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ICOM-CC Strategic Plan 2020–2023



Established in 1967, the International Council for Museums’ Committee for Conservation (ICOM-CC) is one of ICOM’s 33 International Committees. ICOM-CC’s 21 Working Groups provide a network for conservators, curators, artists, scientists, and heritage professionals to promote the preservation, conservation, and care of cultural heritage through international meetings and Triennial Conferences. The work of the Committee is further shared through the publication of Triennial Conference Preprints, the proceedings of the Working Group meetings, and regular newsletters.


ICOM-CC’s Strategic Plan, influenced by the Strategic Plan of ICOM (2016-2022), will be guided by the following five objectives:

Objective 1: Celebrate and communicate the excellence and diversity of the work and research carried out by our members. 

Rationale: The Working Groups and their members are the backbone of the Committee. Their research and advocacy have powered the Committee for the last five decades. Promoting this work through Triennial Conferences and Conference Preprints is a core activity of the Committee. The Working Group publications represent an important corpus of knowledge that has been foundational to the development of many aspects of the conservation field.

  • Make Working Group publications available on ICOM-CC’s freely accessible Publications Online platform.
    • Prepare the recent digitally-born publications for dissemination on the Publications Online platform.
    • Seek Special Project Funding from ICOM or other external funding to support this.
    • Identify costs and workflow needed to prepare older publications for the Publications Online platform.
  • Deliver the 19th Triennial Conference in Beijing, China, in May 2021.
    • Continued collaboration with previous Directory Board members and the Chinese National Organising Committee on the logistics and communications for the Triennial Conference and engagement from Working Group members, Working Group Coordinators, and authors to ensure a successful conference.
  • Organise the 20th Triennial Conference and Preprints for September 2023
    • Review and evaluate the format of the last three Triennial Conferences (2020, 2017, 2014) with special attention to any barriers to broadening and diversifying member participation.
    • Develop a list of actions for broadening and diversifying member participation at the Triennial conference and work to incorporate these wherever possible in the conference planning.
    • Directory Board will collaborate with the National Organising Committee on all logistics and planning for the Triennial Conference.
    • Working Group members, Working Group Coordinators, and the Directory Board will develop and deliver all content.
    • Directory Board, in concert with Stichting ICOM-CC Fund, will raise funds to facilitate participation of delegates from category 3 and 4 countries.
    • Directory Board, Working Group Coordinators and the Managing Editor of the Preprints will collaborate to produce the Triennial Conference Preprints.
  • Begin the organization for the 21st Triennial Conference in 2026.
    • Draft and issue a Call for Venue by October/ November 2022.
    • Select a venue for the 21st Triennial Conference.
    • Pass recommendations for increasing and diversifying member inclusion at the 21st Triennial meeting to the 2023-2026 Directory Board.

Objective 2: Continue to advocate for the conservation profession and develop new opportunities for cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural outreach.

Rationale: Practical collaborations provide real opportunities for engagement, participation, and capacity building. They challenge us to rethink long-held views and to nurture inclusion and diversity in practice.

  • Identify and pursue new collaborations between ICOM-CC and other Regional Alliances, Affiliated Organisations, National and International Committees within ICOM.
  • Organise the ICOM-CC session at the ICOM General Conference, Prague 2022.
    • Directory Board will coordinate collaboration between ICOM-CC, other ICOM bodies and the Prague National Organising Committee in the organisation of the meeting.
    • At least one session with another ICOM committee in Prague.
    • One off-venue event during the conference week in Prague.
    • One post-conference tour organised (if possible).
  • Encourage and facilitate collaborations between individual ICOM-CC Working Groups and ICOM Network.
    • Work with the Working Group Coordinators to identify potential areas of inter-Working Group collaboration for Interim Meetings, forums, webinars, workshops, and other events.
    • Devise a strategy to encourage collaborations between Working Groups and the broader ICOM network.
    • Continue to disseminate activities of other ICOM International Committees to ICOM-CC Working Groups and ICOM-CC activities to the broader ICOM network.
  • Develop and refine communications strategies in concert with Working Group Coordinators and members.
    • Taskforce of Directory Board members and Working Group Coordinators will review current use of social media and assess alternate social media platforms to promote the work of the ICOM-CC Working Groups globally.
    • Directory Board to work with Working Group Coordinators to develop a newsletter template that facilitates the dissemination of Working Group news.
  • Recognising that conservators bring unique perspectives to the work of museums and cultural institutions, advocate for the inclusion of conservation perspectives in broader ICOM initiatives.
    • Continue to communicate about museum climate and storage issues.
    • Engage with broader ICOM discussions on the definition of museums and the review of the ICOM Code of Ethics.

