IHBC seeks volunteers to shape ‘Virtual MATE’ sessions: More free IHBC CPD supporting membership applications

websiteThe IHBC is developing new models to deliver online MATE (Membership Application Training Event) sessions, and seeks prospective applicants for 2-3 hour support sessions to test our plans for ‘Virtual MATEs’.

IHBC Education Secretary Andrew Shepherd said: ‘New approaches can be challenging for anyone, especially in times like these, but as ever the IHBC is here to help as best we can.’

‘So we’re delighted to open access to the evolution of this new service to the most pro-active of early career conservation practitioners: those willing to explore our new forms of accreditation support, and to make the most of time that might otherwise be remembered only for the perils of a pandemic’.

IHBC’s Professional Development Officer Ramona Usher writes:

During the current restrictions, unfortunately all scheduled in-person events have been cancelled, not least our Membership Application Training Events (MATEs).  Of course the IHBC is enhancing our virtual support, including delivery of our ‘2020 Virtual School’ online on 19 June, and now plans also to develop Virtual MATEs’

With so many staff in the built heritage sector furloughed, many are taking advantage of this time to further and submit their Full and Associate membership applications. To this end we are developing a new online MATE format. These sessions last approximately 2hrs 30mins, and are led by Ramona Usher and Sean O’Reilly and additional support as available, including, potentially, membership assessors.

The format is similar to the familiar ‘in person’ MATE, but as an online event, it requires more preparation and more discipline.  Equally, as this is an evolving model, we are conscious the service may need some improvement, and feedback from delegates will be an important part of that development process.

You will be required to prepare and supply in advance of the event:

  • a brief CV or link to an online profile, such as on Linkedin
    • This is needed so that we can understand our audience
  • an equivalent of an A4 representation of an example of work that you may use in your application. The work should reflect a significant part  of any of the four ‘Areas Of Competence’, or their underpinning competences, as described in the application forms or online.
    • This is required so you are able to effectively describe the example to MATE delegates, outlining how it may represent your conservation skills, knowledge, and/or experience during the ‘competence surgery’ discussions in the MATE session.


  • Numbers are strictly limited
  • Priority will be given to applicant profiles that help address development issues in our new ‘Virtual’ format
  • All online discussions are ‘without prejudice’ to any future application
  • Not all work examples will be reviewed but, as in traditional in-person MATE sessions, all delegates will be encouraged to raise issues specific to their experience and application
  • Only IHBC leads (including technical support) and event delegates will participate in online MATE sessions
  • A good internet connection is required, while other technical issues will be addressed as part of the event planning
  • All preparation and event hours qualify as IHBC CPD hours

To request your place, please email Ramona Usher (professional@ihbc.org.uk) with your CV (or online equivalent) and an example of your work that MIGHT be used in your application, as well as an indication of whether you would like to attend as an individual or in association with others in a specific organisation.

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