Commentary 4d - Fees

  1. Rationale
    • The conservation professional is primarily engaged in providing services, rather than goods or products. While the conservation professional should not overcharge for these services, they should not undervalue their education and expertise when setting fees.
  2. Minimum Accepted Practice
    • Professional fees must relate directly to the provision of service, and must not be based on the value of the cultural property.
    • A division of fees is appropriate when associates or sub-contractors are involved in providing project-related services such as scientific analysis, professional consultation, or specialized trade work.
    • The paying or requesting of a referral fee, brokers fee or finders fee is an unethical practice.
  3. Recommended Practice
    • When setting a fee, the conservation professional should consider:
      • education and experience of the conservation professional;
      • difficulty of the service to be provided, including inherent risks both to the conservation professional and to the cultural property;
      • time required;
      • travel time;
      • expediting schedule;
      • direct costs (e.g., analytical services, rentals);
      • overhead.
    • Other special circumstances may affect the fee (e.g., long-standing client relationship).


Approved by the AIC Board October 1998 / Revised June 2002.