The 21st International Course on Wood Conservation Technology 2024: A Deep Dive into Heritage Conservation

The 21st International Course on Wood Conservation Technology 2024: A Deep Dive into Heritage Conservation

The 21st International Course on Wood Conservation Technology (ICWCT) concluded on June 24, 2024, marking another milestone in the field of heritage conservation. This year’s course, held in a hybrid format with six weeks of online learning followed by two weeks of intensive hands-on experience in Norway, drew 21 participants from 19 countries across all continents.

A course on the conservation of cultural heritage made of wood 


Partners wood course

wood course ICCROM

Background and content 

The ICWCT was initiated as a response to a recommendation by UNESCO and has been organized in Norway every second year since 1984. It is directed towards professionals who have been working for some years within the field of wood conservation. The ICWCT covers a wide range of interdisciplinary topics relating to both buildings and objects made of wood.  

The ICWCT 2024 will be held in two parts: 

Online using digital platforms: 22 April – 31 May 2024 

On-site in Oslo and other locations in Norway: 10 June – 24 June 2024 

Aim and objectives 

The aim of the course is to promote cultural understanding and research in the field of wood conservation and to be a valuable resource for the work of the individual participants in their respective countries. The main objectives of the course are: 

  • to establish a basic knowledge of wood, and the processing and use of wood, both structurally and decoratively. 
  • to give participants the theoretical and practical knowledge essential for diagnosing the causes of deterioration, and for selecting the most appropriate methods of conservation and restoration of wood. 
  • to extend the knowledge of participants beyond their own professions for a broader understanding of different aspects and approaches to wood conservation. 
  • to bring people with various professions from different countries and cultures together for a mutual learning experience, drawing on different experiences, practices, and approaches to wood conservation and the use of wooden materials. 

The course programme 

wood course ICCROMThe curriculum includes distinct but interconnected units covering aspects of conservation theory and principles, properties of wood; biodeterioration, decay, and damage development of fungi and insects; preventative conservation and climatology, climate change and its effect on wooden cultural heritage, the conservation of wooden objects and furniture as well as the conservation of wooden buildings and structures. 

The ICWCT 2024 course programme will include an online preparatory course as well as an on-site component in Norway.  

  • The online course uses Digit/edX as the course platform. Zoom is used for synchronous meetings. Each week requires approximately 25 hours of study and coursework per week. This time includes approx. Three hours of live Zoom meetings with synchronous participation and discussion. Please note that live meetings are usually held between 1:00 – 3:00 pm CET, so flexibility might be required, depending on the time zone. A good and stable internet connection is necessary. The course is intensive, and we recommend that participants make sure they set aside sufficient time to concentrate on the course. We do not recommend this course be combined with full-time employment. 
  • Practical on-site course in Norway: After completing the online training, participants will be invited to Norway for a two-week on-site course. The full-time programme includes a tour around central and southern Norway, and you will meet in person several of the lecturers you have already met online. We look at the theory you have studied and see how it is applied in real life, viewing case-studies, and building sites, attending practical workshops, sessions at conservation sites, and museum workshops.  

A full and detailed course programme will be distributed to successful applicants.  


Lecturers from many different countries will be contributing to the course. All are recognized experts within the field of conservation and with various backgrounds and professional experience. 


The course concludes with an exam giving 15 (ECT) university credits from The Norwegian University of Science and Technology if passed. A full-time presence, both online and on-site, active participation with completion of all assignments is a requirement to obtain the course certificate. 


Course participation is free of charge for the selected participants. 

Travel, accommodation, and living expenses 

Participants are responsible for their own travel costs to Norway, for their visa application and expenses, and for public transport within Oslo. Student accommodation for the period of the course is available free of charge for course participants. Participants are responsible for their own food expenses for the duration of the course, though some meals may be provided. 

Candidates are strongly encouraged to seek financial support from sources such as governmental institutions, their employers, or funding agencies. Depending on the availability of funding, the course organizers may be able to offer a limited number of scholarships to selected candidates. 


Applicants should be mid-career professionals with a minimum of three years of experience working with wood. It is of great importance for the success of the course that the participants have relevant experience to contribute to and will benefit from the mutual exchange of ideas. The number of participants is limited to 20. 
Note that the participants in the course should have a normal level of fitness and mobile ability. 


The working language of the course is English. A good knowledge of both oral and written English is essential. 


Please fill out the ICCROM application online form. To finalize the application, the following must be uploaded online. All the documentation must be submitted in English

  • Portrait photo (allowed formats: gif, jpg, jpeg, png, tif, tiff, with a maximum file size of 3 MB) 
  • Official endorsement  (allowed formats: pdf, doc, docx, jpg, jpeg, png, tif, tiff with a maximum file size of 5 MB) 
  • A full professional curriculum vitae (allowed formats: pdf, doc, docx with a maximum file size of 5 MB) 
  • A brief report (max 2 pages, allowed formats: pdf, doc, docx, with a maximum file size of 5 MB answering the following questions:
    1. Describe a conservation project involving wood conservation for which you are or have been actively involved.  Explain what made this object or building worth conserving to you and your wider community. 
    2. How is it made, and what is typical about that in your tradition? 
    3. How was it damaged, and what did you do about it? 
  • Please note that your personal statement in the application form is a fundamental requirement. You are expected to write: “Why you are applying to this course, what you hope to learn from it, and how it will benefit your professional development and your institution.” 

For further information regarding the course, please contact: 

Ms. Anne Nyhamar (The Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage), e-mail: anne.nyhamar@ra.no 

Application deadline 

Applications should reach ICCROM by 30 September 2023 to ensure inclusion in our selection process. 

All applicants will be notified before 1 December 2023.