The content from COTAC's Insight 1 and Insight 2 underpins the Understanding Conservation Series consisting of 5 units to progress towards the more detailed Understanding Conservation (Need to be Skilled in the Built Heritage) volumes.

The 5 Understanding Conservation units are based on and created around the 1993 International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) Education and Training Guidelines. Following an analysis of the ICOMOS Guidelines they were translated into a pragmatic 'Framework Document' that distilled the preliminary work into five basic units of architectural conservation understanding.

The ICOMOS Guidelines have been adopted by the UK’s Conservation Course Directors Forum (CCDF) where all the member courses agreed to observe them in their delivery. In addition, the Guidelines underpin all CIAT’s professional body peer-reviewed Accreditation in Architectural Conservation Scheme currently operated by the pan-professional spread of bodies in the UK and Ireland, this in support of the 2013 ICOMOS CIF International Training Committee ‘Principles for Capacity Building through Education and Training in Safeguarding and Integrated Conservation of Cultural Heritage’ intentions.

All 5 units are offered in downloadable PDF format.

Understanding Conservation Unit 1: Need to be Skilled in Cultural Significance
Understanding Conservation Unit 2: Need to be Skilled in Aesthetic Qualities and Values
Understanding Conservation Unit 3: Need to be Skilled in Investigation, Materials and Technology
Understanding Conservation Unit 4: Need to be Skilled in Social and Financial Issues
Understanding Conservation Unit 5: Need to be Skilled in Implementation and Management of Conservation Works


The Council on Training and Architectural Conservation (COTAC) recognises the need for specialists to properly specify and oversee work involved in repairing and conserving historic buildings and churches. Its objectives are to advance the education and training of all those involved in the protection and preservation of the historic environment that is of cultural, architectural or historical value, and to provide knowledge in support of training and education in the arts and skills required to protect and preserve it. Over the years COTAC has persistently and influentially worked to lift standards, develop training qualifications and build networks across the conservation, repair and maintenance sector of the built environment industry. 

Cost: Free

View more courses from COTAC below:
Insight 1 - Introduction to the Need to Appreciate the Built Heritage
Insight 2 - Introduction to the Need to be Aware of the Built Heritage