Professional Designation Application

You can apply for Professional Associate online. If you meet all the qualifications, please click on the link to the right. You can start the application and save your information at your discretion before finalizing and submitting it for review. See the application for more details.

January 1
July 1
October 1

Application Fee: $15

Application Parts

  1. Contact Information: this will be pre-filled in from your AIC profile. Verify the information listed.
  2. Professional Background:  Applicants will need to download and then upload a template where you list your formal education, other related training and education, and professional experience.
  3. Examples of Work: Applicants must submit at least two examples of their work which show evidence of sustained high-quality professional skills and ethical behavior that adheres to the AIC Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice. Examples may include: recent examination forms; proposed and completed treatment forms; reports of scientific investigations; lecture materials; planning documents; survey reports, etc….
  4. Essay: Applicants, in 500 words or less, will need to answer the following questions: 

    1. How do you further the purpose for which AIC was established through your particular involvement in conservation?
    2. How do you promote the AIC Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice through your own profession?

  5. Sponsors: Applicant must collect letters from ANY three (3) members with Professional Associate or Fellow designation who are personally acquainted with and knowledgeable about their work. Letters of recommendation are due by January 15, July 15, or October 15, depending on the cycle in which the person is applying. They DO NOT have to be your current co-workers. This knowledge may come from personal work experience (ie professors, previous supervisors, people you have collaborated with on a paper, etc...). It can also come from collaboration on committees, portfolio review, and/or review of the completed Professional Associate application. The letters should address the following:
    1. How long have you known the applicant?
    2. How are you familiar with the applicant's work?
    3. Why do you believe that the applicant qualifies to be a Professional Associate

  6. If you do not yet know any Professional Associate or Fellow members, email for a list of members who will are willing to review your application and potentially serve as sponsors.

Apply Online

Review Process

  • After you have finalized and submit your application, we will forward it to the Membership Committee.
  • Your application will be reviewed by the chair, a member within your cited specialty, and another member selected at random.
  • Each reviewer indicates their recommendation: recommend approval, recommend discussion, or recommend to not approve.
  • Applications that received “recommend approval” from all reviewers are administratively-approved without discussion by the committee.
  • The remaining applications are discussed at a meeting of the committee.The applications in question are presented by a committee member in the same specialty as the applicant, and additional assessments are provided by other reviewers of the application. If questions/concerns are addressed to the committee’s satisfaction, the application is accepted.
  • If questions remain, sponsors may be asked to provide additional information to the committee. In this case, the applicant is notified of the status of their application and the application is held until the next review cycle, pending submission of the requested information.
  • If a majority of committee members cannot agree on an application, the board liaison and the chair will identify three additional adjunct reviewers to assess the application and provide recommendations. If the three recommendations are not in agreement and the committee remains divided, the application is declined. When notified, the applicant is given feedback and guidance that can be incorporated into a resubmitted application.
  • When approved, you will be informed regarding the committee's decision via email (approximately a month after deadline). We will then immediately change your record in the database and in the following weeks send you a certificate signed by the AIC president.

Review Resources

The Membership Review Committee bases their review of applications on the following documents. Read through them to get a better understanding of how your application will be evaluated.
  • Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice
    This document sets forth the principles that guide conservation professionals and others who are involved in the care of cultural property. This core document grew out the Murray Pease Report (on standards and priactice), published in 1963, and later Code of Ethics for Art Conservators (1967). Combined and revised in 1979 into two parts, the document was then amended in 1985 to reflect additions to the AIC Bylaws on reporting, investigating, reviewing, and appealing violations. From 1985-93, they were simplified, subjected to comparative analysis, organized topically, and related to other codes in conservation and other professions. They were adopted by AIC's voting membership in 1994.
    PDF, 167.88 KB
  • Commentaries to the Guidelines
    Commentaries to the Guidelines for Practice were designed to amplify and define current accepted practice for each of the Guidelines while accommodating the individual needs of each area of professional specialization, and as well, allowing for future growth and change in practice through a simplified amendment process. The were first drafted in 1995, approved in 2001, and later amended in 2008 (for the transition to digital documentation).
    PDF, 237.84 KB
  • Defining the Conservator: Essential Competencies
    In 2000, the AIC Board established the Qualifications Task Force to define the essential areas of knowledge and skills that characterize the conservator. This document outlines twelve areas of competency for conservators: including terminology, scientific principles and methods, examination methods, documentation, and treatment, among others (May 2003).
    PDF, 177.54 KB
  • Requisite Competencies for Conservation Technicians and Collection Care Specialists
    In 1994, in recognition of the importance of the role that technicians play in the field of conservation, the AIC Board established the Collections Care Task Force (CCTF) to define and clarify the role of technicians in conservation practice. This document outlines the skills and knowledge required for 19 identified tasks at three levels of competency (June 2005).
    PDF, 1.31 MB
  • New Membership Review Committee Charge
    This document outlines the purpose of the Membership Committee, its composition and rotation, and its responsibilities. It was adopted by the AIC Board in March 2017.
    PDF, 91.50 KB
  • Membership Review Committee Guidelines
    The Membership Review Committee reviews applications on how they show appropriate decision-making processes and compliance to the AIC Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. This document sets forth the guidelines the committee uses when reviewing the applicant's professional background, examples of work, essay and sponsor letters. The AIC Board approved these guidelines in March 2017.
    PDF, 395.57 KB


Contact 202.661.8065 or


Contact 202.661.8065 or