Chartered Archaeologist

Chartered Archaeologist

At an Extraordinary General Meeting, held in Leeds on Friday, 26 April 2019, accredited members of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologist (CIfA) voted not to petition the Privy Council to introduction of a new Chartered Archaeologist grade of accredited member.

CIfA’s Board of Directors met on 7 May and discussed the results of the vote for the proposal to introduce a Chartered Archaeologist grade of accreditation.

The vote at the EGM did not gain the 75 percent support required to pass the resolution, but it did achieve a majority of 55 percent. That, and the instruction from the 2017 AGM to prepare the documents supporting the 2019 EGM resolution, show that that the profession continues to aspire to the general principle of a Chartered Archaeologist accreditation.

We have received a great deal of feedback, much of which is positive, regarding the Chartered Archaeologist proposal. However, a wider range of concerns has been raised. Some of these are directly related to the Chartered Archaeologist proposal, but others reflect broader sectoral issues. All these concerns need careful consideration before we can make any decisions about how to proceed in the best interests of the profession. Our next steps will be to review that feedback in more detail, and to consult widely with the membership, starting with your elected members and group representatives on Advisory Council. We wish to understand which aspects of the proposal might change, and what other actions we and others may need to take to address differing aspirations, understanding and trust.

We would like to reaffirm that CIfA has continued to invest resources into other related core aspects of our remit. They include promoting ethical behaviour, raising technical standards, investigating professional conduct, boosting the negotiating power of archaeologists in multi-disciplinary teams, and encouraging people of all backgrounds to enter and progress in our profession. These are issues that impact all our members, and we see the development of individual chartered accreditation – the creation of a chartered profession – as a means of generating longer-term improvements in these areas. We will continue to pursue the objects of our Charter by promoting high professional standards and strong ethics in archaeological practice, to maximise the benefits that archaeologists bring to society.

The April 2019 proposal and past campaign

You can still read the proposal here

Why is chartered status unique and why does archaeology need it?

As archaeology matures as a profession, CIfA wants all stakeholders to be aware that the profession is striving for excellence, raising standards, and working in the public interest, for the benefit of the historic environment. A Chartered Archaeologist grade is a way for CIfA to bring our accreditations into line with the most trusted and established professional bodies. This will improve the value and meaning of CIfA accreditation and ensure that it is recognised as a benchmark of quality by archaeologists, clients and the public.

A Chartered Archaeologist grade will

  1. Focus on raising standards and continual improvement
  2. Inspire client and public confidence in our abilities and professionalism
  3. Deliver parity of status with other professions
  4. Provide greater recognition of the value added by archaeologists
  5. Set clear professional career pathways for all archaeologists
  6. Attract new people into the profession and retain talent

Please click here to download the proposal document


CIfA will be consulting with its Advisory Council and wider membership in the coming months. It is important that CIfA fully understands the result and considers how best to address the many issues that it has raised.

Further information

Details of past consultations, publications about Chartered Archaeologist and FAQs are available here.