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Diggers' Forum


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The Diggers’ Forum (DF) is committed to creating a positive, sustainable and financially viable career for all professional archaeologists at all points in their career. The DF is a Special Interest Group of the Institute for Archaeologists representing all archaeologists working out on site at whatever grade. Membership of the DF is open to all.

The DF was formed in 2004 to represent the views, aspirations and professional requirements of its members, in addition to campaigning for improvements in pay and conditions within the profession. The views of those new to a career in archaeology, or who are employed at the lower rungs of the job, are under-represented in the industry. It is a key aim of the Diggers’ Forum to redress this balance and keep the issues and welfare of its membership at the top of the IfA agenda and publicised to the world beyond.

The Diggers’ Forum will serve as a platform to provide up to date news and information to its members, as well as actively encouraging debate and involvement within the DF and the IfA on the developing roles required of field-staff now and in the decades to come.

Join us and make our voice that bit louder.

Campaigns and activities

The Diggers Forum actively campaigns to improve pay and conditions for archaeologists: this work is done by both formal campaigns and by maintaining an active presence on the IfA Council (where we currently have four members) and on IfA committees and working groups. By increasing our presence on Council we can make a positive impact on the profession by influencing votes on issues such as pay minima that directly affect our members. This relies on membership being engaged in the IfA and using their vote where it counts. Please read our latest overview of the minima here as discussed at the IfA Council meeting on 7 November.

Prospect archaeologists branch and Diggers’ Forum joint day conference proceedings

Archaeology pay and training: can the industry do more?

On 2 November 2013 Diggers’ Forum and Prospect held an open conference to discuss the twin issues of pay and training in archaeology. The conference heard papers from a range of perspectives and there was lively discussion of the issues between audience and speakers. These papers are now available to read in the new conference proceedings - further details and the papers can be accessed here

Forthcoming Events

More events coming soon!

Past Events

Prospect Archaeologists Branch and Diggers’ Forum Joint Day Conference

Archaeology pay and training: can the industry do more?

Saturday 2nd November 2013

This one-day conference took place on 2 November 2013 at Mortimer Wheeler House, 46 Eagle Wharf Road, London N1 7ED and explored the related issues of pay and training within professional archaeology. The Conference was a great success, with excellent speakers and thought-provoking feedback. The discussion sessions were lively and well-informed – they focused around:
*Free market economics vs. competition/regulation
*What’s in it for the clients/developers – how do we keep them engaged?

Please read an overview of this event with summaries of each presentation here

CPD Survey

The Diggers’ Forum has recently carried out an online survey into CPD and Training in commercial archaeology in the UK. The survey was primarily designed for fieldworkers, however respondents included managers and specialists. We are currently analysing the data and hope to publish a full report and recommendations soon.

Find out more by following this link.

Southport consultation

The DF committee has responded to the Southport group report, following input from the group. You can read read it here.

Away work, travel and subsistance report 2012

The report on our survey of away work is now finished and has been emailed or posted to all DF members. The report is over 100 pages long and contains two key sets of recommendations, intended to bring much needed clarity to the advertisement of archaeological jobs, and to improve the terms and conditions for employees who travel or work away; the main report can be downloaded here.

Please read through the report, discuss it with your colleagues and let us know what your comments and views are, particularly on the recommendations on advertising archaeological jobs, and on travel and away work.

We are moving on to the next step in our campaign, and are asking the IfA, FAME, Registered Organisations, employers and unions to join the DF in discussions as to how we put the recommendations into practice. Finally, we’d like to thank all the individuals and organisations that took part in the survey.

Please contact us if you are a DF member and have not recieived your copy, or require a hardcopy.

Join the Diggers’ Forum

Membership of the Diggers’ Forum is open to everyone. Membership is free to IfA members, for non-members there is an annual fee of £10.

Tel: 0118 378 6446

You can also download membership forms and flyers to help spread the word.

Contact us

You can contact us via the IfA by emailing or at If you would like to talk to us in full confidence then see the newsletter for our individual email addresses.

Committee members

Chiz Harward (Chair/Newsletter Editor)
Cat Gibbs (Secretary)
Samantha Boyle (Treasurer)
Robin Weaver (Newsletter Co-editor)
Richard Bradley
Paul Riccoboni
Kelly Madigan
Charlie Enright
Gemma Ward

Committee Meeting Minutes

27 November 2013


The Forum Dispatch, the newsletter of the Diggers’ Forum, forms a key medium for communicating within the Forum, and provides membership with a wide range of relevant news, articles and information on the activities of the Diggers’ Forum and the profession. Past issues of the newsletter and other DF articles are archived on this page


The Diggers’ Forum is now on Facebook. By ‘Liking’ the page you will be able to receive regular news updates on DF activities and current and ongoing campaigns. The page will support the existing newsletter, which will still feature in-depth coverage of relevant news and articles. The page is also there for you to give feedback to the DF committee and other members, as well as for everyone to contribute to discussions on DF news and other events. So if you’re on Facebook go to and click on ‘Like’!’

Chartered Institute for Archaeologists
Miller Building, University of Reading
Reading, Berkshire RG6 6AB

0118 378 6446