CHARTER represents 47 actors from civil society, national heritage bodies, professional networks, education and training providers, enterprises as well as regional ecosystems. Their combined expertise guarantees an evidence-based holistic approach towards the heritage sector’s challenges and needs. The Alliance values an integrated approach that favours participative decision making processes according to the partners’ level of engagement with cultural heritage, their competences, expertise and experience.

The organisations behind CHARTER represent both demand and supply sides. All are aware of the specific educational, occupational and economic frameworks, policies and agendas of the EU that guide each work area and profession, as well the mechanisms required for up-skilling and reskilling to sustainably address the needs of a changing sector and its workforce.

  1. The education and training providers seek to improve clarity on curricula provision, types, levels and delivery routes to promote quality in learning outcomes, equivalence and mobility.

  2. The industry wishes to be certain of the availability of high-quality expertise, distributed regionally to facilitate the sustainable access, use and promotion of cultural heritage.

  3. Public bodies and agencies need to articulate policies that safeguard, sustain and promote cultural heritage for the common good by resourcing the transmission of skills.

  4. The people who work in the sector seek recognition for their roles and mission as these relate to experience, expertise and professional qualification.


The economic impact of the cultural heritage sector and its professional profiles goes unnoticed due to lack of statistical descriptions and recognition. Consequently, the potential of the sector is not fully recognised and its ability to strengthen European cultural identities and social cohesion is severely hindered. There is a need to professionalise the CH sector in order to realise its full potential and ensure a sustainable sector. 

The EU Culture and Creative Sectors (CCS) account for EUR 413 billion in terms of value added i.e. 5.5%. At the EU Member State level the CCS employ on average 6.2% of the workforce. Cultural heritage is part of the CCS, but very little statistical data supports the economic impact of the CH sector alone. We find that without statistical recognition, the sector is affected on all levels – from educational to professional. 

Optimal qualitative education and training can only be achieved when the demand from the occupational market is known. Furthermore, the lack of classification and codification leaves cultural heritage recruitment and procurement without competency benchmarks. A structure for continuous professional development and lifelong learning is missing. Professional mobility is impacted since the full range of competences are not recognised. An ageing and poorly resourced work force are challenged by digitalisation, the increased use of technology and born-digital cultural heritage. 

It is time to professionalise the sector to ensure current and future professionals have a strong, sustainable and adaptable sector. CHARTER will combine new gathered knowledge of sector specific competencies and skills with already existing findings and recommendation to streamline a new strategic approach to sectoral cooperation.