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Education & Skills Strategy


The UK’s rich and varied cultural heritage provides significant social and economic benefits

For this to continue, our cultural heritage needs to be cared for effectively. This requires a wide spectrum of society having an interest in working to preserve the material world, and having the knowledge, skills and understanding to do so.

To meet this challenge, a strategic approach to the provision of conservation education, training and research was conceived. The resulting National Conservation Education & Skills Strategy (NCESS) was launched in 2012, developed and articulated by Icon.

The NCESS is designed to set the direction for conservation education. It aims to foster a collective responsibility, building connections between the built and moveable heritage sectors and the crafts and conservation professions.

​​NCESS Bulletins: September 2014March 2014July 2013June 2012 


The NCESS aims to encourage an appropriately educated, skilled and diverse workforce to ensure that the UK’s cultural heritage is preserved and made accessible so that it continues to provide a full range of benefits to society.

The NCESS aims to build on existing working relationships between educators and employers as well as qualifications and Professional Standards by galvanising stakeholders, bringing people together and including all those who contribute to the conservation of cultural heritage.

  • Aim 1: To promote the development and delivery of conservation education, training and skills as a joint responsibility of all stakeholders
  • Aim 2: To map a framework of sustainable career paths that is accessible, coherent, responsive, resilient and quality assured
  • Aim 3: To raise awareness of conservation as a subject of learning, research and enrichment, as well as a career opportunity

Photo: The launch of the NCESS April 2014 c. Matt Wreford