2013 Yearbook

17 training for communities and professionals deals with that difficult territory of residents and neighbourhood planning. He looks particularly at the voluntary and community sectors and the demands of localism. So how can the IHBC assist and promote appropriate training initiatives? The first is by setting standards for conservation (see page 10 for the IHBC’s competences). Recognition of courses is another key activity. As IHBC director Seán O’Reilly has already indicated (see page 14), the IHBC has helped to secure the National Occupational Standard (NOS) in conservation. This work has helped in the launch of an approved National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) Level 3. This equates to a planning technician’s level of competence. The future challenge will be to launch Level 6 which can correlate to the IHBC’s professional competences as well as to the core international standard for all built and historic environment conservation professionals, the 1993 ICOMOS guidelines. Setting these vocational standards fits well with the government’s current educational agenda to encourage different means of access to the professions. This may mean that universities and colleges need to change the type of course that they are offering, but may also lead to opportunities for IHBC members to pass on their skills. Returning to my education model, there are a number of key areas that we should be addressing. In developing our core skills we need to ensure that the CPD available to IHBC members enables them to deal with changes to legislation and guidance, differing demands of employers, and so on. In difficult economic times, it is those with the widest range of skills who are likely to survive. In this area, the IHBC through its annual schools and branch events can assist. Indeed our 2013 IHBC Annual School in Carlisle will form a critical part of the institute’s contribution in this area as its theme, ‘Skills’, will encompass both building craft skills – as part of a dedicated heritage skills day – and professional and advisory conservation skills. Dealing with the accreditation issue as it develops will be a priority. This might involve mentoring as well as training. My own particular interest is the provision of heritage training for other built environment professionals. As the other articles in this Yearbook show, this outreach activity is being promoted successfully in a number of areas, but much more can be done. As a consultant, I have been providing training for local authority planners which has raised general awareness of heritage issues. Importantly, development management staff can be made aware of the limits of their knowledge and the need to seek advice from qualified heritage professionals. As can be seen in the following articles, much is being done in the area of building craft skills. We will continue to work with the National Heritage Training Group and others to develop links and courses. The Heritage Lottery Fund’s Skills for the Future initiative is likely to be an important source of much needed cash. I hope I have demonstrated that the IHBC is very active in developing training and skills. Like other organisations, we need to adapt as circumstances change. If you have ideas or would like to make a contribution to what we do, please email me at education@ihbc.org.uk .