NVQ in Archaeological Practice

Important update

The CIfA NVQ Assessment Centre is pleased to be affiliated to a new Awarding Organisation, the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA). Please see below for general information about the qualification. If you are interested in registering as a candidate, would like to support your employees to complete an NVQ or require any other specific information, please contact Lianne Birney (lianne.birney [at] archaeologists.net) or Kate Geary (kate.geary [at] archaeologists.net).

What is an NVQ in Archaeological Practice?

The Qualification in Archaeological Practice is a vocational qualification developed by the Archaeology Training Forum which has been approved by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority.

How is an NVQ assessed?

Vocational qualifications are assessed mainly in the workplace. Candidates register with an assessment centre and, working with an assessor, submit evidence to show they have met the requirements of the core units and the options they have chosen. Prior learning can be accredited through the submission of work completed prior to registration and there is no time limit for completion.

Who can register to do an NVQ?

The qualification is available to everyone working in archaeology, whether on a paid or a voluntary basis, or anyone seeking to develop a career in archaeology who can gather appropriate evidence.

What are the benefits?

The qualification will enable archaeologists to demonstrate that they have particular sets of skills, competencies or experience which will be of benefit when applying for jobs, promotion or CIfA accredited membership. It will also provide a means of accrediting informal training and on-the-job learning. All CIfA training initiatives offered in the future will be structured around National Occupational Standards enabling them to contribute towards the qualification.

Why do an NVQ?

The qualification allows archaeologists to demonstrate that they have a particular set of skills, competencies of experiences, which will be of benefit when applying for jobs, promotion or membership of the CIfA. It will also provide a means of accrediting informal training and on-the-job learning.

For career archaeologists the NVQ

  • is a well respected qualification among employers
  • accredits your skills, knowledge and ability
  • enables you to develop transferable skills
  • identifies your potential and provides opportunities for development
  • helps you to understand employers’ requirements
  • increases your confidence

For employers, offering or supporting the NVQ

  • helps you to attract, retain and motivate staff
  • raises performance
  • attests a job candidate’s capability
  • ensures employees are up to date
  • demonstrates a commitment to training and standards (particularly useful if you are a Registered Organisation or thinking of becoming one)
  • is ‘on the job’ – so minimises down time
  • provides the structure to deliver quality training

For volunteers and other professionals, the NVQ

  • is a recognised qualification across professions
  • has no age or time limits to complete
  • provides access to specialist knowledge and skills
  • is a flexible route to qualification
  • can provide a springboard into further study
  • qualification to do arch work


Assessing an NVQ

We need experienced professionals to train as assessors so that we can assess across the wide range of archaeological specialisms. If you are interested in becoming an assessor, or would like more information about the Qualification, see the link below

NVQ Assessor information (pdf file)

NVQ assessor information and schedule

For any queries please contact lianne.birney@archaeologists.net

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

0118 378 6446
admin [at] archaeologists.net