Erfgoedconsulenten - Heritage consultants - Experts-conseil en patrimoine


The interest of heritage
Professionalisme and conduct 
Responsibility towards colleagues, employers, and clients
Proposals and fees
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Heritage is a unique, not renewable and irreplaceable good.
Caring for and dealing with heritage therefore should be done with respect and expertise.

In Europe, as in most countries, more and more heritage consultants are involved in the planning and development of historic sites, buildings, museums,... They are assigned a large span of tasks, but in general they are requested to bring in expertise and know how to enable a sound and balanced development of projects.

The task of the heritage consultant thus implies important responsibilities. They have to service their clients, but they never may neglect the interest of the heritage itself. Once heritage is lost or damaged it will be lost or damaged for ever.


A code of ethics is needed.

Kleio nv was inspired by the code of ethics drawn up by the 'Canadian Association of Profession Heritage Consultants', one of the rare professional bodies of heritage consultants. This document was somewhat adapted, but kept essentially unchanged, and acts as a line of conduct for Kleio heritage consultants and each of its partners.


This code of ethics has three main objectives, notably:

  • the establishment of guidelines to follow when conducting our professional affairs;
  • the establishment of a set of standards to which professional heritage consultants must comply;
  • ensuring that the interests of the heritage, the public in general and the clients in particular will be properly served.

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The interest of heritage 

Heritage is an irreplaceable good with unique social, cultural, historical, esthetic and other values
A heritage consultant shall never knowingly act or formulate advises when he or she knows in advance that these could be harmfull to or lead to a loss of heritage.
A heritage consultant shall never knowingly cooperate with or assist at projects when he or she knows in advance that these could be harmfull to or lead to a loss of heritage.

This point of view will be communicated beforehand to each client and before concluding a contract.

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Heritage consultants must be qualified to perform the work which they accept. Qualifications may include academic training and/or knowledge and skills gained through practical experience and continuing education.
Accordingly they shall wherever possible:


  • 1. become informed appropriately of previous research on a project and will develop an appropriate methodology which meets the objectives of the project and satisfies prevailing heritage conservation and planning principles.
  • 2. ensure that adequate staff, resources, and support facilities are provided to carry out the project.
  • 3. recommend that other professionals will be retained whenever additional special knowledge or skills are required by the client.
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Professionalisme and conduct 

Heritage consultants shall conduct themselves in such a manner as to uphold the reputation of the heritage consulting profession.
In particular heritage consultants shall:


  • 1. not undertake any duty or task, or carry out any other instruction from a client or employer that involve making statements either in written or verbal form purporting to be their own, but which are contrary to their own bona fide professional opinion;
  • 2. not sign or otherwise associate themselves with any letter, document, report or verbal statement that the heritage consultant knows to contain false or misleading information;
  • 3. only provide a professional opinion after being as fully informed as might reasonably be expected;
  • 4. regard as confidential all information gathered as part of an assignment and will not take personal, financial or other advantage of this information as defined in the agreement with the client nor allow others to take advantage of this information;
  • 5. render or perform services based on adequate research and preparation and will not neglect services that they have agreed to perform;
  • 6. not serve two or more competing clients without the prior knowledge and consent of all parties;
  • 7. not maliciously or falsely injure the professional reputation, prospects or practice or another heritage consultant;
  • 8. not attempt to displace a competing heritage consultant after that heritage consultant has been engaged by the client;
  • 9. not engage in any illegal or unethical conduct involving the practice of heritage conservation;
  • 10. not accept remuneration or benefit from an outside party in connection with a client's project without the client's knowledge and written consent;
  • 11. not pay or accept commissions in securing professional work;
  • 12. avoid or disclose any conflict of interest which might influence the performance of their work for an employer or client;
  • 13. refuse to comply with any request or demand of an employer or client which is contrary to the Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics
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Responsibility towards colleagues, employers, and clients

It is important that heritage consultants shall at all times conduct themselves with courtesy, honesty and good faith in the practice of heritage conservation whether employed in the public or private sectors or when serving as a volunteer.


In particular, heritage consultants shall:

  • 1. be aware of the objectives of the Venice Charter, the ICOM code of ethics (Copenhagen, 1984), the code of ethics of ECCO (Brussels, 1993) and other nationally, internationally or provincially recognized statements of heritage conservation principles and assess the impact on heritage resources;
  • 2. actively support the conservation of material heritage wherever it is warranted;
  • 3. where possible enhance public regard for the heritage consulting profession;
  • 4. ensure that they do not adopt any method of obtaining business which will reflect poorly on the public image of the profession;
  • 5. enhance the effectiveness of heritage consulting through the exchange of information and experience;
  • 6. give appropriate credit for work done by others;
  • 7. endeavour to advance the development of juniors and employees;
  • 8. respect the interests of the employer or client insofar as it is consistent with the public welfare and the Association's code of conduct and shall regard as confidential all information obtained about the financial affairs, technical methods or any other matters pertaining to the client's or employer's business.
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Proposals and Fees

 Heritage consultants, employed either in the public or private sectors must try to ensure at all times that heritage conservation consulting is carried out in a financially responsible manner.

Those members in the private sector shall:

  • 1. charge an appropriate fee for their services taking into account factors such as the nature of services, ability and reputation, degree of responsibility, and assumed benefit to the client;
  • 2. not agree to undertake work for fees that are less than reasonable;
  • 3. agree where possible on fees or the basis of the calculation of fees prior to providing heritage consulting services;
  • 4. try to ensure at all times that the client receives a written proposal outlining the objectives, scope and fee for the proposed work;
  • 5. before submitting a proposal confer with the prospective client and gain a clear understanding of the scope of work, the issues or other matters that may arise during the course of such work and the anticipated benefits at completion of the work.
It is incumbent on those members employed by a public body or agency to ensure that where Association members are retained to provide heritage conservation consulting services the above matters are adhered to wherever possible..


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