The mark of the conservation professional
NB: You may take your first step towards IHBC membership by registering as a Supporter Member of the IHBC using the form linked above. Anyone interested in IHBC accreditation is encouraged to start there.
The IHBC has four categories of membership.
Please note: Membership categories 2, 3 and 4 require that applicants agree to abide by the Institute's Code of Conduct and pay the annual subscription in full within 30 days after the beginning of each membership year.
There is no fee to change membership categories, but there are strict criteria regulating applications to become a Full Member of the IHBC, as discussed below.
All membership categories have the right to receive notices such as the IHBC’s ‘NewsBlog’ and Membership Matters, internal literature and Context, as well as reduced rates to events where these apply and other membership benefits. Only full Members have the automatic right to attend General Meetings although normally all categories are encouraged to attend.
The IHBC’s Membership and Ethics Committee recommends eligibility for and class of membership, with final approval resting with the IHBC’s Council.
An appeal procedure is available for those who are unhappy with any decisions with respect to membership decisions.
Affiliate is the default starting point for anyone seeking accreditation by the IHBC, and which commences with the registration process above. From 2022 this category will require assessment. You can apply for assessment HERE .
Affiliate membership offers essential context and support for anyone looking to the IHBC for accreditation. Publications, training events, volunteering opportunities and networking all offer critical context and guidance to help align the personal skills, knowledge and experience of a prospective applicant with the IHBC’s accreditation requirements.
Affiliates also have a clear standing in the IHBC’s community, and are encouraged to participate in all our operations, especially those areas that will assist in their future accreditation.
All Affiliates are encouraged to seek formal IHBC accreditation first as an Associate of the IHBC. In addition, it is recommended that all practitioners undertake a minimum of 6 months as an Affiliate before any application for formal accreditation is commenced, though there are further restrictions for applications for full membership, discussed below.
To make an application for accreditation, whether as an Associate or as a Full Member, Affiliates currently should use the Full Member Application Form as discussed below. To be accepted as Full Members, in addition to a successful application form Affiliates MUST have EITHER five years of relevant experience OR two years of relevant experience alongside successful completion of a conservation course recognised by the IHBC.
Associates of the IHBC have secured conservation accreditation from the IHBC in a generic area of practice that corresponds to their own primary skills or practice. These areas may encompass, for example, history, archaeology, construction, planning, architecture, engineering, development and project management etc.
Applicants for Associate Membership need to have completed the basic registration stage before upgrading. The application form for full membership may be used, with applicants focusing on those areas most relevant to their own practice. Guidance on making the application is offered in the form. Alternatively applicants seeking to become Associates may use application forms that correspond to the generic areas of their own discipline or practice as described below.
IHBC Associates may use letters after their name to refer to the IHBC’s accreditation ONLY as follows:
‘Jo Bloggs AssocIHBC’.
Accreditation as an Associate is time-limited to five years before renewal or progress to full membership is required.
Associate membership is divided into three sub-categories, each corresponding to primary areas of conservation practice
1. Evaluation typically represents skills sets associated with the activities of historians, archaeologists, historic buildings inspectors and advisers, some surveyors and others involved in determining the nature and cultural values of the built and historic environment
Accreditation as an IHBC Associate in ‘Evaluation’ means that you should describe yourself as an ‘IHBC Associate, accredited in conservation practice that evaluates change in the built and historic environment’.
2. Management, typically for planners, conservation officers, some project managers and building preservation trust officers and heritage site and city managers, and others involved in managing change in the built and historic environment
Accreditation as an IHBC Associate in ‘Management’ means that you may describe yourself as an ‘IHBC Associate, accredited in conservation practice that manages change in the built and historic environment’.
3. Intervention, typically for architects, engineers, urban design and regeneration specialists, as well as some developers, crafts and trades people, contractors, project managers and building preservation trust officers, and others involved in work that generates change in the built and historic environment
Accreditation as an IHBC Associate in ‘Intervention’ means that you should describe yourself as an ‘IHBC Associate, accredited in conservation practice that generates change in the built and historic environment’.
Accreditation as an Associate invariably is specific to the individual’s generic area of practice. It is represented by the sub-category of Associate membership and, by using the statements above, should always be explicit in any profiles or notices relating to your accreditation by the IHBC.
As accreditation as an Associate is specific to an area of practice, it is distinct from the multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary accreditation represented by full membership of the IHBC, as discussed below.
All Associates are listed on the IHBC’s online and publicly accessible ‘database of IHBC accredited conservation practitioners’, which also details the Associate sub-category as described below. This serves as part of the regulatory infrastructure for monitoring practice.
All Associates are required to carry out at least 50 hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) over any two years. Such CPD must be in line with the IHBC’s guidance IHBC CPD page.
Associates are not permitted to serve in the role of ‘Designated Service Adviser’ on the IHBC’s ‘HESPR’ scheme, our listing of business and organisations that work to the IHBC’s conservation and service standards.
Associates may apply for accreditation as a Full Member of the IHBC where they have EITHER five years of relevant experience OR two years of relevant experience alongside successful completion of a conservation course recognised by the IHBC.
Accreditation as an Associate must be renewed every five years. However, without prejudice to existing Associate status, submissions for full membership or renewal may be made at any time during the five-year period by using the full membership application form. There is no charge for this service.
A Full Member is the IHBC’s fully accredited category of professional membership. It is the only category where holders are entitled to put the letters ‘IHBC’ directly after their name, as in ‘Jo Bloggs IHBC’.
Full Members have demonstrated their skills, knowledge and experience in built and historic environment conservation as a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary practice, in line with the Institute’s membership standards and criteria and the international models on which they are based.
This fully accredited category of professional membership of the IHBC does not require renewal because standards are regulated through monitoring of continuing professional development and through relevant complaints and disciplinary processes.
Full Members have the option to be listed on our online database of IHBC accredited conservation practitioners.
Full Members may also serve in the role of ‘Designated Service Adviser’ on the IHBC’s ‘HESPR’ scheme, our listing of businesses and organisations that work to the IHBC’s conservation and service standards.
USE OF IHBC LOGO Design Guidance on Using the IHBC Logo and Designations (PDF)
Stipulations: Full Members
Full Members must carry out at least 50 hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) over any two years. Such CPD must be in line with the IHBC’s guidance IHBC CPD page.
In addition to the above membership categories, there is one special membership category which affects the annual subscription rate.
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