Assessing and managing risks to your collection

A two-day workshop

with R. Robert Waller

(Protect Heritage Corp. under license from Canadian Museum of Nature)

June 27th and 28th 2013

Sorry, we are fully booked already, but we have a waiting list.

Today, preventive conservation has become a leading theme in all fields of cultural property. Useful scientific and technical knowledge continues to grow but is often incorporated in current practice slowly, incorrectly, or not at all. Despite the best intentions, professionals and institutions dealing with the preservation of cultural property may apply unrealistic standards, guidelines or lists of best practice, with no clear sense of priority, or of realistic expected benefits. With limited resources, decision makers are usually confronted with difficult choices in planning conservation strategies.

Since 2005, leading professionals in the field such as Rob Waller, have worked on developing and disseminating the risk management approach for cultural heritage. This risk management approach, which informs and guides decision makers in many other fields, offers a sound methodology to incorporate the most recent knowledge into current practice. It allows an integrated view of all expected damages and loss to cultural property, and of their mitigation, thus providing a useful tool for the design of more efficient conservation strategies. Preservation requirements and priorities will no longer be seen as overhead costs but as sound strategic investments. Participants learn to determine their preventive conservation priorities and how best to invest their limited funds.

On Thursday 27th and Friday 28th of June 2013, KIK-IRPA (Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage) in collaboration with FARO (Vlaams steunpunt voor cultureel erfgoed), Monumentenwacht Vlaanderen vzw and the Royal Army and Military History Museum (Koninklijk Legermuseum, Musée de l’Armée) organize a 2-day workshop on assessing and managing risks to collections, with R. Robert Waller (Protect Heritage Corp.).

Audience and participant requirements

The 2-day workshop is designed for a maximum of 40 participants. The course is open to:

  • directors
  • managers
  • administrators
  • curators
  • collection managers
  • researchers
  • conservators
  • preparators
  • volunteers, and
  • any stakeholder in collection preservation.


The objective of this non-technical workshop is to demonstrate to participants a method of assessing and managing risks to collections based on the award winning Cultural Property Risk Analysis Model (CPRAM).

Participants will learn to:

  • identify all the risks to which collections are exposed, which agents of deterioration are responsible and how risks differ;
  • assess the relative importance of risks;
  • identify means of controlling risks using different methods applied at different levels; and
  • develop risk mitigation strategies and evaluate their costs, risks and benefits in order to choose the most valuable option in a given context.

After the workshop participants will understand and be able to apply a model that will enable them to:

  • think about preventive conservation comprehensively;
  • guard against "flavour of the month" priorities;
  • compare between risks of different frequencies and severity;
  • clearly communicate preventive conservation issues, requirements and their importance;
  • work in teams within their own institution;
  • create base documentation on institutional practices;
  • compare different risks among different collections;
  • identify readily mitigatable risks;
  • recognise the importance of their actions or inactions in preserving collections;
  • develop cost-effective plans for mitigating risks;
  • consider all issues related to proposed mitigation strategies from an institutional perspective;
  • uphold plans for risk mitigation strategies with an analysis that senior management can appreciate and support.

Course methodology

The workshop is a highly interactive training session. It includes both theory and tightly integrated practical components in which the participants play an important part. Information is gained through lectures, demonstrations, brainstorming in small groups, assembling of ideas, presentation and discussion. The teaching approach fosters team-building and mutual understanding.

Participants are provided with various learning tools including the workshop manual which contains the complete workshop content, exercises, references, copies of key reference papers, and a glossary of terms.

Workshop contents (every day from 9:00 till 18:00)

Part One - Assessing Risks to Collections

  1. Identify all risks to collections and the agents of deterioration
  2. Identify the types of risk according to their frequency and severity
  3. Recognise the parameters for estimating risks: fraction susceptible, loss in value, extent, probability
  4. Calculate magnitudes of risk

Part Two - Managing Risks to Collections

  1. Identify methods of controlling risks
  2. Identify levels for applying the methods of controlling risks
  3. Develop mitigation strategies
  4. Evaluate the relative costs, risks and benefits of mitigation strategies


Thursday 27 and Friday 28 June 2013


The workshop will take place at the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA); Jubelpark 1, 1000 Brussels, Belgium.

Some of the practical sessions will take place at the Royal Army and Military History Museum, Jubelpark 3, 1000 Brussels, Belgium.

Mentor and tutors

Rob Waller (Protect Heritage Corp.) with the assistance of Marjolijn Debulpaep (KIK-IRPA), Caroline Meert (KIK-IRPA), Hilke Arijs (KIK-IRPA), Veerle Meul (Monumentenwacht Vlaanderen vzw), Griet Kockelkoren (FARO) and Elke Otten (Royal Army and Military History Museum).

Working language

The course language is English. Course materials will be available in English.

Application requirements

Applications should first be mailed to the following addresses:

Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA)

Marjolijn Debulpaep – Preventive Conservation

Jubelpark 1

BE 1000 Brussels

Tel.: +32 2 739 68 32

Website KIK-IRPA :

Registration needed via the course website.

Maximum 40 participants; priority will be given to participants who are working within the Belgian cultural heritage domain.

Application deadline: until no vacancies left; 15 June 2013

For more information please contact: