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Survey Results Update

The results of Icon’s 2019 membership survey are finally in!

Icon’s mission is to support advocacy, excellence and engagement – building influence, extending knowledge and encouraging public awareness and participation.  In order to ensure our approaches to achieve these objectives are firmly based on evidence, at this time last year we conducted our second full membership survey; illuminating membership perception of current strengths and weaknesses across the organisation, and providing insights into challenges and opportunities facing Icon members across a wide range of employment contexts.

The survey was open for three weeks and gleaned 495 responses out of a potential 2420 – a response rate of 20%, which is deeply satisfying for a membership survey of such length and scale.  The resulting qualitative and quantitative datasets were rich and comprehensive, illuminating the views of survey respondents on a wide range of Icon activities and providing new detail on the present membership demography.

The results of the new survey suggest substantial continuity with previous results across a range of questions around membership views and demography, but also highlight areas for better practice.   Among the good news, membership satisfaction is on the rise – with a full 5% increase in the number of respondents answering yes to the question Are you satisfied with Icon? ‘Generally speaking,’ reported one respondent, ‘I think Icon does everything well, given the financial resources etc. I think it punches above its weight at the moment.’ 

Respondents highlighted our communications tools (defined as Icon’s regular publications and Iconnect e-bulletins) as key strengths, alongside the events programme organised by Icon’s Groups, Networks and Professional Development Team.  ‘Icon is really good at keeping conservators in the loop of new research and work and has a really good community with regards to the groups,’ said another. Alongside this, Icon continues to benefit from higher-than-average levels of membership engagement with our voluntary groups and committees when compared to benchmarking data obtained by the Professional Associations Research Network. 

Although respondents rated Icon communications highly, the survey results indicated a lack of understanding around Icon’s advocacy activities – which received a considerable boost with the appointment of Policy Advisor Anni Mantyniemi on the heels of the 2016 survey.  ‘I don't think it’s always visible how Icon is advocating for the profession in political spheres, or at least what outcomes and impacts are made by Icon there,’ one respondent asserted.  

Other respondents considered the affordability of Accreditation, while a perceived London-centricism of events was also a continuing feature of concern.  As ever, the need for Icon to understand and support the professional conservator was key: respondents underscored the need for Icon to emphasise resources to support those in private practice and mid-career conservators. 

These areas will now be subjected to new strands of targeted development work, using the survey results as a key evidence base.  And, in order to ensure that we continue to provide a means for members to share their feedback with us we have set up a new email address ( that members can use to pass on their reflections on our activities as well as any other ideas or comments.

You can find the full survey report here (please note that you must be logged in as an Icon member).


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