Principle 7 - Research, Evaluation and Training

Continuing research, training, and evaluation are essential components of the interpretation of a cultural heritage site.

7.1  The interpretation of a cultural heritage site should not be considered to be completed with the completion of a specific interpretive infrastructure. Continuing research and consultation are important to furthering the understanding and appreciation of a site’s significance and should be integral elements in every heritage interpretation programme.

7.2  The interpretive programme and infrastructure should be designed and constructed in a way that ensures periodic content revision and/or expansion.

7.3  Interpretation and presentation programmes and their physical impact on a site should be continuously monitored and evaluated, and periodic changes made on the basis of both scientific and scholarly analysis and public feedback. Visitors and members of associated communities as well as heritage professionals should be involved in this evaluation process.

7.4  Every interpretation programme should be seen as an educational resource and its design should take into account its possible use in school curricula, communications and information media, special activities, events, and seasonal volunteer involvement.

7.5  The training of qualified professionals in the specialised fields of heritage interpretation and presentation, such as content creation, management, technology, guiding, and education, is a crucial objective. In addition, basic academic conservation programmes should include a component on interpretation and presentation in their courses of study.

7.6  On-site training programmes and courses should be developed with the objective of updating and informing heritage and interpretation staff of all levels and associated and host communities of recent developments and innovations in the field.

7.7  International cooperation and sharing of experience are essential to developing and maintaining standards in interpretation methods and technologies. To that end, international conferences, workshops and exchanges of professional staff as well as national and regional meetings should be encouraged. These will provide an opportunity for the regular sharing of information about the diversity of interpretive approaches and experiences in various regions and cultures.