Membership informs your work, connects you with your colleagues, and advances your career. Share knowledge, celebrate accomplishment, and lead the field.


Start the application and save your information at your discretion before finalizing and submitting for review. 

Read each of these sections below before applying:

  • Application Parts
  • Review Process
  • Review Materials

See online application form for more details. 


  • Contact Information
    Verify the information pre-filled in from your profile.
  • Professional Background
    Applicants will download a template, which they will use to upload a list of formal education, other related training and education, and professional experience.
  • Examples of Work
    Applicants must submit at least two examples of their work, which should show evidence of sustained high-quality professional skills and ethical behavior in accordance with our Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice. 
  • Essay
    Applicants will need to answer the following questions (500 words or less): 

    1. How do you further our mission through your particular involvement in conservation?
    2. How do you promote the our Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice through your own profession?
  • Sponsors
    Applicant must collect letters from ANY three (3) members with Professional Associate or Fellow designation who are personally acquainted with and knowledgeable about their work. This knowledge may come from personal work experience (ie professors, previous supervisors, people you have collaborated with on a paper, etc...), but sponsors do not have to be from your current workplace. They can also come from collaboration on committees, portfolio review, and/or review of the completed application.

Recommendations should address:

  • How long have you known the applicant
  • How familiar you are with the applicant's work
  • Why you believe that the applicant qualifies

Sponsors must submit letters of rrecommendation within two weeks of the application due date (January 15, July 15, or October 15, depending on the cycle in which the person is applying). The application portal will email sponsors at the time of the applications submission. Sponsors can also email letters to


  1. Submission
    Staff forwards finalized applications to the Membership Committee.
  2. Review & Recommendation
    The chair, a member within your cited specialty, and another member selected at random will review your application. Each reviewer gives a recommendation: recommend approval, recommend discussion, or recommend to not approve. Applications recommended for approval by all reviewers are approved without further discussion.
  3. Discussion
    The committee discusses the remaining applications at a meeting. The specialty reviewer presents the application to the full committee, which provides additional assessment. The committee approves the application if the discussion satisfactorily addresses all their questions/concerns.
  4. Deferment & Secondary Review
    If questions/concerns remain, the committee may ask sponsors or applicants to provide additional information. Staff will then notify the applicant about the applicant's pending status and hold the application until the next review cycle. If after a review of the additional information, a majority of the  committee cannot agree on an application, the board liaison and the chair will identify three adjunct reviewers to assess the application and provide recommendations. If the three recommendations are not in agreement, the committee will decline the application. 
  5. Notification
    Staff will inform applicants of the committee's decision (approximately a month after deadline) and mail a frameable certificate in the following weeks. The committee provides declined applicants with feedback and guidance for resubmitting their application.


The Membership Review Committee bases their review of applications on the following documents.

  • Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice
    This Code of Ethics sets forth the principles that guide conservation professionals and others who are involved in the care of cultural property. This core document grew out the Murray Pease Report (on standards and practice), published in 1963, and later Code of Ethics for Art Conservators (1967). Combined and revised in 1979 into two parts, the document was then amended in 1985 to reflect additions to the AIC Bylaws on reporting, investigating, reviewing, and appealing violations. From 1985-93, they were simplified, subjected to comparative analysis, organized topically, and related to other codes in conservation and other professions. They were adopted by AIC's voting membership in 1994.
    PDF, 173.71 KB
  • Commentaries to the Guidelines
    Commentaries to the Guidelines for Practice were designed to amplify and define current accepted practice for each of the Guidelines while accommodating the individual needs of each area of professional specialization, and as well, allowing for future growth and change in practice through a simplified amendment process. The were first drafted in 1995, approved in 2001, and later amended in 2008 (for the transition to digital documentation).
    PDF, 237.84 KB
  • Defining the Conservator: Essential Competencies
    In 2000, the AIC Board established the Qualifications Task Force to define the essential areas of knowledge and skills that characterize the conservator. This document outlines twelve areas of competency for conservators: including terminology, scientific principles and methods, examination methods, documentation, and treatment, among others (May 2003).
    PDF, 177.54 KB
  • Requisite Competencies for Conservation Technicians and Collection Care Specialists
    In 1994, in recognition of the importance of the role that technicians play in the field of conservation, the AIC Board established the Collections Care Task Force (CCTF) to define and clarify the role of technicians in conservation practice. This document outlines the skills and knowledge required for 19 identified tasks at three levels of competency (June 2005).
    PDF, 1.31 MB
  • New Membership Review Committee Charge
    This document outlines the purpose of the Membership Committee, its composition and rotation, and its responsibilities. It was adopted by the AIC Board in March 2017.
    PDF, 91.50 KB
  • Membership Review Committee Guidelines
    The Membership Review Committee reviews applications on how they show appropriate decision-making processes and compliance to the AIC Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. This document sets forth the guidelines the committee uses when reviewing the applicant's professional background, examples of work, essay and sponsor letters. The AIC Board approved these guidelines in March 2017.
    PDF, 395.57 KB


Contact 202.661.8065 or