Individual Membership

We welcome applications from people who are involved in the study and care of the historic environment, including those in employment and the voluntary sector, regardless of academic background.

There are two types of individual membership:

  • accredited member
  • non-accredited member (student/affiliate)

There are three Accredited member grades - Practitioner (PCIfA), Associate (ACIfA) and Member (MCIfA).
Click here for more details

Students and those who do not yet meet the criteria may join as non-accredited members using the online application

SPECIAL OFFER In light of the changes to the CSCS cards for archaeologists we have waived the application fee for those applying for Practitioner (PCIfA) until 31 December 2016.

Member benefits

Membership of CIfA gives you a competitive advantage by demonstrating that you adhere to the highest professional standards, and by providing opportunities for networking with other professional archaeologists and for developing your career or business.

CIfA influence policy and decision makers as the authoritative and effective voice for archaeologists. This raises the profile of archaeology and drives recognition of your professional status. We support members in their professional development aims through CPD, training and a 30% discount on our annual CIfA conference.

As an accredited member of the leading professional body representing archaeologists working in the UK and overseas you can:

  • use post nominal (PCIfA, ACIfA or MCIfA) to demonstrate your level of competence
  • be listed in the CIfA annual Yearbook and Directory
  • vote at general meetings
  • stand for election to the Board of Directors or Advisory Council
  • be involved with our committees
  • receive the weekly Jobs Information Services and Training (JIST) and monthly ebulletin free of charge
  • receive our regular magazine, The Archaeologist

In addition to recognition of your commitment to the profession, CIfA membership comes with a number of extra membership benefits.

What members sign up to - Code of Conduct

Accredited members sign up to our Code of conduct and standards and guidance that 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.

For showcases of some of our members and the roles they have, please see past issues of The Archaeologist

Accredited members of CIfA (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 click here.

How to apply

Our Accredited Applicant's Guide gives detailed advice on completing the application, the documents you need to supply and fees. We strongly recommend you read the guide before applying. Links to the guides, forms and templates are listed at the bottom of this page. If you have any further queries please email membership [at]

You can find all subscription and application fee information here: The application fee applies to new applicants, upgrading members and NVQ fast track, but not those re-joining.

Supporting information

If you are applying to become an accredited member you must submit the following:

  1. An application form with two referees, one must be from your current employer.
  2. A statement of competence using the template below, and relating to the competence matrix.
  3. At least three examples of your work, please see the Accredited Applicant's Guide - For accredited member grades Practitioner, Associate and Member for details. Although evidence is not required at PCIfA grade we encourage applicants to submit any work they may have done.
  4. For upgrading members a PDP and CPD record from the last two years.

Please note the Validation committee will accept hard copies or digital copies of your work emailed to membership [at] We are happy to receive larger documents digitally on CD or via a file sharing service.

Competence matrices

Click here to view the pdf versions of the competence matrix and specialist matrices.

We have recently introduced specialist competence matrices, which have been compiled by our special interest groups and are tailored to specific areas. These are to assist applicants and the Validation committee to see where you demonstrate the grade. Please note All applications will be assessed against the main competence matrix (P6 Applicant’s Guide) with the specialist matrix as an advisory document only.


Individual applicants for accredited member grades must 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. We strongly recommend applicants read the Accredited Applicant's Guide for selecting references carefully prior to completing their application.

Information for referees can be found here

When will I hear?

We will email 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, on the committee's behalf.

Applications received less than three weeks before a Validation committee meeting will be processed for the subsequent meeting. Please note Summer meetings are particularly busy so this may mean your application is delayed due to time constraints.

The last deadline for 2016 is 7 November for the 6 December meeting.

Application deadlines for Validation committee meetings 2017

16 January for 7 February meeting

6 March for 28 March meeting

8 May for 20 May meeting

3 July for 25 July meeting

21 August for 12 September meeting

9 October for 31 October meeting

20 November for 12 December meeting

We will email you with the committees decision as soon as possible after the meeting day.

How to upgrade

For information on how to upgrade your level of membership, please see section 2.2 of the Applicants’ Guide and follow the guidelines as for new members. Please note there is now a £10 fee to upgrade. Please remember to submit a PDP and CPD log from the last two years with your upgrade application. If you are a Student or Affiliate member please provide what you can.

How to re-join

For information on how to rejoin the Institute, please see section 2.3 of the Applicants’ Guide and fill out a re-joiners’ form (see below). You will need to submit an up to date CV and for ACIfA and MCIfA grades your bibliography/grey literature from the last two years and your up to date CPD/PDP log. There is no fee to rejoin, but once your application has been accepted, you will be asked to pay the subscription fee.

Further information

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

Downloadable Documents

Applicant's Guide (PDF)

Application/Rejoining forms (DOC)

Fees and Subscription Rates (PDF)

Membership regulations(PDF)

The Membership regulation provide guidance on the procedures of the Validation committee and membership appeals process (section 12)

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

0118 378 6446
admin [at]