Families of cultural heritage competences – CHARTER new exciting publication by WP2

Families of cultural heritage competences – CHARTER new exciting publication by WP2

Cultural Heritage Competences
The new factsheets released by Work Package 2 (WP2) present the first steps of the methodology aimed to identify cultural heritage competences for professionals. The document also helps to understand the ongoing research and analysis process carried out by the WP2, from its CHARTER Cultual Heritage Ecosystem Model towards the CHARTER Spiderweb Diagram. Learn more!

What is the reason behind the factsheets?

At the core of CHARTER’s mission lies the need to define a model that properly describes heritage practice and social engagement. Cultural heritage is a phenomenon, a social function where people and the resources we inherit are brought together in a living cycle of authorship and consumption towards a legacy through time whilst overcoming challenges. And as such, CHARTER proposes a circular model with explicit heritage functions which can also be applicable in economic and employment assessments and policies

The assessment performed indicates that the heritage sector lacks a proper definition of concepts and frameworks, which are essential to portray its economic and social value and have a wider professional recognition. There’s a need for a clear collection of information, with accurate, comparable, coherent and easily accessible data, which can be achieved by addressing the shortages on the current frameworks used for such purpose. In this sense, CHARTER aims to make recommendations for the future development of statistical analysis.

The Families of competences factsheets seek to:

  • Identify the professional skills and competences that characterise the heritage sector.
  • Draft competences profiles and propose tools for doing so.
  • Allow to identify needs and gaps to the sector’s education and training provisions.
  • Contribute to an integrated strategy for capacity building and professional recognition for those active or involved in cultural heritage.


What’s the methodology?

WP2 is presenting the first steps of a model able to illustrate the multidisciplinary nature of heritage practice and a methodology to map activities and occupations, in terms of skills and competences, onto the proposed model.

To this end, WP2 collects and analyses what people do as they fulfill their role in heritage, following a bottom-up approach, and assesses how the roles and occupations relate to existing frameworks which classify sectors and activities at national and European level (NACE, ESCO, ISCO, etc.).

By performing mapping exercises, the core and transversal nature of skills will be made visible, expressed on different levels of expertise. And by doing so, the identification of families of competences will enable the possibility to draft samples of occupational profiles.


First step: the CHARTER CH Ecosystem model

CHARTER CH Ecosystem Model

Presented one year ago, the CHARTER Model presented six functional areas placing heritage at the center of the ecosystem as a common good: where resources are in the interest of all, can be shared by all and are beneficial to all.

The circular model shows the interconnected layers towards heritage, in a cycle of activity that is a self-sustaining, on-going phenomenon of society.

The six functions present objectives within themselves that aggregate activities sharing similar concepts considered core and discrete to each function. These activities are the building blocks of occupational profiles, resulting in occupations that can be specific to a function because of its own core competences.

But activities can also be shared across the six functions at different levels of learnings and expertise. And this is what sets the stone for the new CHARTER Spiderweb Diagram.


Second step: CHARTER Spiderweb Diagram and the families of cultural heritage competences

CHARTER Spiderweb Diagram

The CHARTER Spiderweb Diagram picks up on the six heritage functions to further develop what are the activities operating inside each function, to later define families of competences.

At the same time, this evaluative model is aligned with the language and principles of the European Qualification Framework (EQF) and can be used to assess lifelong learning in a qualitative way.

Cultural Heritage Competences

Each triangle represents one of the functions, which is divided in 8 bandwidths from 0 at the centre out to 8. These bandwidths correspond to the 8 levels of EQF, expressed as levels of knowledge: acknowledging (1); remembering (2); understanding (3); comprehension (4); applying (5); analysing (6); evaluating (7); creating (8).

People working in the cultural heritage sector should be able to map the types of activities that are core to their work within the functions, relative to the level of expertise they may have. Competence is the ability to carry out specific tasks with the level of skill and knowledge appropriate to the job. So,  mapping the activities and its level in the spiderweb enables to draft a competences profile:

The CHARTER Spiderweb Diagram could be used to:

  • Evaluate educational programmes based on learning outcomes.
  • Assess gaps and needs between educational delivery and work requirements.
  • Design career plans for professional development.
  • Evaluate and develop skills needed to address (external) challenges.
  • Describe competences profiles as they are already used by heritage professionals at national level and sectoral networks.


Click here to read the full publication and check the practical examples of how the CHARTER Spiderweb Diagram can be used!


Factsheets – Families of Competences is written by Susan Corr (The Heritage Council);  Bosse Lagerqvist (ICOMOS); Elis Marçal (E.C.C.O); Anna Mignosa (Erasmus University Rotterdam); Margherita Sani (NEMO).

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