Last year the IHBC came of age, in corporate terms, as we turned 18. Maturity must be our principal watchword now and we must take ever more responsibility in responding to the needs of our people: members, colleagues and all other interests in the built and historic environment. Last year the institute adopted CP20, its corporate plan for 20152020. Among many other threads, it recognises the ways in which more people-oriented governance could add capacity and enhance our sustainability and viability. This frames the corporate exploration of our IHBC+ programme (discussed below). The institute also secured more capacity to help our greatest resource, the institute’s network of volunteers and members. During 2015, our new Learning, Education, Training and Standards (LETS) Officer, Kate Kendall, journeyed throughout the UK to offer guidance and support to the IHBC’s branches as they helped the conservation professionals of the future, whether affiliates or nonmembers, to compile their applications for full membership. Trustees also agreed increased funds for our branches. Even more importantly, we identified resources to appoint a new junior officer to help Kate. Other recent investments ranged even more widely in their focus on people. They include bursaries and financial support targeted at helping members in need as well as improved corporate images, including new-look branding online. We have also invested in more structured sponsoring of partner events, tied either to reduced rates for members or profile-raising for the IHBC’s quality assurance and accreditation, and of course the IHBC and BSI co-branded copy of BS 7913: Guide to the Conservation of Historic Buildings. The British Standard is uniquely valuable in today’s working environments, as we see the holistic, interdisciplinary conservation priorities of our members so regularly side-lined in narrow, agenda-driven policies. We have also developed our corporate plan, CP20, as a way to add capacity to the only resource that ultimately matters in conservation: people. In CP20 we take responsibility for generating capacity ourselves by engaging new audiences and reaching new sectors, even as we confront the huge challenges faced by our members. But to help demonstrate how our ambitions can be realised, before looking to a future plan we might usefully summarise some key achievements from our recently concluded 2010-15 Corporate Plan. HELPING PEOPLE Our website has seen a 15-fold user increase to 450,000 monthly visits from 30,000 in July 2010. Our digital networks have also expanded 15-fold to beyond 10,000. In education and training, we launched the Marsh Awards scheme to promote community contributions and conservation learning at all levels. A suite of non-specialist online training resources – SelfStarter (formerly WebStarter) – is available on the IHBC website and is free to use for members and non-members alike. HELPING CONSERVATION Annual school training in 2010–2015 reached some 1,000 delegates, and that’s before we count its outreach to readers of the school edition of Context. Further contributions to the cause and practice of conservation include: • a new open-access practicebased guidance and standards resource, the IHBC’s ‘Toolbox’, which includes our Research and Guidance Notes • the annual Gus Astley Student Awards, which celebrate students and engage practitioners at the highest level, including judges such as Prof Jukka Jokilehto and Prof May Cassar • a programme of free UK-wide events that offers guidance on member applications • a national occupational standard for conservation and related vocational qualifications • consolidation of our course recognition scheme • piloting our work-based learning programme for non-heritage specialist practitioners – the ‘TeamStarter’.