In-Service Training for Architectural, Conservation and Cultural Heritage Graduates
Along with providing a specialised formal education in cultural heritage and restoration, an important field of activity for the Academy’s Department of Cultural Heritage and Restoration is the provision of in-service training. In 1995, the Estonian Academy of Arts started the first in-service training courses in restoration for architects, civil engineers, art historians and people working in cultural heritage. Adult continuing education was a relative new educational field in Estonia at that time, and the course was also the first, and to date most successful, long-term in-service training course at the Academy of Arts.
The in-service course for architectural conservation and restoration is comprised of nine specialised modules, which focus on the main areas of architectural restoration:
• Module I – History and theory of cultural heritage
• Module II – Legislation, planning and protection of the cultural environment
• Module III – Sources and research
• Module IV – Restoration of stone buildings I, II
• Module V – Restoration of wooden buildings I, II
• Module VI – Restoration and engineering
• Module VII – Restoration of interiors
• Module VIII – The environment and architecture (takes place in Tartu)
• Module IX – Specialised seminars and practical training (takes place in Viljandi)
In addition to the lecture cycles related to the various areas of restoration, knowledge is also refreshed with lectures on Estonia’s architectural history.
The faculty members and lecturers teaching the course are members of the faculties at the Estonian Academy of Arts, Tallinn University of Technology and University of Tartu, and also include the country’s recognised restoration specialists. Considering the fact that the instructors for the in-service restoration training course are experienced people in their field, the studies focus primarily on the transmission of theoretical knowledge in lecture form. In the specialised seminars and practical training, the students get a chance to try their hand at making and working with traditional lime mortar, restoring doors, windows and other wooden details, and preparing and using forgotten, but rediscovered, historical interior paints.
In addition to the lectures, interesting study trips are made to recently restored objects or ones that are in the process of being restored.
The studies are conducted twice a month on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The study materials for the in-service training course are available from the Academy’s online study environment.
A final paper must be written and defended in order to complete the in-service training course. This should be comprised of the history of an old building (built before 1940) — the analysis of its architectural whole, technical condition and material utilisation. Or, the paper can also be based on the same aspects of a previously restored or conserved object.
Upon the completion of the in-service training course the graduate is issued a certificate by the Academy’s Open Academy, along with the corresponding academic record. The graduation ceremony, where the certificates are handed out, at the spring conferences organised by the Academy’s Department of Cultural Heritage and Conservation has become a nice tradition.
The course for architectural conservation and restoration, as a work-related in-service training programme, provides the professional qualification of Architectural Conservator (code 925 of the Estonian Classification of Economic Activities). With the graduation certificate issued upon the completion of the in-service training, the trainee has the right to apply to the National Heritage Board for a permit for working on monuments. The academic points that one accrues qualify as formal education (for one’s MA studies).