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:
There are three Accredited member grades:
Our first level of accredited membership, open to those who have undertaken skilled tasks within the historic environment sector under the guidance of others, and have carried out responsible work under a level of supervision.
Our second level of accredited membership, open to those who have carried out, delegated or brought to conclusion pieces of work within the historic environment sector, with some autonomy but without holding ultimate responsibility.
Our highest level of accredited membership, open to those with the greatest level of responsibility and competence within the historic environment sector with sole responsibility to initiate, negotiate, carry out and/or delegate, and bring to conclusion pieces of work. Members are in charge of organising and running large, complex projects from beginning to end, or in highly skilled, specialist work.
Students and those who do not yet meet the criteria may join as non-accredited members using the online application
We 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.
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.
As an accredited member of the leading professional body representing archaeologists working in the UK and overseas you can:
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.
In addition to recognition of your commitment to the profession, CIfA membership comes with a number of extra membership benefits.
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] archaeologists.net
You can find all subscription information here: www.archaeologists.net/membership. The application fee applies to new applicants and upgrading members, but not those re-joining.
If you are applying to become an accredited member you must submit a statement of competence using the template below, and relating to the competence matrix. You should include at least three examples of your work, please see the applicants’ guide, below, for details. Although evidence is not required at PCIfA grade we encourage applicants to submit any work they may have done.
Please note the Validation committee will accept hard copies or digital copies of your work emailed to membership [at] archaeologists.net. We are happy to receive larger documents digitally on CD or via a file sharing service.
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.
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 received less than three weeks before a Validation committee meeting will be processed for the subsequent meeting.
We will write to you with the committees decision as soon as possible after the meeting.
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 with your upgrade application.
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. The re-joiner process is not open to self-validated members who originally joined before 1986, who will need to reapply as above for new members.
Referees are requested to return references promptly, within three weeks of receiving the request from us, so that applications are not deferred to a later committee meeting. If you are unable to complete your reference within the time frame, please aim to do so before the next committee meeting (please see above for meeting dates). Late references are the most common reasons for applications being delayed or deferred.
The validation committee requests that referees use the template provided (see below). Please inform the applicant and the CIfA office if you do not consider yourself a suitable referee.
You can send in your reference by post to the address on our contact us page or email it to membership [at] archaeologists.net.
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
Accredited Applicant's Guide - For accredited member grades Practitioner, Associate and Member
The Membership regulation provide guidance on the procedures of the Validation committee and membership appeals process (section 12)