Professional Designation

Peer-reviewed Membership Application

Anyone can be a member of AIC. All one has to do to become a member at the Associate level is pay the annual membership dues. However, members with professional designation are conservation professionals who have had their training, knowledge, and experience reviewed by a body of professional conservators who are recognized in the field for their commitment to AIC's mission. They include include conservators, conservation scientists, educators, or others professionally involved in conservation. Attain professional designation by applying by the next deadline!

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January 1
July 1

October 1

Already a PA?
See Fellow Election

Who can apply for Professional Associate Designation?

An applicant must:

  • be a current Associate member
  • have earned an undergraduate university degree or the international equivalent (a waiver may be attained by writing to the Membership Committee explaining any equivalent education)
  • have two years (2) of full-time formal education or related supervised training in a field appropriate to other professional involvement in conservation (e.g., chemistry for conservation scientists, library science for library preservation administrators, art history for museum conservation administrators, business management for administrators).
  • have three (3) years of full-time work or its part-time equivalent in conservation or in a conservation related profession after training. Program training internships may not be counted toward this requirement.

Why apply?

There are many additional benefits you will receive with Professional Associate or Fellow designation:

  1. It does not cost any more than your regular dues. Professional Associates do not pay any more dues than regular members of AIC. So, you get more member benefits for the same rate!
  2. Listing in the public “Find a Conservator” tool on our website
    Membership at this level puts you in touch with the greatest number of potential clients by being approved to be listed in the online guide Find a Conservator.This benefit may be particularly attractive for those in private practice or interested in private work.
  3. Ability to Use the marks in marketing materials
    Only Professional Associate and Fellows are allowed to use the AIC PA and/or Fellow Mark in the marketing of their private practice to the public. The use of our logo distinguishes you from the many businesses that do not abide by our Code of Ethics.
  4. Resume recognition when applying for jobs, contracts and grants
    Peer-reviewed designation is valued on job and grant applications for many institutions and governments agencies. In fact, some government issued RFQ’s (requests for quotes) that applicants are Professional Associates or Fellows.
  5. Eligibility to apply for certain Professional Development Opportunities
    Some workshops and courses run by the Foundation of AIC are only open to Professional Associate and Fellow members of AIC.
  6. Eligibility to apply for Individual Professional Development Scholarships
    When you find yourself in a position where you want to attend a meeting but do not have the funds to attend, being able to apply for this funding can help defray costs for your professional development activities, including attending workshops, courses and conferences.
  7. Respect from among your peers and colleagues
    The respect and appreciation of peer-reviewed designation among conservators in the United States is very evident. If you want other conservators to advocate for you, provide them with the means to do so-getting peer approval designation in a profession is the easiest way to do this. The colleagues you respect and admire think that being a Professional Associate and Fellow is a valuable part of being a professional conservator, aspire to join them as well.

How to apply

Application Review Process

After you have finalized and submit your application, we will forward it to the chair and one other member of the Membership Committee (based your chosen specialty) for their review. The entire committee then meets at the end of the month of the deadline cycle to discuss applications. We will inform you of their decision via email after the meeting. If your application is approved, we will immediately change your record in the database and in the following weeks send you a certificate signed by the AIC president.

For more details, read our charge and guidelines below:

Application Deadlines: January 1, July 1, and October 1.

Apply Now

Note to the Public

Professional Marks

AIC's peer-reviewed members may use the following logos, or marks, to share their status.

AIC Professional Associate
While most PA and Fellow members are listed in our Find A Conservator tool, some choose not to be listed publicly. These marks, associated with a member's name, show their designation within the association. Contact us to confirm membership status as well. View more

Federal Government & AIC

"All conservation procedures should be fully documented, as reversible as possible, and follow the guidelines of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic &Artistic Works (AIC) Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice...the conservator must have qualifications and
experience equivalent to those required to be a Professional Associate or Fellow
of the AIC."

-Section 4.4.10 of the U.S. General Services Adminstration's Fine Arts Policies and Procedures