Guidelines for Education and Training in the Conservation of Monuments, Ensembles and Sites (1993)


The ICOMOS General Assembly adopted these guidelines in an effort to develop standards and guidelines for education and training in the conservation of monuments, groups of buildings (ensembles), and sites. The guidelines emphasize that conservation work should be entrusted to persons who are competent to perform the work and describe the skill set conservators should be expected to have as a result of their education and training. These include the ability to:

  • identify the use and significance of a monument, ensemble, or site;
  • understand the setting of the monument or site in relation to its surroundings;
  • diagnose causes of decay as a basis for appropriate decay;
  • communicate with non-specialists;
  • know and apply the principles of international conventions and recommendations;
  • make ethical conservation judgements that ensure the long-term welfare of the cultural heritage;
  • recognize when advice of specialists is needed; and
  • provide expert advice on maintenance and management strategies.

The guidelines also address the training of craftspersons in conservation, the recording and revival of historic skills, the development of a regional center for education and training, international exchanges of teachers, and regular peer review of training programs. Finally, the guidelines outline the resources that should be available to support specialist courses. Because documentation is key to the conservation of cultural heritage, the guidelines also recommend that countries have an institute for research and archive for recording its cultural heritage and all related conservation works.