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The Institute is a democratic membership organisation which is run by an elected Council, made up of IfA members. Council makes decisions on how IfA is run and the work that it undertakes. Some processes are delegated to various Committees, which are also made up of IfA members who volunteer their time.

Council consists of a minimum of 16 and maximum of 21 Corporate (PIfA, AIfA and MIfA) members inclusive of the Executive committee. A list of current Council members is available on the IfA Organisation webpages.

Members of Council are elected for a three year term, after which they can retire or stand for re-election at AGM. Each year vacancies open up on Council as members retire and provide opportunities for new members to get involved. The process is a formal election which is tied into IfA’s annual governance timetable and AGM, which happens in October of each year. Calls for nominations generally occur in July, allowing time for nominations to be circulated to all members and votes to come in.

Council and Executive committee

Election to Council provides a great opportunity to be involved in and learn more about the issues IfA is involved in. Council members make decisions on the core business activities of IfA and also feed into matters such as the strategic development of the Institute and the consultations we respond to.

Members of Council are also the Company Directors of the Institute and have important legal and fiduciary responsibilities to manage the Institute in accordance with company law.

Executive committee has delegated responsibility from Council to manage the ‘business matters’ of the Institute and to make recommendations to Council to assist its decisions on particular matters. It is Council that ultimately takes the decisions on significant professional, financial or other issues.

To assist Council members in their duties, the Institute has developed a generic job description (see below).

Membership Appeals Committee

This committee consider appeals by unsuccessful applicants for individual membership of the Institute. It meets as required and in accordance with the constitutional requirements set in our Memorandum and Articles of Association, consists of three individuals coopted from Council and three other members of the Institute elected at general meeting.

Role description and desk instructions for Council members

  • A Council member’s role is defined in A69-73 (new 69-72) of the Memorandum and articles association.

  • As an elected representative of the membership, a Council member agrees policy and oversees the strategic implementation of policy decisions. The aim, objectives and key strategies of the Institute are set out in strategic plan, and it is not envisaged that significant changes to this plan will be desirable for several years. The business plan, which sets a programme of actions towards those objectives, will need annual revisions to reflect progress and changing circumstances. Council members, working with the Executive Committee and staff, will oversee the achievement of these agreed targets by various committees, working parties and IfA staff with whom they work.


  • responsible to the membership
  • responsible for the committees of the Institute via the committee chairs
  • responsible for the IfA staff via the Chair

Main Duties

Council members will

  • maintain a broad overview of Institute business
  • ensure that they are able to represent members’ interests to Council and others +represent Council and its policies to the members
  • represent the Institute and its policies to the archaeological community and beyond, recruiting new membership
  • where appropriate, agree new policy and changes to policy, informed by committees, officers and staff
  • oversee the implementation of policy decisions in line with the business plan by attending all Council and general meetings and, as appropriate, other meetings

Directors are obliged to keep accounts, via the Honorary Treasurer, for the

  • maintenance of accounting records
  • preparation of the Institute’s accounts and annual reports
  • audit or independent examination of accounts
  • submission of accounts, annual reports and annual returns
  • availability of accounts to the public/membership

Preparing accounts is, however, only part of proper financial planning and control. It is also essential to make proper estimates about expected income and expenditure in order to plan ahead effectively.

General Duties

  • Meetings to attend – Council (normally four times a year), AGMs and EGMs

Desk Instructions

Council members will serve as ambassadors of the IfA, organising at least one recruitment activity per year (material and assistance will be provided by Recruitment and Marketing Coordinator and the office). This might take the form of participation in a training or CPD event in your area of specialism.

  • Council members will respond to IfA correspondence/requests for comment on papers etc within 14 days unless a shorter deadline is specified. No reply will be taken to mean agreement.

  • Council members will attend all Council and general meetings. Non-attendance at meetings without good cause may result in the Chair inviting the member to step down from Council.

  • Council members will produce reports and publication pieces as necessary throughout the year.

  • Council members will be expected to serve on either Validation or membership appeals committee.

Nominations and elections for 2014

As of 9 December 2014 we will be formally launching the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists. The call for nominations for candidate for the Advisory Council and Board of Directors in now under way. For more information please visit our CIfA AGM news page

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

0118 378 6446