Why choose an accredited conservator-restorer?

Conservation accreditation

Choosing the right conservator-restorer to look after a whole collection or one item is an important decision; the wrong choice could result in permanent damage affecting visual qualities, monetary value and historical or cultural significance. The UK and Ireland has a long tradition of producing highly skilled conservator-restorers. Conservation accreditation provides a clear method of identifying technically capable and experienced professional conservator-restorers.

The benefits of using an accredited conservator-restorer led practice includes the assurance that the individual:

  • has met the high standards demanded by the profession,
  • is committed to ongoing learning and development and submits regular continuing professional development (cpd) reviews,
  • adheres to professional guidelines and codes of ethics,
  • has proven responsibility for the care of cultural heritage,
  • has demonstrated the ability to identify and implement conservation options and strategies to a high standard,
  • adheres to best practice for conservation serivces,
  • can advise on conservation measures.

Eligibility for the Conservation Register

The lead member of each practice listed on the Conservation Register is accredited.

Unlike an academic qualification, accreditation is subject to certain ongoing requirements, these include: a commitment to continuing professional development (cpd), adherence to professional guidelines and codes of ethics, and continued membership of an awarding professional body.

Conservation accreditation requirements





Conservation accreditation awarding professional body

Professional Accreditation of Conservator-Restorers operated by the Institute of Conservation (Icon), the Archives and Records Association (ARA) and the British Horological Institute (BHI)

British Antique Furniture Restorers’ Association

British Association of Paintings Conservator-Restorers

Institute for the Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works in Ireland

Mandatory professional membership

Icon, or ARA, or BHI




Specialist area of conservation

Any area of cultural heritage, collections or single items including: architectural stonework, archives, books, clocks, drawings, furniture, glass, metal, paintings, preservation, prints, sculpture, textiles


Paintings (oil / acrylic etc)

Any area of conservation of cultural heritage

Experience required

As a guide, about 5 years after completion of a formal conservation training course (e.g. undergraduate or post graduate degree) or 10 years including 5 years served on apprenticeship

At least 5 years full time restoration practice

At least 7 years including training in studio or on a university course

Graduate from recognized conservation training institute and at least 3 years practical experience


Application form and assessment visit by 2 trained PACR assessors
Ongoing cpd
Accreditation recommended by Accreditation Committee, awarded by professional body, Icon, or ARA, or BHI

Presentation of references; examined by BAFRA
Ongoing cpd

Assessment visit by 2 BAPCR assessors
Ongoing cpd

Provided with a mentor; interviewed and assessed by external examiner


Accredited Conservator-Restorer (ACR) of [Icon or ARA or BHI]
Allowed to use PACR registered Trademark

Full and full specialist member of BAFRA

Fellow of BAPCR

Accredited member of ICHAWI

Accredited conservator-restorers

An accredited conservator-restorer must maintain appropriate professional membership of one of the recognised accrediting organisations, e.g. accredited member (ACR) of Icon, and ongoing continuing professional development and learning (cpd).

Accreditation is awarded to a conservator-restorer by the relevant organisation following a professional practice assessment process, to demonstrate their proficiency against the professional standards.

Central to becoming accredited through the PACR process is an understanding and meeting of the PACR professional conservation-restoration standards and demonstrating sound professional judgement and ethics.

Summary PACR professional standards for conservation-restoration

Professional standards

Professional judgement and ethics

  1. Assessment of cultural heritage
    assessing and reporting on condition, environment and threats, assessing risks, identifying any problems to be solved.
  2. Conservation options and strategies
    identifying and evaluating options; negotiating courses of action for conservation measures.
  3. Conservation measures
    advising on, developing policy for and implementing conservation measures; ensuring high standards are maintained; planning to minimise the effects of disasters and emergencies; maintaining conservation records; advising on aftercare.
  4. Organisation and management
    managing projects and workflow; client / internal and external relations; health and safety; security; records and reports; communication.
  5. Professional development
    maintaining up-to-date practice; extending and communicating knowledge; promoting conservation and the care of cultural heritage.
  1. understanding principles and practice
  2. conversance with guidelines
  3. understanding the wider contexts of conservation
  4. critical thinking, analysis and synthesis
  5. openness to alternative methods and approaches
  6. understanding the ethical basis of the profession
  7. observing code of ethics and practice
  8. observing legal requirements
  9. responsibility for the care of cultural heritage
  10. responsible and ethical dealings with others
  11. respect for the cultural, historic and spiritual context of objects
  12. handling value-conflicts and ethical dilemmas
  13. understanding and acting within the limits of own knowledge and competence