Make copies of cultural heritage

Business Sectors (Suites): Cultural Heritage
Developed by: Creative & Cultural Skills
Approved on: 30 Mar 2022


​This standard is about making copies of cultural heritage. Cultural heritage can refer to objects that are on display or in storage or to historic buildings, structures, sites, settings or their components.  Copies can be replicas, surrogates, representations, 3D scans or other digital representations. Copies can be made to:

  • aid access, interpretation or research,
  • to protect cultural heritage from unnecessary handling or use, or
  • raise revenue through selling
  • inspect and monitor objects on display, in storage or in situ' for instance if they are in or part of a historic building or site.

It includes agreeing requirements, using appropriate techniques, tools and materials to produce copies, maintaining the integrity and security of both cultural heritage and copies and recording relevant information.

This standard is for anyone who is involved with producing copies of cultural heritage.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

  1. ​agree the requirements for making copies with appropriate people
  2. use appropriate techniques, materials and equipment to make copies
  3. make sufficiently accurate copies according to need and resources
  4. ensure the condition and security of copies is maintained
  5. maintain the integrity of the cultural heritage being copied during the process
  6. ensure that any cultural heritage that has been removed is returned to suitable locations and conditions post-operation
  7. record how and why copies were made in organisational systems
  8. use accepted methods to ensure that copies can be distinguished from originals
  9. record the purpose and provenance of copies when required
  10. record the care and maintenance requirements of copies in organisational systems when designed for long term use

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. how replicas or representations can be useful
  2. sources of information on requirements for cultural heritage copies
  3. required materials and equipment for the method of copying being used and how to use them including for replicas, surrogates, representations, 3D scans and other digital representations
  4. how to make a replica or representation to the required standard and format ensuring the safety of the original
  5. methods to distinguish copies from originals
  6. the appropriate condition and security requirements of copies
  7. organisational procedures for recording replicas or representations and their purpose, including marking, methods and materials of manufacture
  8. the types of documentation system used, how to operate them, the main differences between digital and manual systems and possible problems with them
  9. how to care for and maintain replicas or representations and keep appropriate records


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

30 Mar 2026





Originating Organisation

Creative and Cultural Skills

Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Archaeology and Archaeological Sciences, Architecture, Artistic and Literary Occupations, Building and Construction, Conservation Associate Professionals, Construction Trades, Crafts, Creative Arts and Design, Functional Managers, History, Leisure and Travel Service Occupations, Leisure, Travel and Tourism

SOC Code



conservation; replica; representation; artefact; conservation; cultural heritage; copy; copies; surrogate; representation; 3D scan; digital; heritage building; heritage structure; heritage site;