Core Documents

Commentaries to the Guidelines for Practice

Commentary 4c - Contracts

In this Guideline, contractual agreements include job descriptions and terms of employment (conservation professionals employed by institutions), and contracts for conservation services and letters of agreement (conservation professionals in private practice).

  1. Rationale
    • To insure that the conservation professional will not compromise professional standards when dealing with owners/custodians. Contractual agreements document the obligations between the conservation professional and owners/custodians, provide legal protection for both parties, and are sound business practice.
  2. Minimum Accepted Practice
    • The contractual agreement must be in written form. It must include:
      • scope of work;
      • fee structure or salary;
      • approval for conservation services or delegation of authority for decision making with regard to conservation services;
      • signature(s) and date.
    • When conservation service involves examination and treatment, the contractual agreement must also meet documentation requirements (see Guidelines 24-28).
  3. Recommended Practice
    • It is recommended that model contracts particular to a specialty be consulted as a basis for the contractual agreement, and that legal advice be obtained before a final form is used.
  4. Special Practice
    • In emergency situations, a verbal agreement may substitute for a written one. A written contractual agreement should be signed as soon as possible.


Approved by the AIC Board October 1998.