The perspective on certification assumes three requirements for certification to be warranted: the existence of a recognizable and accepted body of knowledge that constitutes a “discipline,” the desire of practitioners to organize and control the discipline, and the recognition by the public, or at least by the users of the disciplinary skills, that certification and by implication a limitation on practice is in the public interest.
The educational programs in architecture, landscape architecture, planning, and related fields are examined to identify elements that might qualify historic preservation as a discrete discipline. Specialized programs in historic preservation are discussed as models for certification requirements. Other organizations with standards for preservation education are examined to see how their requirements might establish criteria for certification.
The requirements for continuing education developed by the Royal Institute of British Architects and the American Institute of Architects are discussed in relation to limitations of professional practice. The perspective concludes with a commentary on the potential for separate certification of professionals who practice in the area of building preservation and technology.
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