The NHIG is committed to ensuring that blacksmithing and heritage ironwork is represented and taught in the future.
We have tried to make these sections comprehensive, but please contact us if you know of any opportunities or links that could be added.

The role of the NHIG

Pioneering new standards

One of NHIG’s key aims is to promote high standards within the heritage ironwork sector.

When NHIG was formed in 2009, no formal professional standards or codes of practice existed. Therefore to support its aim NHIG initiates projects in order to define and set standards.

National Occupational Standards

NHIG has played a key role in developing the first National Occupational Standards (NOS) for heritage and conservation blacksmithing. This has inspired the blacksmithing community to re-write the NOS for the whole of teaching blacksmithing to bring the practice up to modern standards.

Conservation Principes

NHIG wrote the first Conservation Principles specifically for forged and cast heritage ironwork.

An important element of these two projects is that NHIG works with the sector, acting as a unifying force and representative for professionals, through a consultation process. NHIG supports these standards through general guidance as well as training and education.

Although heritage ironwork standards are in the early stages of development we trust these will evolve as additional projects are completed.


The NHIG also runs Continuous Professional Development courses for professionals in the industry wishing to learn or improve their understanding of the issues surrounding historic iron conservation.

Funding for students

We currently run a bursary for students wishing to attend our CPD courses.

Another first:

From 2010-12 the NHIG ran a Heritage Lottery funded bursary course, allowing 24 students to train in blacksmithing and conservation at some of the best forges and conservation centres in the UK. This course has now finished but please see the Bursary Course page for more information.