Objective 3: Enhance ICOM-CC’s global outreach, particularly in under-represented countries. 

Rationale: ICOM-CC, as the largest professional international conservation organisation, seeks to connect practitioners around the world in the shared task of preserving and conserving cultural heritage.

  • Translate ICOM-CC promotional material into more languages (initially for online publication).
  • Explore wider distribution of translated promotional materials, such as Working Group Facebook pages and the ICOM-CC website.
  • Work with existing members from under-represented regions to identify what methods of communication are most accessible, and what support or tools might be useful to members in those regions.
  • Work to increase the number of members in under-represented parts of the world and to advocate for conservation, as well as the retention of traditional artistic and preservation related skills, in those areas.

Objective 4: Engage with the topic of sustainability throughout the ICOM-CC structure ensuring that the Committee’s work is effective in leading relevant professional practice.

Rationale: Climate change poses a tremendous risk to cultural heritage and museum collections worldwide as well as to the societies and institutions which make, use and nurture that heritage.

  • Communicate the significant body of work already done by ICOM-CC members on this topic and build networks within the group that facilitate the development of new dialogues.
  • Adopt a meeting-wide theme for the 20th Triennial Conference that explores the role of conservation in supporting, facilitating, and implementing sustainable practices aligned with the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Build connections with the ICOM Working Group on sustainability.
  • Collaborate with other international and national conservation organisations to advocate for the importance of sustainable conservation practices within museums and the cultural heritage field.

Objective 5: Manage Committee operations in a consistent, professional, and efficient way.

Rationale: ICOM-CC is a complex and active ICOM International Committee that relies on the efforts of devoted volunteers at all levels of its structure. Reviewing working practices, updating them as necessary and centring inclusion, accessibility and transparency in all the Committee’s undertakings and working to improve the Committee’s fundraising capacity will allow us to more efficiently realise shared goals and maximise our deliverables.

  • Review and update the Committee’s working practices
    • Evaluate the most effective methods for communication between members of the Directory Board and between members of the Directory Board and the Working Group Coordinators, centring sustainability, and removing barriers from participation in the work of the Committee.
    • Model open, respectful, transparent and timely communication.
    • Poll the membership to determine which additional activities and opportunities for advocacy they feel it is important for ICOM-CC to pursue.
    • Draft a statement of Values for ICOM-CC and an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Statement, recognising that conservation, museums, cultural institutions and society are changing worldwide.
    • Revise the Bylaws to reflect changes within ICOM structures and to reflect any procedural changes needed to accommodate improved working practices.
    • Maintain an informative website with regularly updated contents and places for highlighting and celebrating the work of the membership.
    • Facilitate the work of the Working Groups with regard to publications, meetings, communications and social media.
    • As new working processes are identified, seek resources (fiscal, human) to facilitate them.
    • Throughout the Triennium, communicate our progress towards achieving the strategic goals outlined herein through the different media available to us, such as the website, On Board, Working Group communications, and so on.
    • Develop internal structures, file sharing capacities and internal mechanisms designed to facilitate a smooth transition to the next Directory Board.
  • Strengthen the ICOM-CC finances to create a more solid financial base to improve member experience
    • Work closely with the Stichting ICOM-CC Fund to identify and pursue fundraising opportunities.
    • Fundraise to support Projects and to support maintenance of the ICOM-CC website and the Publications Online platform.

Past Strategic Plans can be found in the downloads section.