2008 Yearbook

i n r e v i e w 19 Sustainable communities Areas of Practical Competences (and Competences) EVALUATION (History; Research, Recording & Analysis) MANAGEMENT (Legislation & Policy; Finance & Economics) INTERVENTION (Technology; Design & Presentation) World Bank, Environmental Assessment Sourcebook, Update 8, 1994 Project stages Egan’s Components of Sustainable Communities Social & Cultural Governance (Informed) Governance Services Environmental Economy Housing & Built Env. Transport and Connectivity Atkins’ recommendation for LA delivery, 2006 Education Officer Historic Environment Officer Regeneration Officer Conservation skills and competences The IHBC’s conservation standards are embedded in our membership criteria as well as in our constitution and charitable activities. Most historic environment professionals appreciate that conservation must operate intimately with modern development and management processes, not least as the management of our heritage is increasingly tied to wider planning considerations. Consequently, where those professionals are active in conservation, they must have skills that can work within those processes by being suitably informed about them. The operation of our membership standards for over a decade confirms that the Institute’s core assessment criteria (the Areas of Competence and the competences that underpin them, see page 8) complement all specialisms that help secure conservation of our historic places. By requiring an appropriate balance of knowledge, from practical skills to theoretical understanding, we can ensure that a member has the capacity to provide specialist advice properly informed by the wider processes that secure such conservation. The Areas of Competence, outlined in the table above, are our criteria for ensuring that members are competent to operate within the holistic and inter- disciplinary environment that such conservation demands. AREAS OF COMPETENCE The Institute’s membership standard has strong correspondences with wide- ranging practical processes and models, confirming further their importance in modern inter-disciplinary service provision. In particular there are obvious parallels with the generic skills underpinning the creation of sustainable communities – Egan’s ‘Components of Sustainable Communities’ and the corresponding skills sets (see www.communities. gov.uk/publications/communities/ eganreview). The IHBC’s Areas of Practical Competence also correspond to wider processes of environmentally aware project development and management, from the model that the World Bank adopts for environmentally aware projects (see www.worldbank.org ), to the professional framework proposed by Atkins following their in-depth study of local historic environment services in 2006 (www.ihbc.org.uk/ recent_papers.htm). Uniquely, IHBC members are assessed in terms of those skills which support historic environment priorities with practical outcomes for sustainable communities, reduced climate change and the application of best practice in managing development. This intimate linkage between the skills sets of our members and best practice for social, environmental and development interests, gives us a huge opportunity to raise awareness of the relevance of the Institute’s standards and how they benefit historic environment conservation. Challenges for all The IHBC encourages all historic environment professionals to have regard to the widest benefits of conservation through working towards full membership of our institute. Just as the Hippocratic oath underpins standards across its different areas of medical practice, so too the IHBC’s standards and codes can be applied across the different areas of built environment practice that have conservation as a specialism. Equally, and significantly, our standards do not undervalue specialist or general skills and roles by masking distinctions. That way lies the threat to standards within specialisms, and the establishment of a ‘heritage-lite’ profession of generic skills dominated by process-focussed teams. For those not seeking full recognition as a conservation professional, our Associate Member class provides a substantial way for historic environment professionals to benefit from our services, stay informed of our work, support our priorities and subscribe to our Code of Conduct. You can find out more about this in our report from the Membership Secretary. Our inclusive membership framework is wholly appropriate as the IHBC continues to lead the way forward in defining the conservation of the historic places that shape all our lives, our environments and our future, climate change or otherwise. Seán O’Reilly, director@ihbc.org.uk Areas of Competence Professional Practical – Evaluation Practical – Management Practical – Intervention Competences 1. Philosophy 3. History 5. Legislation & Policy 7. Design & Presentation 2. Practice 4. Research, Recording & Analysis 6. Finance & Economics 8. Technology Identification Preparation Appraisal Negotiation/ Implementation Evaluation Approval