Understanding Building Conservation

Sustainable Construction and Development


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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.




Gain essential knowledge and practical skills in building conservation with our 2 day course, designed for professionals in the UK. With over 6 million traditional buildings and 500,000 listed monuments, understanding conservation is crucial. The course covers both residential and commercial properties as well as historic monuments, in line with the ICOMOS (International Council On Monuments and Sites) Training and Education Guideline and the latest British Standard BS 7913: 2013.

Learn the philosophy behind conservation, technical analysis, diagnosis, solutions, stakeholder management, and best practices in the field. Upon completion, take a multiple choice test to receive a certificate of attainment and be eligible for the CIOB Building Conservation Certification Scheme (subject to terms and conditions). Enhance your career and make a positive impact on the preservation of UK heritage.

Members gain 5 CIOB CPD points when you reflect on the ethical aspects of your learning from this activity.

Event Details

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2 days
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Next Available Dates

27th and 28th March 2024

17th and 18th July 2024

30th and 31st October 2024


  • Following purchase of a CIOB Academy course the team will email delegates registration links and additional information, 1 week prior to the course start date.
  • Accessing the live webinar sessions during the course require delegates to register using teams
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  • 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
  1. Introduction
  2. Significance and Philosophy
  3. Technical Analysis
  4. Making Decisions – Considering Technical and Significance Issues
  5. Interventions
  6. Specifying and Managing

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.


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).

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Course Leader

John Edwards


The course will be delivered by John Edwards, MA, DipBldgCons, CEnv, FCIOB, FRICS, IHBC. 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.

Professor John Edwards, is a practising building pathologist as well as a Chartered Environmentalist, Chartered Building Surveyor and Chartered Construction Manager. First undertook detailed inspections, analysis’s and monitoring of buildings in 1981. His experience covers housing of many different kinds ranging from traditional to system built and many other types of buildings ranging from castles and cathedrals to modern commercial office buildings. Professor Edwards is principally a practitioner but has been involved in education on a part time basis since the 1980’s and includes many of his case studies as work examples in this training course. He is currently a Director of specialist consultancy practise Edwards Hart and is also professor of practice at the University of Wales Trinity St David.



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