Core Documents

Commentaries to the Guidelines for Practice

Commentary 11 - Recommendations and References

For the purposes of this Guideline, recommendations may include referrals, as well as statements regarding the capabilities of other conservation professionals. References are allusions to or citations of the work of other conservation professionals. Recommendations and references may be written or verbal.

  1. Rationale
    • Recommendations and references based on direct knowledge are more likely to provide accurate and useful information and reduce the spread of misinformation. This contributes to the credibility of the field.
  2. Minimum Accepted Practice
    • Recommendations must be based on the conservation professional's direct knowledge, or on information obtained from a trusted colleague who has direct knowledge. The conservation professional must make clear the basis of this knowledge.
  3. Recommended Practice
    • Whenever possible, the conservation professional should make recommendations based on direct knowledge. Conservation is a field based on the observation and interpretation of evidence (see Commentary 18). As in other activities of the conservation professional, recommendations based on direct knowledge are the most credible.
    • When making recommendations based on information from others, the conservation professional should identify the source of the information.
    • When conservation professionals employed by an institution are asked for referrals for conservation work, conflict of interest issues may be involved (see Commentary 14, D). In these cases information about the AIC Guide to Conservation Services and/or a list of names and contact information should be provided.


Approved by the AIC Board May 30, 2001.