Conservation DistList Archives [Date] [Subject] [Author] [SEARCH]

Subject: Certification


From: Katharine Untch <kuntch>
Date: Wednesday, December 11, 2002
I would like to thank Karen Dabney for raising the issues of
continuing education and its relationship to recertification.  In
her message, she poses a question about what is being done to
increase continuing education opportunities.  Thank you, Karen, for
providing such a wonderful entree for me to share some exciting news
on the expansion of professional development opportunities with
which the American Institute for Conservation (AIC) has been

In the past several years I have noted a remarkable growth in
workshop opportunities for conservators offered by many
organizations and individuals.  Postings in the AIC newsletter have
increased significantly and the National Center for Preservation
Training and Technology (NCPTT) maintains a database on their
web site of course offerings by various institutions throughout the
United States.  Additional information on professional development
opportunities offered through AIC is also available on the web site
at <URL:>.

The Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation (FAIC)
offers scholarships to AIC members to attend professional
development activities.  For more information, visit the AIC web site
at <URL:>.

In 2000, AIC received a $1.5 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon
Foundation that initiated the FAIC Endowment for Professional
Development.  Interest from the endowment is being used to help fund
more workshops for mid-career conservators.  The Mellon gift
included additional funds for the first five years to hire a Program
Officer for Professional Development who has been working since
August 2001 in expanding professional development opportunities.
FAIC is currently engaged in a fundraising campaign to double this
endowment, a critical factor in ensuring the perpetuity of a program
for professional development.  Anyone interested in contributing to
FAIC's Endowment for Professional Development is welcome to do so.
Donations after December 1, 2002 may be used as matches to a
challenge grant.  Additional information on how to support FAIC is
available at <URL:>.

Several conservators, institutions and organizations have already
been extremely helpful in organizing and teaching more workshops
around the country.  AIC is still in the early phases of growing
such a program, but we have already made incredible strides.  The
AIC membership was invited to participate in a survey in 2001 about
the continuing educational needs of conservators in the US.  In
2002, AIC partnered with the Getty Conservation Institute in holding
a Directors' Retreat to further explore trends and needs for
mid-career education and how to achieve these goals.  Information
from the membership survey, from the Directors' Retreat, from AIC's
own specialty groups, committees and task forces, as well as input
from individual members are all helping to shape the professional
development program.

As for how professional development relates to recertification, it
is my own personal opinion that we need a stronger professional
development program regardless of the outcome of certification,
which is why I have been working diligently to encourage the
expansion of a professional development program that is guided by
conservators' input on their own continuing education needs, rather
than by certification.  It is likely, however, that should a
certification program be developed, there will be some impact on the
trends and goals of a professional development program.

Some helpful information on how a recertification process might work
is presented in an article section on page 6 of AIC News Vol. 27,
No. 3, entitled "Will certification (renewal) be part of the program
and how will it work?"  The article can be accessed through the AIC
web site at <URL:>.

The growth of a professional development program can parallel the
development of a certification program. The Certification Task Force
is aware of the financial/time/geographic limitations faced by many
conservators and certainly will address these in setting up any
program.  The number of years between certification and
recertification will also take into account these issues.  Should
there be a certification program, it would be in our best interests
to make sure that those who are certified have the ability to remain
so, and that the recertification process reflects individuals'

Professional development possibilities for recertification may
include reading publications for abstracts, reviewing papers for
JAIC or other professional journals, writing articles for local or
broader publications, and other activities that can be done from
home.  The Certification Task Force has also discussed a "creative"
category that allows an individual to devise an activity they feel
will benefit them professionally.  There also may be some on-line
possibilities for professional development.

Should this current AIC vote pass on moving forward with developing
a certification program, it will be very important to have broad
input and continuing dialogue.  The many ideas and suggestions have
already been extremely informative and will help ensure we are
moving the profession in a logical direction that is responsive to
the needs of its practitioners.

Katharine Untch
AIC Board Director, Professional Education

                  Conservation DistList Instance 16:40
                Distributed: Thursday, December 19, 2002
                       Message Id: cdl-16-40-005
Received on Wednesday, 11 December, 2002

[Search all CoOL documents]