News from the Administrator

Legislation regarding the use of Ivory

The Ivory Bill has gained Royal Assent to become law. The Act is expected to come into force in late 2019.

Once commenced, the Act will:

  • Introduce a total ban on dealing in items containing elephant ivory, regardless of their age, within the UK, as well as export from or import to the UK.
  • Create narrow and carefully defined set of exemptions.
  • Establish a new compliance system to allow owners to continue to trade in exempt items
  • Introduce tough new penalties for those found guilty of breaching the ban, including fines and possible imprisonment.

The Ivory Act 2018 will also create narrow and carefully defined exemptions to the ban:

  • Items with only a small amount of ivory. Such items must be comprised of less than 10% ivory by volume and have been made prior to 1947
  • Musical instruments. These must have an ivory content of less than 20% and have been made prior to 1975 Portrait miniatures. A specific exemption for portrait miniatures – which were often painted on thin slivers of ivory – made before 1918
  • Sales to and between accredited museums. This applies museums accredited by Arts Council England, the Welsh Government, The Scottish Government or the Northern Ireland Museums Council in the UK, or, for museums outside the UK, The International Council of Museums
  • The rarest and most important items of their type. Items of outstanding artistic, cultural or historic significance, and made prior to 1918. Such items will be subject to the advice of specialists at institutions such as the UK’s most prestigious museums. 

H.M. Government Approves Final Element of National Organ Building Apprenticeship Scheme!

The I.B.O. is delighted to confirm that on September 14th 2017 the Institute for Apprenticeships published the Assessment Plan for the Organ Builder Apprenticeship Standard, which can now be viewed at

The next stage is to negotiate with training bodies and assessment organisations for the delivery of the scheme.

Of particular note is the level of financial support for the scheme provisionally on offer from the government. We have been included in ‘Funding Band 14’ which implies a subsidy of £21,600 per apprentice specifically to fund his/her ‘off-the-job’ training over the course of a three-year apprenticeship (with just the 10% balance being payable by the employer). This surely constitutes the biggest potential public investment in the profession of organ building in our lifetimes.


IBO Training Opportunities for all Business/Supplier member staff

Many members of staff of our Business and Supplier members hold their own personal Associate Membership of the IBO. As such, these members receive details of all the training courses that are arranged by the Institute.

It is now possible for ALL members of staff of Business/Supplier members to receive details of the courses – and attend them if they wish whether they hold their own IBO membership or not – simply by adding their name and email address (or postal address if no email exists) to a new separate database which I will keep from now on.

Could all company principals therefore please ask their staff to contact me with their details if they would like to be included on this list – I would be very pleased to hear from them.