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Individual Membership

Who can join?

Excavator We welcome applications from all involved with the study and care of the historic environment, including heritage management, further and higher education and the voluntary sector, regardless of academic background.

What does it mean to be a member?

The Code of conduct, other by-laws and standards and guidance are binding on all accredited corporate members, and emphasise the duty to adhere to the professional and ethical standards. Student and Affiliate members are asked to support and work towards adhering to the Code of conduct.

The following brochure showcases some of our members, and the roles they have.

Accredited members of IfA (Practitioners, Associates and Members) have to undertake at least 50 hours of CPD over a two year period. Your CPD is based on a Personal Development Plan (PDP) (Word doc file) and a CPD log (Word doc file). For more information about CPD, follow this link.

In additional to recognition of your commitment to the profession, IfA membership comes with a number of additional membership benefits.

How to apply

You should read the Applicants’ guide before you apply for accredited corporate membership to make sure you understand what to submit.

If you are applying to join as a Student or an Affiliate member you should read the Student and Affiliate applicants’ guide. You can also join online at

You should complete and submit the correct form together with the relevant application fee (see below). These are the fees to process your application. Once your application has been accepted, you will then be asked to pay the subscription fee. There is no application fee to upgrade.

Supporting information

Those applying for an accredited corporate grade are also required to submit a Statement of Competence relating to the competence matrix and at least three examples of work as supporting documentation: please see the Applicants’ Guide for more details. Although evidence is not required at PIfA grade we encourage applicants to submit work.

Please note the Validation committee prefer hard copies of your work so they can review them more easily during the meetings. However, you can now submit your application electronically by email to Large documents can be sent via a link to Dropbox or Googledocs.


Applicants for accredited corporate grades must also nominate two referees. Please contact them before you apply to make sure they are suitable and willing. One should be from your current or most recent employer. For Member grades it is likely you will need a second reference to be a curatorial reference. Student and Affiliate applicants no longer need to include referees.

When will I hear?

We will write to you to confirm that we have received your application and ask you for any additional information we think you need to supply at that point. Applications for accredited corporate membership are decided by the Validation committee which meets every eight weeks.

Applications that are received three weeks or fewer before a Validation committee meeting will be processed for the subsequent meeting.

Application deadlines and Validation committee meetings 2014

15 April for 6 May meeting

10 June for 1 July meeting

5 August for 26 August meeting

30 September for 21 October meeting

18 November for 9 December meeting

You will hear back from us after the meeting with the committees decision. If you think you have waited too long to hear back from us please get in touch.

Applications for Affiliate and Student membership are decided by office staff. You will hear back from us once we have processed your application.

How to upgrade or rejoin

For information on how to upgrade your level of membership, please see section 4.1 of the Applicants’ Guide and follow the guidelines as for new members. At present there is no fee to upgrade, but please remember to submit a PDP and CPD log with your upgrade application.

For information on how to rejoin the Institute, please see section 4.2 of the Applicants’ Guide and fill out a rejoiners’ form (see below). There is no fee to rejoin, but once your application has been accepted, you will be asked to pay a subscription fee. The rejoiner process is not open to self-validated members who originally joined before 1986, who will need to reapply as above for new members.

For information, you can download the procedural guidelines of the Validation committee and the Membership Appeals committee by clicking on the links.

Information for referees

When nominated as a referee please ensure you return your reference promptly, within two weeks of receiving the request from us. You can do this by post or email This is so that applications are not deferred for another committee meeting which are eight weeks apart.

If you are unable to send this in within the time frame, please aim to do so before the next committee meeting. Late references are the most common reasons for applications being delayed or deferred. Please see the events calendar for meeting dates. Referees for accredited corporate grade applicants may find our reference template useful (see below). Please inform the applicant and the IfA office if you do not consider yourself a suitable referee.


Please use the table below to download the relevant forms. If you have difficulty opening PDF documents you may need to update your adobe reader

Institute for Archaeologists
Miller Building
University of Reading

Reading RG6 6AB

0118 378 6446