Understanding Building Conservation

Online Product
Course Hours
2 day course
Improve your decision making when working on and managing traditional buildings, including both unprotected traditional buildings, and those which are protected due to their historic significance.    
£395.00 + VAT
CIOB Academy

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With over 6 million traditional buildings and over 500,000 listed monuments in the UK, there is a considerable need for building professionals to understand the nature and practicalities of conservation. For this reason, we have developed a course looking at conservation for both residential and commercial property as well as historic monuments.

In accordance with the ICOMOS (International Council On Monuments and Sites) Training and Education Guideline and the latest British Standard on conservation of historic buildings (BS 7913: 2013) the course will introduce the philosophy behind conservation before going into detail regarding the technical analysis of buildings, ensembles and sites, diagnosing issues, identifying the best building conservation solutions, working with the various  stakeholders, and ultimately providing advice regarding best practice.

At the end of the 2 days, you will be confident in your ability to apply practical skills towards building conservation and will feel much better informed in this field of practice. The course culminates in a hand-written written test comprising of 40 multiple choice questions. Those who answer at least 28 questions correctly will receive a certificate of attainment within 14 days of the course. Moreover, you will be eligible for further recognition under the new CIOB Building Conservation Certification Scheme. A short video on the course and certification can be found here. the course does not guarantee certification under the scheme.

This course is endorsed by English Heritage

**Multiple dates? when booking, please specify what date you are booking for in the notes section**

Course dates: 9:30 Start Time 
23rd and 24th January 2023 – fully booked
22nd and 23rd February 2023
15th and 16th March 2023
12th and 13th April 2023
10 May and 11th May 2023

We now accept payment in USD for all our courses. For more information please contact academy@ciob.org.uk

Also coming up, is the CIOB’s Conservation Conference, The theme for this year’s event is extremely topical as it focusses on resilience in relation to our built heritage.

For more information click here or the image above.


At the end of the course, you will receive a certificate of attainment and be able to:

  • Read a building or site and its different types of significance values and understand how these values are assessed and used.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of historical development, and types of construction technology  in order to conduct research, interpret results and produce plans for conservation
  • Interpret the setting of buildings and sites and define what this means in the development of projects and every day care.
  • Identify and absorb all available sources of information relevant to the building or site  being studied
  • Analyse the behaviour of buildings and  sites as complex systems
  • Diagnose intrinsic and extrinsic causes of decay as a basis for appropriate action
  • Demonstrate Inspection best practice and make intelligible reports
  • Apply UNESCO conventions and recommendations, ICOMOS and other recognized Charters, regulations and guidelines such as BS 7913: 2013.
  • Make balanced judgments based on shared ethical principles, and accept responsibility for the long term welfare of cultural heritage
  • Recognize when advice must be sought and define the areas of need of study by different specialists, e.g. wall paintings, sculptures, and objects of artistic and cultural value, and/or studies of materials and systems
  • Advise on optimum maintenance strategies and management policies for the care of historic sites
  • Work in multi-disciplinary groups including inhabitants, administrators and planners to resolve conflicts and to develop conservation strategies appropriate to local needs, abilities and resources


The course is open to anyone who works with traditional buildings.   The course is also an integral part of the CIOB Conservation Certification scheme which requires all those applying for Certification to successfully complete this course unless they have an approved qualification in the subject.  The course however is stand alone and those participating need not be CIOB members or have an interest in the CIOB Conservation Certification scheme.  It is an ideal grounding to all those new to conservation and seeking to improve results for clients on conservation projects.

Once you have complete this course or you think you have already got a good grounding in conservation, you may be interested in attending our related course on project management and supervision of historic buildings.


An online classroom with live tutor and interactions.


Course Delivery

Our courses are delivered using a platform called GoToWebinar, please follow the links below to test your system and download the software, prior to your course starting.


The course is highly practical and interactive, and delivered over 2 days by a building conservation ‘certified’ subject matter expert. Prior to attending the sessions, you will be asked to complete some background reading delivered via our new academy site.

The topics covered are:

  1. Introduction

Chronology of building types and architecture, materials and construction, introduction to building conservation and the competencies required, and the roles and responsibilities in building conservation

  1. Significance and Philosophy

History of conservation, international charters, guidance and standards, significance and its assessment, heritage management, conservation strategy, listed buildings and scheduled monuments, and building regulations and standards

  1. Technical Analysis

Breathability and moisture movement, building pathology and condition surveys, and building and thermal performance

  1. Making Decisions – Considering Technical and Significance Issues

Balancing technical and significance issues, significance values, data and information from building pathology, ‘conservation policies’ from conservation management plans

  1. Interventions

Adaptations and extensions, repair, energy efficiency improvements, building maintenance

  1. Specifying and Managing

Types of specifications, contracts and procurement, management and supervision including quality management



At the end of the 2 days, you will take a short assessment to test what you have learnt, and will receive a certificate of attainment upon passing. For those interested in further recognition, there is the option to apply for certification under the CIOB Conservation Certification Scheme (more details on request).


Course Leader

John Edwards

The course will be delivered by John Edwards, MA, DipBldgCons, CEnv, FCIOB, FRICS, IHBC who is also the CIOB’s lead assessor on the CIOB’s Conservation Certification Scheme. John is an expert practitioner, formerly of English Heritage and Cadw and is the lead author of BS 7913: 2013: Guide to the Conservation of Historic Buildings.