Training to become a conservator
The profession of conservation involves an amalgam of different traditions and disciplines drawing on science, technology, art, artistry and humanities; it has a strong ethical base as well as a recognition of intelligent, reflective practice and professional judgement. Training should provide technical and scientific knowledge of materials and deterioration processes and allow students to develop appropriate aesthetic and perceptual abilities. As well as teaching design, fabrication, artistic and other special skills necessary for the practical application of that knowledge.
There are three accepted training routes for conservators:
1. A substantial period of experience backed by practical training and continued professional development, known as CPD.
2. A directly relevant degree followed by years of relevant experience
3. A less relevant first degree or period of practical training, followed by a full-or part-time postgraduate qualification and further experience.
Conservators usually specialise in a particular material or group of objects such as architecture, archaeology, art on paper, books, decorative arts, natural science or ethnographic materials, paintings, photographs, sculpture or textiles.
There are no practical conservation training course currently available in Ireland at this time.
A list of training courses available in the UK is available organised by discipline.
Details of International conservation training can be obtained at:
International Centre for the Study of the Preservation & Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM)