Accreditation of Professionals

It is advised that Inspectors should have a minimum level of qualifications and experience and are registered with a recognised professional body such as the RICS, RIBA etc., as outlined in Quinquennial - How to Appoint an Inspector.  This registration is achieved through a recognised process of study, work experience and evaluation and obliges all members to work to a set of Professional Codes of Conduct and undertake Continuing Professional Development (CPD) to ensure they are up to date with current practices.  If these standards are not maintained, then churches have the right to report the individual to their respective professional body.

  • The title Architect  is protected in law to those on the register of the Architects Registration Board (ARB); many architects are also members of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).
  • A Chartered Surveyor  is a member (or fellow etc. as appropriate) of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Listed Buildings

Professionals undertake further study, work experience, assessment & CPD to allow them to be accredited with specialist bodies.  In the case of Quinquennial Inspections this accreditation will mostly be linked to working with historic buildings and structures.  It is therefore strongly advised that the individual appointed to undertaken an inspection of a listed building or building in a conservation area should have additional conservation accreditation.  Trustees should also be aware that any subsequent heritage grants for repairs or other works will also expect the consultant to have achieved this additional, specialist accreditation.

In the case of Listed Buildings or unlisted buildings in Conservation Areas, it is strongly recommended that the Quinquennial Inspector has correct expertise for the correct type of church.  As a broad guide, there are 4 areas of expertise to consider:  

 Major Churches

  • Competent to inspect major churches, which includes Central Halls
  • Experience of working with large and/or highly significant and complex church buildings 
  • Minimum of a junior level under a more experienced professional
  • Experience of working on Grade I or II* church buildings in a sole capacity
  • Relevant accreditation should be required.

Grade I or II* Churches/Chapels

  • Competent to inspect Grade I or II* churches
  • Experience of work in a sole capacity with listed buildings
  • Experience of work with such highly designated buildings
  • Minimum of a junior level under a more experienced professional (preferably experience in sole capacity)
  • Relevant accreditation should be required.

Grade II Churches

  • Competent to inspect Grade II churches
  • Experience of work in a sole capacity with listed buildings
  • Experience of working with listed church buildings at least at a junior level under a more experienced professional
  • Relevant accreditation would normally be recommended.

Unlisted churches

  • Competent to inspect unlisted churches
  • Evidence of supervision from an experienced professional with experience of church buildings is recommended
  • For certain buildings, evidence of experience of working with traditional materials may be required


Historic England for example delivers a heritage repairs grants scheme for buildings included on their At Risk Register, an extract from its guidance says the following:

‘Historic England’s main grant scheme is Repair Grants for Heritage at Risk. The scheme is for those sites which are most in need of repair and where lack of funding is blocking progress.  The main professional advisor will usually be either an architect, chartered building surveyor or chartered architectural technologist. We currently accept conservation accreditation from: 

In some cases a Chartered Engineer, Chartered Landscape Architect or other historic landscape specialist will be the appropriate lead professional.'

Structural Engineers with conservation accreditation can be found on the Conservation Accreditation Register for Engineers

As outlined above, there are a number of accreditation schemes, and these can have different levels of registration.  Historic England has undertaken a review of these accreditation schemes, and set out criteria for their recognition.  The criteria and full information on the list of accreditation scheme can be found at: